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These are the best hormone tests to help measure fertility, testosterone, the effects of stress, and more. Everlywell made the list for metabolism and overall women’s health, while LetsGetChecked hit the mark for thyroid testing and overall men’s health.
Feeling out of sorts? It might be time to check your hormones. Hormones are molecules produced in the endocrine system that deliver messages throughout the body to regulate things like fertility, growth, and metabolism.
Hormone tests can help measure fertility, thyroid hormone, testosterone, or the effects of stress. The best test for you depends on which specific hormones you want to measure.
From chronic fatigue to unexplained weight changes, imbalanced hormones can wreak havoc on your body.
Read on to learn what hormone testing can teach you about your body.
At-home hormone tests can analyze levels of key hormones that impact stress, sleep, weight, mood, and a host of other properties that make up our overall health.
Because the pandemic led many to stay home, at-home testing companies saw a huge boom. According to Axios, the demand for 75 percent of Everlywell’s tests doubled in 2020. LetsGetChecked tests saw an 880 percent increase from 2019.
While the COVID-19 pandemic increased people’s desire to test remotely, the convenience of at-home tests can also save time commuting to a doctor’s office.
Infertility is a common concern among couples looking to conceive. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 19% of women ages 15 to 49 years in the United States have difficulty getting pregnant, and of this group, 26% are unable to carry a pregnancy to term.
Though infertility isn’t always caused by women in a relationship, the issue is something every couple should consider when trying to conceive.
Fertility tests for women focus on testing:
While this sounds like a bunch of medical jargon, each hormone has an important purpose in the reproductive system.
AMH is released by cells around your follicles and is the best predictor of your ovarian reserve or egg count. FSH is responsible for starting ovulation, while estradiol is a sex hormone your ovaries produce. LH is the hormone that keeps your cycle regular and is produced by your pituitary gland.
Testing for thyroid health is also necessary since the gland can often be the root of pregnancy issues. Low levels of TSH and untreated hypothyroidism can interfere with ovulation, impairing fertility. TSH and fT4 can be adjusted with medication when thyroid disease is present.
Similar to fertility tests, menopause tests check your level of FSH. Since your ovaries stop producing eggs when you enter menopause, a test can indicate increased FSH levels.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), testing isn’t a surefire way to know you’re experiencing menopause or perimenopause.
These tests will accurately detect FSH about 9 out of 10 times, but as you get older, your FSH levels may rise and fall during your menstrual cycle.
If you do test for high FSH, it’s best to confirm your test with a doctor and discuss your results.
Though the thyroid gland is small, it is fierce.
The butterfly-shaped gland produces hormones that regulate the body’s metabolic rate. Your thyroid can impact your heart, muscle and digestive function, brain development, mental health, and fertility.
At-home and in-office tests typically check the three main thyroid hormones:
About 5 percent of Americans age 12 and older experience hypothyroidism, a condition where the body doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone. Low thyroid hormone can slow down many organs within the body.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
Your body can also produce too much thyroid hormone, resulting in hyperthyroidism.
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:
Once diagnosed with hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, patients can take medication to regulate their thyroid function.
For most adults, 7 to 8 hours of sleep is the gold standard for a healthy night’s rest. Anything less can harm your mental and physical well-being.
Hormone tests can measure sleep by testing melatonin levels, a significant hormone in the sleep-wake cycle.
While melatonin is a key indicator of your circadian rhythm, at-home tests may also measure cortisol — the stress hormone.
At-home stress hormone tests measure cortisol, the hormone that controls your fight-or-flight response. While it ignites our instincts in moments of fear, it also impacts our energy, sleep, and blood pressure.
When your cortisol level is imbalanced, stress can manifest in physical symptoms, like:
An at-home hormone test targeting stress will measure the cortisol level in your body.
Genomic tests study DNA, including the structure and function of genes. Rather than providing an ancestry report or basic genetic testing, genomic testing goes a step further to offer insights into all of your genes and how your body works on a molecular level.
Genomic testing can provide risk markers for disease, how likely a disease would spread, and the best treatment options and outcomes.
Genomic testing is often used in cancer patients to predict how aggressive a form of cancer will be, but it can also detect if someone is prone to certain diseases, like Parkinson’s or Celiac.
The testosterone hormone plays a vital role in male bodies by maintaining bone density, muscle mass, libido, fat distribution, and fertility.
Low testosterone can cause a series of issues, from erectile dysfunction to depression in men.
Anyone can take at-home tests to measure their testosterone levels and determine if they have the appropriate amount for their age and sex.
Learn more about testosterone tests.
At-home metabolism tests measure key hormones affecting your weight and energy level.
The tests often measure cortisol, free testosterone, and TSH — three hormones that play a significant role in metabolism.
If you’re feeling fatigued or showing significant changes in your weight, a metabolism test is a helpful starting point to get to the bottom of your issues.
When researching at-home hormone tests, we read online reviews to determine the best tests on the market. We also ensure that people who work for these services are licensed, and each test is analyzed in a certified lab.
In addition, we also considered the available research that supports each test, the company’s reputation, and their marketing processes. We review products and services periodically to be sure they continue to meet standards set out in our vetting process.
Learn more about Everlywell here.
If you’re low on energy or unable to manage your weight, a slowed metabolism might be the culprit. Everlywell provides a low cost hormone test that checks three key hormones linked to stress and thyroid function.
