WYSK: 02/10/23

This Week: OGT: Influenza Reduction; 1. Hollow Goals; 2. Starlink Access; 3. Bard Failure; 4. Voice Contracts.

WYSK: 02/10/23

What you should know from the week of 02/10/23:

  • One Good Thing: A strain of flu appears to be extinct!
  • Hollow Goals: Seeking meaning in the wrong places;
  • Starlink Access: SpaceX restricts Ukraine's use of Starlink internet, citing 'unexpected' military use;
  • Bard Failure: When it comes to AI, the Bard rolls a critical failure on a history check... and Google's stock drops by 100Billion;
  • Voice Contracts: The AI-enabled erosion of consent for voice actors.

One Good Thing:

COVID may have pushed a leading seasonal flu strain to extinction
No one has confirmed a case of influenza B/Yamagata since April 2020.

Not technically from this week, but I first saw it this week so I'm counting it.

It appears that, during COVID, the fever-pitch of health controls resulted in the eradication of influenza B/Yamagata:

The pandemic coronavirus's debut wrought universal havoc—not even seasonal flu viruses were spared. Amid travel restrictions, quarantines, closures, physical distancing, masking, enhanced hand washing, and disinfection, the 2020-2021 flu season was all but canceled. That meant not just an unprecedented global decrease in the number of people sick with the flu but also a dramatic collapse in the genetic diversity of circulating flu strains. Many subtypes of the virus all but vanished. But most notably, one entire lineage—one of only four flu groups targeted by seasonal influenza vaccines—went completely dark, seemingly extinct.