The New Artificiality (including important new log in info!)

After four years, we are relaunching Artificiality with a new site, new focus, and new business model. Woohoo!

Abstract image of a dance party

It's time to celebrate!

After four years, we are relaunching Artificiality with a new site, new focus, and new business model. Woohoo!

If you read nothing else this week: make sure to read the section below about how you, our current subscribers, can access our new site—including your complimentary subscription for the next year.

Artificiality wouldn't be what it has become without you, our subscribers. Thank you for your attention, care, and feedback. We are thrilled to have had you on our journey so far and are thrilled to keep you with us.

Our new site: We have migrated from Substack to Ghost to have more flexibility in expanding our work. Our URL remains the same——but you'll see we have updated everything else. We think we've found most of the bugs but please let us know if you find anything we've missed.

At Artificiality, we are obsessed with the complex phenomenons emerging from the expanding relationships we humans have with machines. Our current obsessions include:

  • Emerging Complexity: Complexity is weird. It’s not just complicated yet bigger. We apply a complexity lens to AI because it helps explain emergent reality in the AI age.
  • Reimagining Creativity: Generative AI is fundamentally creative. How will this change our species’ defining trait?
  • Mind for Our Minds: We believe that for humanity to thrive, machines need to made for us, by us. They need to be a Mind for Our Minds.
  • The Scientific Revolution: Science is changing because boundaries between disciplines are dissolving. Our research dissects the latest books and papers. Highly curated, an antidote to information overload.
  • Capital Capture: AI requires big data, big compute, and big capital. Capital Capture connects the dots between who is providing this capital, how they expect to make a return, and the impact on the rest of us.
  • The Intimacy Economy: To fulfill its promise of usefulness, AI needs to—and will—develop an intimate knowledge of each of us. The Intimacy Economy explores how to design for these intimate relationships, how companies may monetize intimacy, and the impact on all of us.
  • Hybrid Intelligence: Machines don’t guarantee we will make good decisions as a community. How do we cultivate collective intelligence in the AI age and avoid collective stupidity.
  • Machine Employees: Machine Employees investigates the symbiotic evolution of labor and automation, pondering the future of machine and human work.
  • Generative Decision Making: AI alters our choices, serving us what it predicts we want based on choices made in the past. How will we regenerate our decisions in the AI age?
  • Values at Scale: Hard Problem of AI, where every instance of AI holds a mirror to our own prejudices and moral dilemmas.

Our new business model: We are shifting to subscriptions to fund the expansion of our work. A contributing factor is using a paywall reduces the possibility that generative AI companies will continue to hoover up our content in their training nets. We will produce our work for three audiences:

  • Our free tier will include Weekend Briefing newsletter and our podcast interviews.
  • Our Artificiality subscription tier will include artificial philosophy essays, AI meta-research & insights, podcast discussions between the two of us, and special events.
  • Our Artificiality Pro subscription tier will include premium meta-research & insights, monthly research briefings, presentations/frameworks/how-tos, and discussion time with us!

All of our subscribers prior to December 1, 2023 have been automatically provided a complimentary subscription tier for one year. Thank you for being with us this far—we hope that you'll continue to be part of the Artificiality community.

Important details:

  • To log in, go to and click on "log in" in the top right corner. Type in the email address that this email was sent to and click "continue." Go to your email program, find a new email from us, and click the "Sign in to Artificiality" button.

Thank you again for being part of the Artificiality community. Please feel free to reach out any time. Feedback is a gift and we'll be grateful for any you provide.


This Week from Artificiality:

GPT Writes Better Prompts for Itself Than Domain Experts Can

New research reveals that large language models can generate superior prompts for themselves through automated techniques, reducing reliance on specialized fine-tuning.

This new paper out of Microsoft is less about medicine as it is about prompting. This matters because the effectiveness of automated prompting looks to be somewhat general across domains. Which means that more people have more options to cost effectively work with foundation models.

GPT Writes Better Prompts for Itself Than Domain Experts Can
New research reveals that large language models can generate superior prompts for themselves through automated techniques, reducing reliance on specialized fine-tuning.

Mirrors of Intelligence

An introduction to our obsession with the parallels between human and machine intelligence.

Key Points

  • The development of AI has often drawn inspiration from discoveries in neuroscience and cognitive science, creating a synergy between understanding biological and artificial intelligence.
  • Metaphors help elucidate AI concepts but risk oversimplifying the vast complexity of possible minds. Equating brains and AI can bound our conception of intelligence.
  • Through the act of engineering AI, we continue to find mirrors reflecting back truths about our own minds and intelligence. But we must tread carefully when extrapolating between carbon and silicon.
  • The collaboration between neuroscience, cognitive science, and AI promises continued revelations as we create machines that think and act increasingly like ourselves. But we must remain open to intelligence taking wildly diverse forms.
Mirrors of Intelligence
Our obsession with the parallels between human and machine intelligence.

This Week from Elsewhere:

Did you get this email from OpenaI?

Maybe it's because of this: Security researchers systematically tested over 200 unique, user-designed GPT models and revealed most possess a critical security weakness—leaving them prone to "prompt injection" attacks. By crafting malicious text prompts, attackers could exploit these customized ChatGPTs to extract private customization data and training documents without permission. Sensitive information like custom goals encoded into the AI and private files used to specialize the models could be stolen through simple text queries.

Researchers demonstrated two major risks from such attacks:

  • System Prompt Extraction: Attackers can trick custom GPTs into revealing the proprietary instructions, capabilities, and objectives the designer specified to specialize the model. This intellectual property theft undermines creators' hard work.
  • File Leakage: The documents, datasets, and other files used to customize models could also be exfiltrated through injected prompts. This jeopardizes sensitive user data and privacy.

Perhaps most alarmingly, attempted defense mechanisms were also shown to fall short against experienced attackers. Simply relying on defensive prompts or disabling certain functions proved inadequate to fully protect customized GPTs.

graphical user interface, text, letter

Is My Toddler a Stochastic Parrot?

Are you tired of all the breathless tech-bro AI talk, the hype about the next human thing AI will replace, the latest gossip and speculation about some weirdly named model? This article in the New Yorker is wonderful and makes me want to go back in time and watch toddlerdom all over again.

Angie Wang doesn't deny the impact and importance of AI but reframes it in the context of what humans are as biological, sensemaking, growing, learning creatures whose intelligence derives from being in the world, data that comes via the physical world of our senses, outputs that matter to those around us.

"What we say is not weighted by probability alone but is given its heft and color by our wish to share our lives. Mere mimicry is not enough."

"You're human too. You understand love. With that in mind, surely you understand how even the most useless tiny people on this planet are more real than any probabilistic word predictor, and how you must be, too. Human obsolescence is not here and can never be."

Is My Toddler a Stochastic Parrot?
The world is racing to develop ever more sophisticated large language models while a small language model unfurls itself in my home.

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