Rami's Readings #20
The latest on AI announcements, LLMs, Global Real Estate, and the undervaluing of creativity in our economy and society.
Welcome to Rami’s Readings #20 - 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.
Are you enjoying this newsletter?
If yes, I have a favor to ask you. If you know someone else who would benefit, please forward or share it with them!
If you received this newsletter from a friend, subscribe here to get the next one.
Another eventful week in the AI world. There was an event by a certain Big Tech company that took place this week (no comment, see #7). Plenty of coverage of the event around the web. ChatGPT plugins are also rolling out of beta, more on that next week. Everything else of note:
🤖 AI Reads
Transformers just released Agents 🤖 !
Notes: Docs. CoLab. Open source AI is keeping up.
Anthropic Introducing 100K Context Windows
Notes: Relevant for LLM business applications where source documents are very long and needed for context. The Verge also covered this news.
AI Is Tearing Wikipedia Apart
Notes: Vice reporting on this Wikipedia community call. Always cite your sources kids!
Open-source implementation of PaLM models
A fourth 2b model is currently being trained.
StarCoder: may the source be with you!
Notes: Collaborative, open-source, code generation LLM project
The BigCode community, an open-scientific collaboration working on the responsible development of Large Language Models for Code (Code LLMs), introduces StarCoder and StarCoderBase: 15.5B parameter models with 8K context length, infilling capabilities and fast large-batch inference enabled by multi-query attention.
A transformer-based method for zero and few-shot biomedical named entity recognition
💼 Business Reads
This One Weird Trick Could Save the US Economy
Notes: Clickbaity title from Bloomberg, but still a thought-provoking opinion piece. Creativity is indeed undervalued. Similar theme to a previous read I shared in #18 about careerism at Harvard. As a related aside, I noticed a trend in all upcoming politicians. They started being politicians and curating their resumes from the age of 14 lest they have baggage that could squash their first election. It seems to me to be runnable; you must be a cookie-cutter candidate without any exciting or interesting life experience. They must avoid any mistake in their background that is exploitable. As a society, don’t we want our next cohort of political leaders to have developed creative problem-solving skills? Our societal problems are ever more complex and multifaceted and you need real-life experience (including making mistakes) to build those skills. We need more creative people in charge to solve our current and future challenges. We have to become more tolerant of failure.
What I see happening to the economics profession now reflects changes to the wider economy. Getting top degrees or jobs requires a near-perfect resume. This may only get worse now that some elite universities are dropping the SAT requirement. The entrance exam in the past was a way for quirky students to signal intelligence and potential, even if they lacked the wherewithal or desire to have a perfectly curated academic life.
Why China Doesn’t Have a Property Tax
Notes: I own a home in a state highly dependent on property tax revenues. I will admit - the yearly increases always surprise me.
Global Luxury Home Prices Fall for First Time Since 2009
Notes: Dubai ascending, New Zealand descending. Matches the Instagram trend videos, “I’m moving to Dubai!”, from real estate agents in the US.
Did raising doing business scores boost GDP?
Notes: One more vote against being on a famous list. Never forget Forbes 30 under 30. 🤣
In the short-run, improved Doing Business scores were associated with lower GDP. One explanation is Doing Business may have hindered more substantive economic reforms.
That is all for this week. Signing off from 5 Stones Coffee, Redmond.
I wrote a disclosure for this newsletter in #7. Please consider reading it.
Thanks for reading Rami’s Readings! Subscribe for free to receive new posts.