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This COVID-19 newsletter was written by a human

Coronavirus in Context is a weekly newsletter where we bring you facts that matter about the COVID-19 pandemic and the technology trying to stop its spread. You can subscribe here. Hola pandemic pals, Summer ends in a week. I just Googled it to be sure and it still doesn’t make sense. None of 2020 makes sense. The US elections are six weeks away. It’s already pumpkin spice season. I am not ready for any of this. I think everyone’s feeling the pain that comes from seeing life pass us by as 2020 drags on with crappy bandwidth.  The good news should be that…


Hola pandemic pals,

Summer ends in a week. I just Googled it to be sure and it still doesn’t make sense. None of 2020 makes sense. The US elections are six weeks away. It’s already pumpkin spice season. I am not ready for any of this.

I think everyone’s feeling the pain that comes from seeing life pass us by as 2020 drags on with crappy bandwidth. 

The good news should be that vaccines are imminent. We should begin to see several viable vaccine candidates emerge from phase three trials for final approval between now and early 2021. And that’s good, but it has to be taken with a bitter grain of salt. 

Vaccines aren’t off switches for diseases. We’ll actually need several vaccines to fight the coronavirus and even then, we’ll need a way to distribute them to everybody. 

The vaccine is just a small part of the solution, which is something people don’t want to hear. We’ve still got to do all the other stuff too. 

One of the biggest contributing factors to the propagation of COVID-19 has been misinformed people’s willingness to participate in the spread of partisan conspiracy theories and opine on matters they have absolutely no expertise in. 

It’s almost like millions of people are actually AIs constrained to the rules of their programmers. They have no choice, when given a specific prompt, but to generate a response based on how they’ve been trained. 

You have to admit, their behavior is more robot-like than human.

Take GPT-3 for example. It’s an AI system that was basically fed the internet as a database for generating novel text. That means it can speak on any subject… but never has a clue what it’s talking about.

Okay, now that I’m reading that paragraph again.. maybe GPT-3 is more human-like than I’ve been giving it credit for. 

By the numbers
Last week we revisited the COVID-19 infection numbers.

This week, let’s break down the vaccine outlook. (New York Times)

 
  • Total human trials underway: 40
  • Total phase one trials: 27
  • Total phase two trials: 14
  • Total phase three trials: 9
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May Bahringer

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