Some common symptoms linked to low metabolism are:
The Everlywell test includes a finger prick and saliva sample, which are then sent to a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certified lab for review.
For those looking to collect additional health data, Everlywell offers a membership for $24.99 a month. The membership includes one test of your choice per month and 20% off all additional tests purchased.
Use code “HEALTHLINE25” for 25% off.
Learn more about LetsGetChecked here.
LetsGetChecked has an average 4.3-star rating, with over 8,000 reviews on Trustpilot. Customers praise LetsGetChecked’s customer service, easy instructions, and fast results.
The company carries a variety of tests for hormones, sexually transmitted infections, and overall wellness. Of the options, LetsGetChecked offers two thyroid tests targeting various biomarkers.
The basic Thyroid Test ($99) tests for biomarkers like TSH, fT4, and fT3 — three core components to look at when evaluating thyroid function. The biomarkers can help diagnose conditions like hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.
The Thyroid Antibody Test ($119) goes a step further to test thyroid antibodies that can provide information on damage to the thyroid. The test measures TSH, fT4, fT3, thyroglobulin antibodies, and thyroid peroxidase antibodies.
Results are typically received in 2 to 5 days, and nurses are available to discuss results and answer questions 24/7.
Use code “HEALTHLINE25” for 25% off
Whether you have menopause or are approaching it, your hormonal balance is vital to your body’s function.
MyLAB Box offers a Perimenopause Test that measures your hormone balance when approaching menopause. It tests for FSH, estradiol, and progesterone.
When your levels are off, you may experience metabolism, sleep, and memory shifts.
Likewise, life after menopause is just as important. The Postmenopause Test measures estradiol and progesterone with blood and saliva samples.
After 2 to 5 days, you can contact a myLAB Box physician at no charge to discuss results.
They also offer a variety of health tests to support couples looking into family planning. The offerings include female fertility, ovarian reserve, ovulation confirmation, male fertility, and testosterone tests.
Fertility is a personal subject for many people, and testing in the privacy of your own home may help ease anxiety.
Modern Fertility provides an affordable testing kit that requires simple blood samples collected with a finger prick during the first few days of your menstrual cycle.
The kits are customized for birth control, meaning your contraception will be factored into your physician-reviewed results.
Modern Fertility offers a free one-on-one call with a fertility nurse. Modern Fertility also offers access to its online community, where users can find a sense of camaraderie.
Hormone imbalance can cause fatigue, bone loss, infertility, erectile dysfunction, and sleep difficulties, which impact well-being and functioning.
If you’ve had these symptoms, LetsGetChecked Male Hormone Complete lets you test for cortisol and male hormone levels with blood or saliva samples. Your results show whether there are any imbalances that may be causing your symptoms.
Results appear on your online account 2 to 5 days after your trial gets to the laboratory. You can connect with LetsGetChecked’s clinical team for help interpreting your results, any questions you might have, and the next steps. If your test results show imbalances, a healthcare professional from its clinical team will call you to discuss your results and what to do next.
Hormone imbalance can make you feel out of sorts physically and mentally. You might experience sleep problems, anxiety and depression, forgetfulness, fatigue, weight gain, headache, irregular periods, and more when your hormones are not in sync.
Everlywell’s Women’s Health Test lets you check your hormone levels. It tests female hormones like estradiol, progesterone, luteinizing hormone, and follicle-stimulating hormone and lets you know if they’re within a healthy range. You can collect your trial with a finger prick or saliva trial collection.
An independent board certified doctor in your state first reviews and approves your test before Everlywell ships it to you. You’ll receive your results within days after mailing your samples back to the lab on Everlywell’s online platform.
You can speak with your doctor to help you understand your results and answer any questions you may have.
Hormones serve as chemical messengers in your body, carrying signals to different areas of your body and affecting vital functions like metabolism and growth. These chemicals are produced by the endocrine system and contain information that helps instruct different organs and tissues throughout your body about how to function.
When these chemicals are out of balance, it can lead to:
If you’re experiencing one or more of these symptoms for an ongoing time, you may want to explore hormone testing. Hormone levels in your bloodstream can be measured, which may signal an issue within your endocrine system affecting other areas of your body.
The simplicity of at-home hormone tests makes them an easy, effective option. After ordering your test, a box will arrive with thorough instructions to collect testing samples.
Depending on the test selected, you’ll be asked to take a urine trial or blood trial using a finger pricking tool.
Once you finish your test, you’ll ship your results to a lab for review. Results are typically provided online between 2 and 5 business days after the samples reach the lab.
Hormones can influence your mood, immune system, brain function, reproductive system, bone density, and energy levels. Hormones are key players in the body’s performance. An imbalance can cause a noticeable shift in health.
From problems conceiving to constant low energy, testing your hormones can help provide a full picture of your health. It’s important to identify your key symptoms when picking a hormone test and to follow up with a doctor to discuss the results.
Some conditions or complications can develop as a result of a hormone imbalance. If you’re suddenly losing or gaining weight without trying, have joint pains, severe fatigue, or abdominal pain that doesn’t go away, schedule an appointment to talk with a healthcare professional.
You may also want to see a doctor if you’re trying to get pregnant and are unable to for some time, or if you’re experiencing other reproductive issues.
It’s important to find a company that uses a certified lab. “If results can’t be independently confirmed by multiple labs, there’s a chance you’re being persuaded to purchase a solution to a nonexistent problem,” explains Dr. Chris Airey, the medical director at Optimale.
