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Lawmakers Pressure Mark Zuckerberg for Answers on Meta’s AI

Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) expressed apprehension in a letter sent on Monday.

Maddy Troy

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Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are raising concerns and seeking answers from Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg regarding potential risks associated with the company’s artificial intelligence language learning model.

The model, known as Large Language Model Meta AI (LLaMA), appeared on BitTorrent shortly after being made available to researchers, prompting lawmakers to question the possible misuse or abuse of the technology.

Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) expressed apprehension in a letter sent on Monday, highlighting the widespread availability of LLaMA. They stated, “It is easy to imagine LLaMA being adopted by spammers and those engaged in cybercrime,” citing concerns about fraudulent activities, child exploitation, privacy violations, and other criminal behavior that could arise from the open availability of the AI model.

When Meta initially released the code in February, the company intended to grant access to researchers on a case-by-case basis. The aim was to leverage external expertise in addressing known issues related to bias, problematic comments, and what the programmers referred to as “hallucinations” or fabricated information.

Meta stated in a blog post that sharing the LLaMA code would facilitate testing of new approaches to mitigate these problems in large language models.

However, within a week of its release, the code was leaked on BitTorrent, allowing anyone to download it. The lawmakers now criticize Meta for the manner in which the code was distributed, leading to its unintended dissemination.

The senators argue that Meta’s permissive approach to releasing LLaMA raises important and complex questions about the appropriate method and timing of openly distributing sophisticated AI models. They believe that Meta should have anticipated the broad dissemination of LLaMA and the potential for abuse due to the limited safeguards implemented during its release.

Blumenthal and Hawley also suggest that Meta’s code may pose greater risks to consumers compared to language learning models employed by other companies, such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT. They note that while ChatGPT adheres to ethical guidelines and refuses requests to generate certain content, LLaMA is capable of producing letters involving self-harm, crime, antisemitism, and other problematic responses.

The senators have posed a series of questions to Zuckerberg, seeking clarification on the company’s risk assessments and the measures taken to prevent or mitigate damage resulting from the dissemination of LLaMA. They also inquire about the development process, including whether Meta utilized data from account holders, such as posts or other personal information.

Zuckerberg has been requested to respond to these inquiries by June 15.

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Media Business

Broadcasters Foundation of America Set for Annual Giving Day Thursday

More than 1,000 broadcasters have been aided by the organization.

Barrett News Media

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A photo of the Broadcasters Foundation of America logo

The Broadcasters Foundation of America is set to hold its annual Giving Day on Thursday, June 13th.

For more than 70 years, the organization has supported broadcast radio and television professionals during challenging financial times. More than $20 million in grants have been funded by the foundation since its inception.

More than 1,000 broadcasters have been aided by the organization.

To donate to the fund, click here.

In addition to its Giving Day, the organization will hold a mixer at the iHeartMedia studios in New York from 5:30-7:30 PM on Thursday.

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Media Business

Beasley Media Group Promotes Paul Blake to Philadelphia Cluster Manager

“I look forward to continuing our tradition of excellence and innovation in the media industry.”

Barrett News Media

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A photo of Paul Blake and the Beasley Media Group logo
(Photo: Beasley Media Group)

Beasley Media Group has announced that Paul Blake has been promoted to cluster manager at its Philadelphia group.

After previously serving as the Vice President and Director of Sales for the past 22 years, Blake moves up to lead WMMR-FM, WMGK-FM, WXTU-FM, BEN FM, 97.5 The Fanatic, WWDB 860, and WTMR 800 in Camden, New Jersey.

In his new role, Paul Blake will report directly to Beasley Media Group President Bruce Beasley.

“I am deeply honored and thrilled to take on the role of Cluster Manager for Beasley Media Philadelphia,” said Blake. “I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the Beasley family for their unwavering trust and confidence in me. It is an incredible privilege to lead one of America’s premier groups of radio stations and digital content creators, and I look forward to continuing our tradition of excellence and innovation in the media industry.”

“Paul is the perfect person to take our Philly-based radio cluster to the next level,” added Beasley Media Group President Bruce Beasley. “His longstanding dedication, insight and leadership is the perfect fit to lead our team into the future. We are thrilled to have him on our team.”

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Media Business

AM/FM Radio Most Important In-Car Entertainment Option for Buyers, Xperi Study Shows

“Audio continues to dominate, confirming radio’s importance as vehicle entertainment’s anchor.”

Barrett News Media

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A photo of the Xperi logo

The future of AM radio in vehicles — especially electric models — has been cloudy at times in recent years. But a new study from Xperi shows terrestrial radio remains a high priority for car buyers.

According to the study, 59% of respondents said AM/FM radio remains the most important entertainment option when considering their car purchase.

Additionally, terrestrial radio remains the most popular audio format for music listening. A nice portion of respondents — 69% — said it’s their top choice. Streaming music was used by 53% of those surveyed, while 30% said they use satellite radio.

Some of the new study focused on the use of video games in cars. 58% said they would like to see rear cabin screens, while 54% said they would welcome front cabin screens. 60% of Gen Z respondents and 49% of millennials said gaming is more prevalent in rear-seat passengers than front-seat passengers, though.

“Consumer perception of the car as a leading ‘third space’ is driving demand for audio, video, and gaming,” said Xperi Senior Vice President and Connected Car GM Jeff Jury. “Audio continues to dominate, confirming radio’s importance as vehicle entertainment’s anchor.

“But, the growing impact of video is clear, not only in its dramatically increased usage but also in consumers’ increased interest in front and rear cabin screens. And the emergence of in-vehicle gaming with younger generations, particularly casual games, is indicative of its growing importance to in-cabin entertainment platforms.”

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