Rami's Readings #17
Focus on New York City, Stability AI, Democratizing LLMs, Generative Disco, and more.
Welcome to Rami’s Readings #17 - a weekly digest of interesting articles, videos, Twitter threads from my various sources across the Internet. Expect a list of reads covering technology, business, culture, fashion, travel and more. Learn about what I do at ramisayar.com/about.
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💼 Business Reads - Focus on NYC
I had a one-day layover in New York City on my way back to Seattle. A few reads about NYC that caught my eye.
NYC Is World's Wealthiest City, Bay Area Boasts Most Billionaires
Notes: No Canadian city in the top 10.
The Brooklyn Bridge Gets a Facial
The meticulous process preserves the historical details of the bridge down to the mortar, which is made with cement from the same upstate New York quarries that supplied it for the bridge’s original construction.
A Tiny Number of Shoplifters Commit Thousands of New York City Thefts
Notes: The power law is everywhere.
New Yorkers Never Came ‘Flooding Back.’ Why Did Rents Go Up So Much?
Notes: This article caused quite a stir when it came out in January and covered alleged landlord collusion using RealPage. On a personal note, I used to rent in Long Island City, and it felt like a conspiracy existed among the landlords. Almost every unit I visited was renting for roughly the same amount with the same concessions, even if that unit was significantly worse in quality or less desirable, i.e., facing a highway. It felt like the actual apartment did not dictate the rental price, but something else did.
Is China Still a Meritocracy?
University students still believe that hard work brings success. Others aren’t so sure.
🤖 AI Reads
Stability AI announces new open-source large language model
Notes: this company is standing above the rest on a impact/employee basis.
Stability AI, the company behind the AI-powered Stable Diffusion image generator, has released a suite of open-source large language models (LLMs) collectively called StableLM. While StableLM expands on the open-source language models that Stability AI has already worked on in collaboration with the nonprofit EleutherAI, it also builds on its mission to make AI tools more accessible, as it has done with Stable Diffusion .
AI Is Starting to Replace Humans in China’s Creative Sector
While some employees are worried about the latest competition, others feel machines cannot entirely replace human minds.
Phoenix: Democratizing ChatGPT across Languages
Notes: LLM performance in low-resource languages is not as good across a variety of metrics. Good to see more research on democratizing LLMs across languages. Another paper of interest: Hallucinations in Large Multilingual Translation Models.
ChatGPT: Applications, Opportunities, and Threats
Notes: A good survey across multiple domains.
Despite its exceptional ability to generate natural-sounding responses, the authors believe that ChatGPT does not possess the same level of understanding, empathy, and creativity as a human and cannot fully replace them in most situations.
Prompt injection: What’s the worst that can happen?
Notes: short and readable.
Generative Disco: Text-to-Video Generation for Music Visualization
That is all for this week. Signing off from Seattle.
I wrote a disclosure for this newsletter in #7. Please consider reading it.
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