Even OpenAI can’t tell the difference between original content and AI-generated content – and that’s worrying

Open AI, the creator of the incredibly popular AI chatbot ChatGPT, has officially shut down the tool it had developed for detecting content created by AI and not humans. ‘AI Classifier’ has been scrapped just six months after its launch – apparently due to a ‘low rate of accuracy’, says OpenAI in a blog post.

ChatGPT has exploded in popularity this year, worming its way into every aspect of our digital lives, with a slew of rival services and copycats. Of course, the flood of AI-generated content does bring up concerns from multiple groups surrounding inaccurate, inhuman content pervading our social media and newsfeeds.

Educators in particular are troubled by the different ways ChatGPT has been used to write essays and assignments that are passed off as original work. OpenAI’s classifier tool was designed to address these fears not just within education but wider spheres like corporate workspaces, medical fields, and coding-intensive careers. The idea behind the tool was that it should be able to determine whether a piece of text was written by a human or an AI chatbot, in order to combat misinformation

Plagiarism detection service Turnitin, often used by universities, recently integrated an ‘AI Detection Tool’ that has demonstrated a very prominent fault of being wrong on either side. Students and faculty have gone to Reddit to protest the inaccurate results, with students stating their own original work is being flagged as AI-generated content, and faculty complaining about AI work passing through these detectors unflagged.

Turnitin’s “AI Detection Tool” strikes (wrong) again from r/ChatGPT

It is an incredibly troubling thought: the idea that the makers of ChatGPT can no longer differentiate between what is a product of their own tool and what is not. If OpenAI can’t tell the difference, then what chance do we have? Is this the beginning of a misinformation flood, in which no one will ever be certain if what they read online is true? I don’t like to doomsay, but it’s certainly worrying.

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This tiny Microsoft Excel update could make all the difference

Microsoft is currently working on several new updates for its spreadsheet software that will make it easier to work with formulas in Excel.

For those unfamiliar, formulas allow you to use the built-in functions in Excel to perform calculations and solve problems more easily.

If you're just getting started using formulas in Microsoft's spreadsheet software, you can also download the company's Formula workbook that walks you through Excel's most common formulas in a guided tour. The workbook even contains real-world examples with helpful visuals so you'll be able to Sum, Count, Average and Vlookup like an Excel pro.

Multiline formula bar and argument assistance

In the first update to the Microsoft 365 Roadmap, the company revealed that it plans to add a multiline formula bar to Excel which should be generally available in March.

Once this feature rolls out, users will be able to resize the formula bar which will make it much easier to navigate when working with longer formulas.

In a separate update, Microsoft announced that it will be adding a new card called Argument Assistance to Excel in March as well. This card will appear when a user is writing a formula and will remain on screen during the arguments insert/edit phase. 

The Argument Assistance card will also help users be more efficient while writing formulas and will help reduce the risk for errors. It even includes descriptions of the formula and the different arguments being used as well as an example.

If you haven't used formulas in Excel yet as part of your workflow, there's never been a better time to start using Microsoft's spreadsheet software to its full potential.

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Game remakes vs remasters: what’s the difference?

If you missed a classic game at the time of its original release, there are a few reasons you might find it tough to play in 2020. 

For one, you might not have the same nostalgic appreciation for the game as those who did play it at the time, which can sometimes make up for a game's shortcomings when it doesn't age so well. Secondly, unless you're happy to collect older games consoles, a lot of retro games simply don't work with modern machines. 

If you prefer to move with the times, maintaining access to older titles is often at the mercy of console manufacturers. 

While facilitating backwards compatibility is the traditional way to provide players with access to their collections of older games, developers and publishers alike have found a more preferable and profitable method: through remasters and remakes. 

Repackaged classic games are now commonplace, with various classics re-emerging on our shelves and hard drives in the form of 'HD Editions', 'Remasters' and 'Remakes'. With so much unfamiliar marketing jargon attached to our favorite games, it's not always obvious what's changed between the original and these new versions. 

