The Week Unwrapped: Russia vs Bali, AI upgraded and a plague of seaweed

Do Russian tourists in Bali deserve their reputation? What will Chat GPT do next? And why is sargassum causing a stink in Florida?

Olly Mann and The Week delve behind the headlines and debate what really matters from the past seven days. With Suchandrika Chakrabarti, Rory Reid and Sorcha Bradley.

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Russians in Bali

The growing number of Russian tourists on the Indonesian island of Bali has led to growing tensions with the local population. The island’s government has called for Indonesia to cancel it visa-on-arrival policy, claiming that Russians with tourist visas are working illegally – and accusing them of being disrespectful to the Balinese population. But are Russians being unfairly singled out?

ChatGPT gets an upgrade

The AI-powered chat bot ChatGPT was hailed as a breakthrough, for good and ill, when it was introduced to the public last year. Now it’s getting an upgrade, which is intended to make it more powerful – and more nuanced. Should we welcome the news, or fear it? To those people who were worried about the current bot’s ability to propagate misinformation, a subtler version represents an even greater threat.

Seaweed runs riot

The Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt, a vast seaweed bloom of such immense scale that it can be observed from space, is currently heading towards Florida, where it is predicted to make landfall during the peak summer season. Although harmless in the open ocean, the sargassum seaweed becomes a problem when sizable portions wash up on the shoreline and start to decompose, releasing toxic fumes that damage beaches, disrupt local ecosystems, and drive away tourism. What is behind this year’s seaweed super-bloom and what can be done to protect beaches against it?

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