“When looking for an accurate at-home testing kit, make sure there are options to keep and share your results, as well as options for medical professional support. That can help ensure your results are accurate and being used for something other than a business gimmick,” he adds.
Overall, at-home hormone tests are accurate, but human error should be factored in. When collecting blood samples, not following the instructions can result in inaccurate or inconclusive test results.
“To avoid user error, work with a company that provides instructions with impeccable detail and, ideally, physician support,” Airey recommends.
While at-home tests can be effective, in-office tests can cut out the potential for poor trial collection. Even so, at-home tests may be a suitable option for people with demanding schedules as a place to get started.
Most kits allow you to check your hormone levels at home by sending you a kit with a small lancet. This device pricks a small hole in your finger, allowing you to collect a small drop of blood for testing. Some kits may also use saliva or urine samples.
You may suspect that you have a hormonal imbalance if you’re unable to get pregnant, your weight drops or increases rapidly, you have unwanted hair growth, you’re easily tired, or you have other issues with your metabolism.
Most companies that offer hormone test kits have several options. If you suspect a specific hormone imbalance, like a thyroid issue, you can order a test kit that focuses on those hormones. Otherwise, most companies offer a comprehensive test option that will check the levels of most or all of your major hormone types.
Not all hormone tests are covered by insurance, but many are HSA- or FSA-eligible.
Think of your hormones as tiny messengers sending vital instructions throughout the body. If your hormones can’t deliver their message, your body functions can weaken.
At-home hormone tests can pinpoint which of your hormones might be negatively affecting your body, so your doctor can provide a treatment plan to help regulate your system.
While at-home hormone tests are growing in popularity, they might not be as reliable as a lab-collected test. Regardless, at-home hormone tests are a great starting point to get the health information you need.
Jillian Goltzman is a freelance journalist covering culture, social impact, wellness, and lifestyle. She’s been published in various outlets, including Cosmopolitan, Glamour, and Fodor’s Travel Guide. Outside of writing, Jillian is a public speaker who loves discussing the power of social media — something she spends too much time on. She enjoys reading, her houseplants, and cuddling with her corgi. Find her work on her website, blog, Twitter, and Instagram.
Olaplex is fighting back against a new lawsuit accusing its products of causing hair and scalp damage, including "bald spots" and blisters.
Immediately after the lawsuit filing last week, the brand added a new section to its website titled "testing results," where it posted records of clinical tests that it said prove its products are "safe and effective" and "do not cause hair loss or hair breakage."
"We have chosen to release these results now in the face of this misinformation because we want to reassure our millions of happy customers that they can continue to use our products with confidence," an Olaplex representative told Insider.
Olaplex said that the "independent third-party laboratory" testing included Human Repeat Insult Patch tests, a form of clinical study often used to gauge allergic reactions to cosmetic products. The company said the tests were conducted on study participants with both normal and sensitive skin, and involved products in its series from Olaplex No. 0 to No. 9.
"When the products pass such a test, it means the product does not cause inflammation or sensitivity," Olaplex wrote on its site. "As such, there is no induced inflammation to the hair follicle, which is the primary cause of hair loss."
The customers who sued Olaplex this month in California federal court alleged that the hair care products contain ingredients like panthenol and sodium benzoate, which they said can cause skin and health problems.
They also alleged that Olaplex's product usage instructions — which in some cases suggest leaving products in the hair for a period of time — can cause skin problems and block hair follicles.
A representative for Olaplex denied the lawsuit's allegations, saying, "We have full confidence and believe in the safety and efficacy of our products, which are thoroughly tested in-house and by independent third-party laboratories."
Olaplex hasn't yet filed a formal response to the allegations in the lawsuit, according to the docket.
The test reports that Olaplex posted were issued by a number of laboratories including BioScreen Testing Services Inc., Consumer Product Testing Company, and Brazil-based Allergisa Pesquisa Dermato Cosmética Ltda.
An attorney for the plaintiffs, Amy Davis, told Insider on Wednesday that testing conditions don't recreate "the real world use of the product."
Some of the test reports posted on the Olaplex site described how a measured quantity of product was applied to the skin, sometimes with filter paper over it, depending on the type of test. Davis said also that such tests would use diluted versions of the product.
"It's like putting a drop of the product in the ocean," Davis said.
A representative for Olaplex said on Wednesday that the HRIPT reports are "industry standard and reflect the use of Olaplex products under real world conditions."
"Any allegation to the contrary is without scientific merit," the representative said.
The company said it posted the results on its website on Feb. 10, the day after customers filed their suit.
"Experiencing hair loss is a difficult and painful experience, and we are sympathetic to anyone in that position, but we remain confident in the overwhelming evidence showing that Olaplex products are safe and effective," the representative said.
Do you work at Olaplex or have information to share? Contact Sindhu Sundar at firstname.lastname@example.org or on the encrypted messaging app Signal at (984)-377-3887.
ChatGPT produces content that is comprehensive and plausibly accurate.
But researchers, artists, and professors warn of shortcomings to be aware of which degrade the quality of the content.
In this article, we’ll look at 11 disadvantages of ChatGPT content. Let’s dive in.
Researchers studying how to detect machine-generated content have discovered patterns that make it sound unnatural.
One of these quirks is how AI struggles with idioms.
