Grant Wahl. Yesterday, one of the best-known American soccer journalists died in Qatar. Wahl was at the 2022 FIFA World Cup quarterfinal match between Argentina and the Netherlands when he collapsed. The cause of death is unknown, but days earlier, Wahl reported that he was being treated for bronchitis. A CBS Sports contributor and former Sports Illustrated writer, Wahl had chronicled soccer for more than two decades, including during eight World Cups.
Earlier in the tournament, Wahl made headlines after he was briefly detained for trying to enter a match while wearing a rainbow T-shirt in solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community. (Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar.) And he was an outspoken critic of the host country’s treatment of migrant workers and lack of rights for women and LGBTQIA+ people. In a statement, US Soccer said it was “heartbroken” and that his belief in soccer’s ability to “advance human rights” will be “an inspiration to all.” Meanwhile, the State Dept said it was “deeply saddened” by the news, and Wahl’s wife said she was “in complete shock.”
Picture This: Over the past week, social media’s been flooded with avatars of your friends (from Lensa AI). And with screenshots of an AI chatbot generating A+ college essays, Netflix-worthy scripts, and computer code (from ChatGPT). While AI’s been around for decades, it’s recently become more mainstream. And gotten much more advanced — but at what cost?
Since launching its “magic avatars” feature last month, Lensa AI skyrocketed to No. 1 in the Apple App Store. And ChatGPT gained more than a million users in just five days. Both offer opportunities for creativity and innovation — and have the potential to save people lots of time. But many are also suspicious of such wide-reaching tech. Particularly since, despite all their programmed intelligence, Lensa AI and ChatGPT have faults.
For starters, Lensa AI users have reported that the app has generated nudes, overly sexualized their images, or whitewashed their photos. It’s also reigniting questions about the ethics of AI art — and the guardrails that might need to go up to protect people from having their likeness or intellectual property used inappropriately. Then there’s ChatGPT, whose info has serious limitations. Ask it about anything that happened after 2021 and its answer might be questionable (if it even has one), since it can only access data from up until that point. Plus, there have been instances where it’s produced offensive, biased, or false answers — and presented them as fact. Even when ChatGPT works well, it might be bad: Journalists, programmers, and academics have wondered if their jobs could soon be obsolete. While some educators are concerned it’ll make it even more difficult to detect cheating and plagiarism.
Recent AI advances are generating a lot of excitement, but also raising concerns. It all serves as a reminder that as AI enters the mainstream, humans have a lot of learning to do. But there’s still plenty of time before the robots take over — and, we promise this wasn’t Skimm’d by ChatGPT.
Here’s a look at the reads we’ve saved, texted, and emailed to our friends…
Secrets of the Christmas Tree Trade…every December, tiny evergreen forests take over NYC sidewalks. If you thought they came from a charming upstate farm, transported by a friendly lumberjack, think again.
Downtime doesn’t have to mean doing nothing. Here’s one idea for making the most of your weekend.
Holiday party season is here. If you’re hosting your own for the first — or even the fifth — time, you might be wondering how you’re going to pull it all off. Between the food, drinks, and decor, it can be a lot to manage. So to help, check out these tips:
Have a game plan. As in, a literal plan for party games. Because there’s nothing like a good round of charades to get all your holiday guests well acquainted. Or, Two Truths and a Lie to get people to really open up.
Minimize time spent in the kitchen. No, really. Keep things stress-free with quick, easy crowd-pleasers (think: a winter kale salad, roasted garlic clove chicken, foolproof popovers) and dishes that can be prepared in advance, like classic beef brisket and lasagne alla bolognese. Or, you could even create a menu entirely from make-ahead snacks. And to end the evening on a sweet note, consider adding one or two of these holiday cookies.
Serve a punchy punch. To avoid playing bartender all night, mix up one of these holiday punch recipes. (Or, if you’re looking for an alcohol-free option, try this tea-tonic-soda water combo.) Of course, for something even more celebratory, you can’t go wrong with a bottle of bubbly — as long as you open it right. One more pro tip: Stock up on some wine glass charms to help your guests keep track of their drink.
...Oh and if you’re just a guest this holiday season, don’t forget to bring a little something for the host to thank them for their hospitality, like a couple of nice candles or fun books.
Psst: For a full look at how to Party Like a Pro (think: hosting on a budget and a step-by-step live demonstration), get out a notebook and hit the play button here.
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On Our Radar
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More Skimm, more knowledge. Here’s what else we’ve covered…
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