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The SEC Newgate AI Weekly

AI Concept
By Steph Edwards
25 January 2024
Digital and Insight
artificial intelligence

In the realm of AI's influence, a recent MIT-led study challenges job displacement fears, emphasising the growing importance of roles in managing and enhancing AI systems. Whilst MPs urgently address concerns about deepfakes, calling for regulatory changes before the upcoming general election. And Microsoft's collaboration with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory showcases AI's application in discovering a ground-breaking battery material. Together, these insights offer a comprehensive glimpse into the multifaceted landscape where AI, employment, and technological advancements intersect. 

AI Jobs: The 23% Conundrum 

Contrary to the prevailing narrative of rapid AI-driven job displacement, a recent MIT-led study delves into the specifics of computer vision tasks. The study reveals that only 23% of wages for jobs involving vision are currently economically viable for AI automation, challenging widespread concerns. Departing from a broad approach, the study meticulously examines AI's feasibility through a tripartite analytical model. 

The findings highlight the emerging need for roles in managing, maintaining, and improving AI systems, alongside positions where human skills remain indispensable. Advocating for further research into AI's scalability, cost-effectiveness, and its potential to create new jobs, the study contributes valuable insights to the ongoing discourse on the impact of AI on employment. 

Deepfakes Unleashed: MPs Sound the Alarm 

MPs are urgently calling for action on deepfakes and AI-generated content, expressing fears about their impact on the integrity of the upcoming general election. A YouGov poll commissioned by the communications consultancy Cavendish reveals that 70% of MPs are concerned about AI's potential to spread misinformation. This has prompted demands for regulatory overhauls before the election season gains momentum in 2024. Leaders from major parties are advocating for prioritising the issue and pledging not to amplify unverified material. Recent deepfake attempts targeting London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Labour leader Keir Starmer have heightened concerns. The forthcoming report by the Demos think tank emphasises the need for standardised AI use guidelines and transparency from political parties. 

Microsoft’s Quantum Battery Quest 

Microsoft, in collaboration with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), has utilised artificial intelligence (AI) and large-scale cloud computing to discover a promising new battery material. This AI-enhanced collaboration identified a solid-state electrolyte that could lead to safer and more efficient batteries, using less lithium—an increasingly scarce resource for rechargeable electric vehicle batteries.  

The discovery, part of Microsoft's Azure Quantum Elements platform, demonstrates the potential of generative AI to accelerate materials research. The AI system quickly sifted through 32 million candidates, narrowing down to 23 promising materials in just 80 hours. The highlighted material, using a combination of lithium and sodium, may reduce lithium usage in batteries by up to 70%, offering a safer alternative to current lithium-ion batteries. However, further testing and refinement are needed before practical application. The study underscores the role of AI and high-performance computing in accelerating scientific discovery for the development of next-generation batteries crucial for renewable energy solutions. 

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