An idiom is a phrase or saying with a figurative meaning attached to it, for example, “every cloud has a silver lining.”
A lack of idioms within a piece of content can be a signal that the content is machine-generated – and this can be part of a detection algorithm.
This is what the 2022 research paper Adversarial Robustness of Neural-Statistical Features in Detection of Generative Transformers says about this quirk in machine-generated content:
“Complex phrasal features are based on the frequency of specific words and phrases within the analyzed text that occur more frequently in human text.
…Of these complex phrasal features, idiom features retain the most predictive power in detection of current generative models.”
This inability to use idioms contributes to making ChatGPT output sound and read unnaturally.
An artist commented on how the output of ChatGPT mimics what art is, but lacks the genuine qualities of artistic expression.
Expression is the act of communicating thoughts or feelings.
ChatGPT output doesn’t contain expressions, only words.
It cannot produce content that touches people emotionally on the same level as a human can – because it has no genuine thoughts or feelings.
Musical artist Nick Cave, in an article posted to his Red Hand Files newsletter, commented on a ChatGPT lyric that was sent to him, which was created in the style of Nick Cave.
“What makes a great song great is not its close resemblance to a recognizable work.
…it is the breathless confrontation with one’s vulnerability, one’s perilousness, one’s smallness, pitted against a sense of sudden shocking discovery; it is the redemptive artistic act that stirs the heart of the listener, where the listener recognizes in the inner workings of the song their own blood, their own struggle, their own suffering.”
Cave called the ChatGPT lyrics a mockery.
This is the ChatGPT lyric that resembles a Nick Cave lyric:
“I’ve got the blood of angels, on my hands
I’ve got the fire of hell, in my eyes
I’m the king of the abyss, I’m the ruler of the dark
I’m the one that they fear, in the shadows they hark”
And this is an genuine Nick Cave lyric (Brother, My Cup Is Empty):
“Well I’ve been sliding down on rainbows
I’ve been swinging from the stars
Now this wretch in beggar’s clothing
Bangs his cup across the bars
Look, this cup of mine is empty!
Seems I’ve misplaced my desires
Seems I’m sweeping up the ashes
Of all my former fires”
It’s easy to see that the machine-generated lyric resembles the artist’s lyric, but it doesn’t really communicate anything.
Nick Cave’s lyrics tell a story that resonates with the pathos, desire, shame, and willful deception of the person speaking in the song. It expresses thoughts and feelings.
It’s easy to see why Nick Cave calls it a mockery.
An article published in The Insider quoted an academic who noted that academic essays generated by ChatGPT lack insights about the topic.
ChatGPT summarizes the subject but does not offer a unique insight into the topic.
Humans create through knowledge, but also through their personal experience and subjective perceptions.
Professor Christopher Bartel of Appalachian State University is quoted by The Insider as saying that, while a ChatGPT essay may exhibit high grammar qualities and sophisticated ideas, it still lacked insight.
“They are really fluffy. There’s no context, there’s no depth or insight.”
Insight is the hallmark of a well-done essay and it’s something that ChatGPT is not particularly good at.
This lack of insight is something to keep in mind when evaluating machine-generated content.
A research paper published in January 2023 discovered patterns in ChatGPT content that makes it less suitable for critical applications.
The paper is titled, How Close is ChatGPT to Human Experts? Comparison Corpus, Evaluation, and Detection.
The research showed that humans preferred answers from ChatGPT in more than 50% of questions answered related to finance and psychology.
But ChatGPT failed at answering medical questions because humans preferred direct answers – something the AI didn’t provide.
The researchers wrote:
“…ChatGPT performs poorly in terms of helpfulness for the medical domain in both English and Chinese.
The ChatGPT often gives lengthy answers to medical consulting in our collected dataset, while human experts may directly provide straightforward answers or suggestions, which may partly explain why volunteers consider human answers to be more helpful in the medical domain.”
ChatGPT tends to cover a subject from different angles, which makes it inappropriate when the best answer is a direct one.
Marketers using ChatGPT must take note of this because site visitors requiring a direct answer will not be satisfied with a verbose webpage.
And good luck ranking an overly wordy page in Google’s featured snippets, where a succinct and clearly expressed answer that can work well in Google Voice may have a better chance to rank than a long-winded answer.
OpenAI, the makers of ChatGPT, acknowledges that giving verbose answers is a known limitation.
The announcement article by OpenAI states:
“The model is often excessively verbose…”
The ChatGPT bias toward providing long-winded answers is something to be mindful of when using ChatGPT output, as you may encounter situations where shorter and more direct answers are better.
ChatGPT has a writing style that is not only verbose but also tends to follow a template that gives the content a unique style that isn’t human.
This inhuman quality is revealed in the differences between how humans and machines answer questions.
The movie Blade Runner has a scene featuring a series of questions designed to reveal whether the subject answering the questions is a human or an android.
These questions were a part of a fictional test called the “Voigt-Kampff test“.
One of the questions is:
“You’re watching television. Suddenly you realize there’s a wasp crawling on your arm. What do you do?”
A normal human response would be to say something like they would scream, walk outside and swat it, and so on.
But when I posed this question to ChatGPT, it offered a meticulously organized answer that summarized the question and then offered logical multiple possible outcomes – failing to answer the genuine question.
The answer is highly organized and logical, giving it a highly unnatural feel, which is undesirable.