If you're a bit confused by it all, then don't worry. We're here to (simply) break down the differences between game remakes and remasters.

Remasters: a lick of paint

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age went above and beyond a simple ‘HD remaster’

The term 'remaster' is something that's used across multimedia as a whole, with the term holding significance when it comes to the likes of music and film. Remastering usually involves enhancing the quality of an original 'master' version, meaning the fabric of the source is merely enhanced, rather than modified. 

Within videogames, this same rule usually applies, with the most popular form of remastering being based on fidelity and resolution. To put it simply, remastering an old game will make it look less like pixelated vomit on your fancy new TV. 

Despite this simple definition, remasters can still vary in quality, which is often down to how much effort has gone into each instance. The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 saw a plethora of 'HD Remasters', mainly consisting of ported titles that weren't previously compatible on the aforementioned hardware. Other than upscaling the original title to an HD resolution, there's little else that distinguishes them from their original form. 

This type of HD upscaling could also be achieved through backwards compatibility, or through using additional hardware to upscale a retro console, as described in our retro gaming guide. Some would say that this specific type of HD remaster is the same as stealing the wheels off of someone’s bike to resell back to them, which we're somewhat inclined to agree with. 

Thankfully, the art of remastering games has come a long way. Rather than simply upscaling the resolution, remasters such as Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age revitalized the game's textures, performance and soundtrack. With consumers expecting more from their videogame remasters, simple ports are becoming less common. As a result, many publishers have ventured into not just adding polish, but rather rebuilding games from the ground up.

Remakes: a world of reimagination

The Final Fantasy 7 Remake is a completely new game based on the original, while 2019’s Final Fantasy 8 Remastered was the same game, only improved in many ways. 

The word 'remake' basically means a completely new game based on an older game, usually a classic. But there are variations on how this is defined. 

Rebuilding using modern technology
Videogame remakes in the classic sense could almost be viewed as a process of painting by numbers. Many of these projects will simply take the original game's mechanic loops and ideas, and rebuild them using modern technology, with better controls and often new assets, with the result usually being an experience you’re familiar with – but much more polished.

Great examples of this type of remake are the likes of the Spyro, Crash Bandicoot, MediEvil and Shadow of the Colossus remakes, which in their new guise are visual recreations that bear an uncanny resemblance to their original retro counterparts but aren't exactly the same game. See also the Wii U's Zelda: Wind Waker remake, which has a slightly different art style, and adds the option for faster sailing around its seas.

Same idea, different execution
Now, though, we're starting to see total remakes that are more than just a better version of the original. They're essentially different games, even if they use the same story, setting, music, art style or gameplay ideas. 

We might not have our hands on it just yet, but the upcoming Final Fantasy VII Remake is looking to be a prime example of this, ditching the traditional turn-based shenanigans of the original and instead using the mechanics of modern Final Fantasy titles. Regardless of Final Fantasy VII’s complete overhaul, Cloud will hopefully still slip into that cute purple dress like he’s supposed to.

Resident Evil 2's 2019 remake, too, is designed to mirror the original as much as possible, but instead of the 1998 version's fixed camera angles, it's a more modern over-the-shoulder third-person shooter. This approach shows how you can give people a comfortable dose of nostalgia while still making a best-in-class game for today's players. No wonder Resident Evil 3 is getting the same treatment.

Expect to see more of this kind of remake in the next few years.

Identity crisis


Some people got confused about whether MediEvil is meant to be a remaster or remake

If one thing is certain, it's that repackaged nostalgia sells. The recent wave of retro recreations from the PSone has marked a new culture within the industry, one of which opts to use the modern standard of technology to breathe fresh air into classic franchises and reintroduce them to a new audience.

While trying to differentiate between a 'remaster' and a 'remake' can sometimes prove a bit technically confusing, it is worth noting that trying to use these labels as an absolute will likely never prove accurate, in which case, you’d be best to adjust your expectations. 

The only absolute in this dynamic industry is those old games on your shelf that have already been made and mastered, no matter how disappointing their modern-day resurrection may be.

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