ChatGPT was trained in a way that rewarded the machine when humans were happy with the answer.
The human raters tended to prefer answers that had more details.
But sometimes, such as in a medical context, a direct answer is better than a comprehensive one.
What that means is that the machine needs to be prompted to be less comprehensive and more direct when those qualities are important.
“These issues arise from biases in the training data (trainers prefer longer answers that look more comprehensive) and well-known over-optimization issues.”
The above-cited research paper, How Close is ChatGPT to Human Experts?, noted that ChatGPT has a tendency to lie.
“When answering a question that requires professional knowledge from a particular field, ChatGPT may fabricate facts in order to provide an answer…
For example, in legal questions, ChatGPT may invent some non-existent legal provisions to answer the question.
…Additionally, when a user poses a question that has no existing answer, ChatGPT may also fabricate facts in order to provide a response.”
The Futurism website documented instances where machine-generated content published on CNET was wrong and full of “dumb errors.”
CNET should have had an idea this could happen, because OpenAI published a warning about incorrect output:
“ChatGPT sometimes writes plausible-sounding but incorrect or nonsensical answers.”
CNET claims to have submitted the machine-generated articles to human review prior to publication.
A problem with human review is that ChatGPT content is designed to sound persuasively correct, which may fool a reviewer who is not a subject expert.
The research paper, How Close is ChatGPT to Human Experts? also noted that human communication can have indirect meaning, which requires a shift in subject to understand it.
ChatGPT is too literal, which causes the answers to sometimes miss the mark because the AI overlooks the genuine topic.
The researchers wrote:
“ChatGPT’s responses are generally strictly focused on the given question, whereas humans’ are divergent and easily shift to other topics.
In terms of the richness of content, humans are more divergent in different aspects, while ChatGPT prefers focusing on the question itself.
Humans can answer the hidden meaning under the question based on their own common sense and knowledge, but the ChatGPT relies on the literal words of the question at hand…”
Humans are better able to diverge from the literal question, which is important for answering “what about” type questions.
For example, if I ask:
“Horses are too big to be a house pet. What about raccoons?”
The above question is not asking if a raccoon is an appropriate pet. The question is about the size of the animal.
ChatGPT focuses on the appropriateness of the raccoon as a pet instead of focusing on the size.
The output of ChatGPT is generally neutral and informative. It’s a bias in the output that can appear helpful but isn’t always.
The research paper we just discussed noted that neutrality is an unwanted quality when it comes to legal, medical, and technical questions.
Humans tend to pick a side when offering these kinds of opinions.
ChatGPT output has a bias that prevents it from loosening up and answering with ordinary expressions. Instead, its answers tend to be formal.
Humans, on the other hand, tend to answer questions with a more colloquial style, using everyday language and slang – the opposite of formal.
ChatGPT doesn’t use abbreviations like GOAT or TL;DR.
The answers also lack instances of irony, metaphors, and humor, which can make ChatGPT content overly formal for some content types.
The researchers write:
“…ChatGPT likes to use conjunctions and adverbs to convey a logical flow of thought, such as “In general”, “on the other hand”, “Firstly,…, Secondly,…, Finally” and so on.
ChatGPT is currently still in the process of training and improving.
OpenAI recommends that all content generated by ChatGPT should be reviewed by a human, listing this as a best practice.
OpenAI suggests keeping humans in the loop:
“Wherever possible, we recommend having a human review outputs before they are used in practice.
This is especially critical in high-stakes domains, and for code generation.
Humans should be aware of the limitations of the system, and have access to any information needed to verify the outputs (for example, if the application summarizes notes, a human should have easy access to the original notes to refer back).”
It’s clear that there are many issues with ChatGPT that make it unfit for unsupervised content generation. It contains biases and fails to create content that feels natural or contains genuine insights.
Further, its inability to feel or author original thoughts makes it a poor choice for generating artistic expressions.
Users should apply detailed prompts in order to generate content that is better than the default content it tends to output.
Lastly, human review of machine-generated content is not always enough, because ChatGPT content is designed to appear correct, even when it’s not.
That means it’s important that human reviewers are subject-matter experts who can discern between correct and incorrect content on a specific topic.
Featured image by Shutterstock/fizkes
• 1/25/23 at 0315 Hours. 11500 Block of Memorial Drive. Driving While Intoxicated. Officers observed a vehicle traveling on the wrong side of the roadway and initiated a traffic stop. Upon approaching the driver, the officer detected the odor of alcohol coming from the female driver. The driver was administered a series of sobriety tests which she failed. The driver was placed under arrest and refused to provide a breath sample. Officers obtained a warrant to attain a blood sample. The 27-year-old female was then transported to the Harris County where her blood was drawn for analysis. She was then booked into the jail, and the vehicle towed.
(Bloomberg Businessweek) -- As the Supreme Court considered a California law on violent video games in its 2010-11 term, clerks for Justice Stephen Breyer, then 72, set up a large-screen television in his chambers and hooked it up to a game console. Then Justice Elena Kagan came over to play Grand Theft Auto. “There we were, killing everybody left and right,” Kagan said at a 2015 event at Harvard Law School, much to the audience’s amusement.
Breyer “thought that it was all really horrible, really just disgusting and repellent,” Kagan continued. “And I was like, ‘Next round! Next round!’” Their legal conclusions eventually matched their gut reactions: Kagan voted with the seven-member majority to strike down California’s law, which banned the sale of certain violent games to minors. Breyer dissented, citing studies that linked violent games to aggressive behavior, particularly among children.
Their gaming session highlighted a growing challenge in today’s legal landscape. As technology seeps into every walk of life, an increasing proportion of Supreme Court decisions require at least a basic literacy in subjects that may not come naturally to the aging members of an institution that’s still passing out souvenir quill pens to lawyers. All of the current members of the court are older than 50, and, as Kagan, now 62, has said, they’re “not necessarily the most technologically sophisticated people.”
The court’s ability to weigh nuanced questions involving technology will again be tested on Feb. 21, when it hears arguments in Gonzalez v. Google. In the case, the family of a terrorism victim claims that the company’s video site, YouTube, promoted Islamic State videos to people who had viewed similar content, providing support to the extremists who carried out the attack. Depending on how exactly the justices rule, the case could result in significant changes to the fundamental legal structure of the modern internet. The court is scheduled to rule by late June.
The justices have had a courthouse full of people trying to get them up to speed for the entirety of the internet age. For a 1997 case, the court’s library set up a computer to let the justices and their law clerks test how easily someone searching the web might accidentally end up seeing pornographic websites. The answer proved to be: not easily enough to justify provisions of a federal law that made it a crime to display adult-oriented material online in a way that children might come across.
In a accurate interview with Bloomberg Businessweek in the chambers he still keeps at the court, the now-retired Breyer discussed how he boned up on technical issues for important cases. He recalled a accurate copyright dispute between Oracle Corp. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google centered on Java, Oracle’s computer programming language. “It took a lot of time—reading about it, looking on the internet to how they teach students about it,” he said. “And there are courses, and your law clerks spend the time, and I spend the time.”
The attorneys arguing that case offered their own attempts at technical education, in the form of analogies intended to sway the justices to their side. The key question was whether Google used more of Java than necessary in its Android smartphone operating system. Likening Java to a file cabinet, Google said it needed to use Java’s drawers, but had organized the files inside the drawers in a different order. Oracle countered by saying Google was like plagiarist who stole the characters and back stories from the Harry Potter book series.
A version of Google’s metaphor made its way into Breyer’s 2021 majority opinion, which—after a lengthy description of the Java language and how developers use it—said Google hadn’t infringed Oracle’s copyright. Breyer said he did something unusual once the opinion was released. “I don’t usually look and see what the press says if I write an opinion, but I was curious, because I was hoping I would get it basically right on the technical part,” he said. “And I think I did.”
The outcome of the current social media case will hinge, at least in part, on how the justices sort through competing characterizations. The family of Nohemi Gonzalez, one of 130 people killed in coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris in 2015, is seeking to pierce a legal shield, Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, that says social media platforms and other internet services can’t be held legally liable for content posted by their users.
In Google’s view, the algorithms YouTube uses are simply tools to organize information in a useful way—much like television networks running Christmas movies during the holiday season—and they shouldn’t be seen as creators of content on the service. Other companies have filed briefs supporting this view, arguing that YouTube’s algorithms are fundamentally similar to those used for search engines, employment marketplaces and software development platforms. They say a ruling against Google could upend the internet. Gonzalez’s relatives contend that YouTube’s algorithms are more akin to book reviewers’ recommendations, a distinction that they argue makes the company fair game for suits despite Section 230.
From a technological standpoint, some lawyers see this case as far simpler than the Google-Oracle copyright fight. The bigger challenge for the justices might be envisioning the practical implications of their decision on the future shape of the internet. “There’s always a risk that whatever the court does is going to straitjacket future technologies in ways that were not anticipated by the court,” says Mary Anne Franks, a lawyer for Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, which is backing the Gonzalez family. “Questions of evolving technology are tricky for the Supreme Court.”
There’s been widespread skepticism that public officials throughout the government possess the basic knowledge of technology required to address the subject. Congresspeople have been mocked for gaffes in public hearings, such as when Senator Ted Stevens described the internet in 2006 as a “series of tubes,” or when Senator Orrin Hatch suggested in 2018 to Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Meta Platforms Inc., that he didn’t understand how Facebook could make money without directly charging users.
Supreme Court justices, who’ve had plenty of opportunities to weigh in on technology-related issues, have gotten relatively higher marks than Congress for their grasp of technical issues. “At least in the cases that have come before them recently, they seem to, in their opinions, do a pretty good job of understanding the technology that’s at issue,” says Aaron Mackey, a lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties group backing Google in the social media case.
To the extent that the justices don’t understand things, their instinct is to err on the side of caution, says James Stern, a former Supreme Court law clerk who’s now a professor at William & Mary Law School. “They’re keenly aware of their lack of expertise,” Stern says. “And so they are very small-c conservative when it comes to doing anything because they are worried about screwing things up.”
--With assistance from Emily Birnbaum.
(Updates with additional information about timing of court case in fourth paragraph. An earlier version corrected the year of a terrorist attack in Paris.)
More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.
Brandon Moyo Bulawayo Bureau
THE West Indies arrived in Bulawayo on Monday where they will play two Test cricket matches against Zimbabwe at Queens Sports Club early next month.
The Windies touched down at the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport late on Monday afternoon and wrote on their Twitter page, “Tasvika muZimbabwe.”
It is the Caribbean side’s first Test visit to Zimbabwe since 2017 where they also played two matches at the same venue.
Led by Kraigg Braithwaite, the Windies side arrived in Zimbabwe with legend Brian Lara, who will be part of the team’s technical side. His exact role is, however, not yet confirmed.
The two matches are scheduled for February 4-8 and February 12-16. Before the two Tests, the visitors will play a warm-up match against Zimbabwe A at Bulawayo Athletic Club (BAC) starting this coming Saturday.
With Lara joining the team, the last time he was with the Windies in Zimbabwe was in 2003/04 season where he scored 191 runs off 203 deliveries in a match that they won by 128 runs in Bulawayo to go on and take the series 2-1.
Experienced fast bowler Shannon Gabriel has been recalled back to the side having missed a number of Test matches.
Gabriel is looking at playing his first Test in over a year after being recalled for West Indies’ Test squad to tour Zimbabwe. Spinners Jomel Warrican and Gudakesh Motie will also come back into contention after being included in the 15-man party.
Gabriel (34) last featured in the Test side in Sri Lanka in November 2021. He was subsequently sidelined by a hamstring injury, and spent much of last year working to regain fitness; he had a spell in county cricket with Yorkshire in England and finished joint-leading wicket-taker in the Super50 Cup but was overlooked for West Indies’ Test tour of Australia.
However, with Jayden Seales rehabilitating after knee surgery, Gabriel could be reunited with Kemar Roach and Jason Holder in the West Indies seam attack.
Warrican also played the last of his 13 Tests in Sri Lanka in 2021, while Motie could add to the sole cap he won against Bangladesh in June last year. West Indies were hit by numerous injuries during their 2-0 defeat in Australia, and have omitted Shamarh Brooks, Anderson Phillip and Marquino Mindley, all of whom played in the second Test in Adelaide. For the Windies, it will be the beginning of their international calendar for 2023 and they will be hoping to get off on a positive note.
“This is the start of the international calendar for 2023 and we will hope to start with a win. We appreciate it won’t be an easy assignment as Zimbabwe, like most other teams in world cricket, play very well on their home soil on pitches that will support their style of play.
“We looked at the conditions we anticipate playing in, and have included two left-arm spinners who didn’t go to Australia in Motie and Warrican. With our fast bowlers, Jayden Seales has done extremely well for us since he started back in 2021, but with him unavailable we have decided that Gabriel would be best able to fill that role. He (Gabriel) is an experienced bowler who has been at the international level for over 10 years and has knowledge of the conditions in Zimbabwe when we won there in 2017,” said Cricket West Indies lead selector Desmond Haynes.
In 2017, West Indies won the two-match series 1-0, winning the first contest by 117 runs with the second five-day contest ending in a draw.
The two-Test series against Zimbabwe, which begins in Bulawayo on February 4, will be overseen by interim coach Andre Coley, following Phil Simmons’ decision to step down.
West Indies Test squad:
Kraigg Brathwaite (capt), Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Roston Chase, Joshua Da Silva, Shannon Gabriel, Jason Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Gudakesh Motie, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach, Devon Thomas, Jomel Warrican
Schmidt became CEO of Google in 2001, when the search engine had a few hundred employees and was barely making money. He stepped away from Alphabet in 2017 after building a sprawling, highly profitable company with a stacked portfolio of projects, including cutting-edge artificial intelligence, self-driving cars, and quantum computers.
Schmidt now sees another opportunity for technological reinvention to lead to domination, this time for the US government in competition with other world powers. He may be uniquely well positioned to understand what the Pentagon needs to reach its technological goals and to help the agency obtain it. But his ties to industry raise questions about how the US should aim to align the government and the private sector. And while US military power has long depended on advances in technology, some fear that military AI can create new risks.
Good People, Bad System
Speaking over Zoom from his office in New York, Schmidt lays out a grand vision for a more advanced DOD that can nimbly harness technology from companies like Istari. In a cheery orange sweater that looks like it’s made of exquisite wool, he casually imagines a wholesale reboot of the US armed forces.
“Let's imagine we’re going to build a better war-fighting system,” Schmidt says, outlining what would amount to an enormous overhaul of the most powerful military operation on earth. “We would just create a tech company.” He goes on to sketch out a vision of the internet of things with a deadly twist. “It would build a large number of inexpensive devices that were highly mobile, that were attritable, and those devices—or drones—would have sensors or weapons, and they would be networked together.”
The problem with today’s Pentagon is hardly money, talent, or determination, in Schmidt’s opinion. He describes the US military as “great human beings inside a bad system”—one that evolved to serve a previous era dominated by large, slow, expensive projects like aircraft carriers and a bureaucratic system that prevents people from moving too quickly. Independent studies and congressional hearings have found that it can take years for the DOD to select and buy software, which may be outdated by the time it is installed. Schmidt says this is a huge problem for the US, because computerization, software, and networking are poised to revolutionize warfare.
Ukraine’s response to Russia’s invasion, Schmidt believes, offers pointers for how the Pentagon might improve. The Ukrainian military has managed to resist a much larger power in part by moving quickly and adapting technology from the private sector—hacking commercial drones into weapons, repurposing defunct battlefield connectivity systems, 3D printing spare parts, and developing useful new software for tasks like military payroll management in months, not years.
Schmidt offers another thought experiment to illustrate the bind he’s trying to get the US military out of. “Imagine you and I decide to solve the Ukrainian problem, and the DOD gives us $100 million, and we have a six-month contest,” he says. “And after six months somebody actually comes up with some new device or new tool or new method that lets the Ukrainians win.” Problem solved? Not so fast. “Everything I just said is illegal,” Schmidt says, because of procurement rules that forbid the Pentagon from handing out money without going through careful but overly lengthy review processes.
A New Weapon
The Pentagon’s tech problem is most pressing, Schmidt says, when it comes to AI. “Every once in a while, a new weapon, a new technology comes along that changes things,” he says. “Einstein wrote a letter to Roosevelt in the 1930s saying that there is this new technology—nuclear weapons—that could change war, which it clearly did. I would argue that [AI-powered] autonomy and decentralized, distributed systems are that powerful.”
With Schmidt’s help, a similar view has taken root inside the DOD over the past decade, where leaders believe AI will revolutionize military hardware, intelligence gathering, and backend software. In the early 2010s the Pentagon began assessing technology that could help it maintain an edge over an ascendant Chinese military. The Defense Science Board, the agency’s top technical advisory body, concluded that AI-powered autonomy would shape the future of military competition and conflict.
But AI technology is mostly being invented in the private sector. The best tools that could prove critical to the military, such as algorithms capable of identifying enemy hardware or specific individuals in video, or that can learn superhuman strategies, are built at companies like Google, Amazon, and Apple or inside startups.
Indian cricketers practice ahead of the Test series against Australia© BCCI
India began training ahead of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2023 against Australia in Nagpur on Friday. The Men in Blue will face a tough test from Australia, who is the number one ranked Test side. The first Test will be played in Nagpur between February 9 and 13. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Friday shared pictures of Team India's training session on Twitter. The Indian cricket team defeated New Zealand in both the ODI and T20I series in the run-up to the Test series.
On Friday, the likes of captain Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul were pictured training at the nets.
Indian skipper Rohit Sharma looked to be in good touch during a net session, while Kohli and opener KL Rahul also enjoyed a fruitful net session. The practice session was an intense one as both bowlers and batters worked hard to take their skills to the highest level before their opening Test against Australia.
Australia and India, currently ranked No.1 and 2 respectively in both the ICC Men's Test Team Rankings and the ongoing ICC World Test Championship 2023 cycle, will meet in a four-match Test series in India. The opening Test will be played in Nagpur between February 9 and 13.
India and Australia have played in 27 Test series since their first meeting in 1947-48. Australia lead the way with 12 series wins to India's 10, while five series have been drawn.
As part of the preparation, the Australian team has hired Maheesh Pithiya a 21-year-old spinner who bears an eerie likeness to Ravichandran Ashwin. Even as Pithiya's career developed to see him make his first-class debut for Baroda in December, his approach has stayed uncannily similar to Ashwin's, who will be one of Australia's biggest bowling threats during the four-Test series, which begins next week in Nagpur.
India are the current holder of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy after winning the series in Australia in 2020-21.
Australia squad:Pat Cummins (c), Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Lance Morris, Todd Murphy, Matthew Renshaw, Steve Smith (vc), Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson and David Warner.
India squad: (for the first two Tests) Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul (vc), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KS Bharat, Ishan Kishan, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat and Suryakumar Yadav.
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Rishabh Pant will miss the Test series against Australia due to injury© AFP
Former Australian cricket team skipper Ian Chappell believes that India may find it difficult to score freely in the upcoming Border-Gavaskar Test series due to the absence of Rishabh Pant. Pant was one of the top performers for India when they defeated Australia back in 2021 and it is mainly due to his aggressive gameplay against the pacers. However, the wicket-keeper batsman will not be available for the series starting on February 9 after he was injured in a road accident. In his absence, KS Bharat is expected to keep wickets for the hosts while Ishan Kishan was included in the squad as a back-up.
"India also have some points to prove, not the least to do with how Pant's replacement performs. The main thing India will lose from Pant's unavailability is an excellent run rate, which came from his belligerent aggression. No one can replace Pant's desire to dominate bowlers, so India have to rely on their top batters not only performing but also maintaining a good strike rate," Chappell wrote in his column for ESPNCricinfo.
The Indian pitches are traditionally quite helpful to spinners and Chappell wrote that it will be extremely important for the top Indian batters to stop Nathan Lyon from picking up wickets at regular intervals.
“One of the main tasks for Indian players like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara will be to establish mental superiority over Lyon. If Australia can't rely on Lyon claiming regular wickets at an acceptable rate, their bowling will then depend greatly on the "big three,” he explained.
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RISHIKESH, (ANI) – Ahead of India’s Test series against Australia, cricketer Virat Kohli and his wife Anushka Sharma embarked on a spiritual trip to Rishikesh.
The couple paid a visit to Swami Dayanand Giri Ashram.
Several pictures went viral in which the two were seen worshipping at the ashram. Virat also obliged other devotees with selfie requests at the ashram. Their visit to Rishikesh comes days after the duo along with their daughter Vamik sought blessings at an ashram in Vrindavan.
Australia is set to tour India in the coming few days for a four-game Test series. The series, popularly known as the Border Gavaskar Trophy 2023, will be essential in determining the top two spots in the World Test Championship. The top teams will earn a playoff position for the one-off championship game at The Oval in June.
The series will begin on 9th February in Nagpur while the ODIs will kickstart on March 17 in Mumbai.