AI Chatbot War has begun - H+ Weekly - Issue #401
AI chatbot war has begun; John Carmack's different path to AGI; growing human tissue in rats; autonomous passenger planes are inching closer to takeoff; and more!
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AI Chatbot War has begun
Following Microsoft's (reportedly) $10B investment into OpenAI, many were expecting ChatGPT integration into Microsoft's products. This week, Microsoft announced how they will do that.
“AI will fundamentally change every software category, starting with the largest category of all – search,” said Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO of Microsoft. “Today, we’re launching Bing and Edge powered by AI copilot and chat, to help people get more from search and the web.”
Both new Bing and Edge will introduce a sidebar with an AI chatbot. For Bing, you can see some examples over here. Something similar will be implemented in Edge. And with that, you will have access to ChatGPT and to almost everything it can do. Almost, because as a Business Insider journalist has found, it won't write a cover letter, saying this would be 'unethical' and 'unfair to other applicants'. It will be interesting to see what other limitations Microsoft is putting on ChatGPT.
New Bing and Edge are not publicly available yet. You can join a waitlist for the new Bing. Right now, only sample queries are available on Bing.com. Microsoft promises to "scale the preview to millions in the coming weeks".
Meanwhile, at Google, the release and subsequent popularity and capabilities of ChatGPT raised alarms. Integration of ChatGPT into Bing and Edge could impact Google's search and ad business, which, according to the recent financial statement, is the main source of revenue for the company.
So, the day before Microsoft's announcement, Alphabet announced Bard - their response to ChatGPT. Bard is powered by LaMDA (yes, the same LaMDA that one of Google's engineer declared is sentient). Similar to what Microsoft does with ChatGPT, Bard will first be implemented in search. Alphabet also announced their other AI - PaLM (ChatGPT-like bot for healthcare), Imagen (image generating AI) and MusicLM (AI that generates music from text prompt) - will soon be integrated into Google services.
Google has to catch up. They have the resources to do that. However, Microsoft has momentum. ChatGPT is not only a technological achievement but also a cultural phenomenon. Everyone is talking about it and many people will try out Bing and Edge just to have access to ChatGPT.
It is going to be interesting to see the competition between Google and Microsoft in the coming weeks. So far, Microsoft scored two points - they have seriously threatened Google's dominance in web search and made people finally start using Bing.
🧠 Artificial Intelligence
John Carmack’s ‘Different Path’ to Artificial General Intelligence
In this interview, John Carmack shares his ideas for solving the problem of artificial general intelligence (AGI). Carmack shares what made him go from virtual reality at Meta to creating his own AI company - Keen Technologies - why he works outside the established AI industry, and how he plans to solve the AGI problem. Carmack gives some interesting predictions - he thinks the AGI program will be rather small (something that one person could write) and that there is a 60% chance we will have AGI by 2030 and 95% it will happen by 2050.
ChatGPT is everywhere. Here’s where it came from
If you are interested in how did we get from simple neural networks to ChatGPT, here is a brief summary of this journey that started in 1980s.
▶️ The Robot Lawyer Was a Super Dumb Idea (17:16)
A New York-based startup DoNotPay is on a mission to replace human lawyers with AI. LegalEagle explains why this is not a great idea inside the current US legal system and points out some thorny issues with using AI as a lawyer or in a courtroom. Other than being outright illegal.
How Scientists Are Using AI to Talk to Animals
AI is already being used at the centre of many translator apps, allowing humans to communicate in languages they don't understand. Some people saw this and asked, can we take this and apply it to animals? Can we make an AI that translates animal communication into something we can understand? Scientific American speaks with Karen Bakker, a researcher applying AI to understand animal communication, who shares how this technology helped us better understand the language used by bats and honeybees.
Fully autonomous passenger planes are inching closer to takeoff
We have (somewhat) autonomous cars on our roads, but what about planes? Can they be automated to the point there is no need for a pilot in the cockpit? "Autonomy is going to come to all of the airplanes eventually", said Boeing CEO. Airbus and a flock of startups are already working on fully automated airplanes. Airlines would be happy to include autonomous aircraft in their fleets - they would be cheaper to operate and could be in air longer, making more money for the airline. Pilots are not happy, arguing this would affect the safety of the passenger (if you want to see a pilot's perspective, I recommend this video from an actual pilot). And then there are passengers, who might not be comfortable knowing no one is in the cockpit.
Drone collects DNA from trees to track biodiversity
Researchers from Switzerland have engineered a drone to collect DNA samples from trees. Biologists then analyse these samples to track the biodiversity in the environment. This could unlock new possibilities for researchers to track which animals and plants are present in the environment.
Mercedes-Benz world’s first automotive company to certify SAE Level 3 system for U.S. market
Mercedes-Benz announced in this press release that they are "the world's first automotive company to bring SAE Level 3" in the US with Nevada being the first state to allow Mercedes' autonomous cars on their roads. Level 3 means that the car can drive itself but the human driver is required to take control in case of emergency.
Human neurons implanted into a rat's brain respond to flashing lights
Researchers implanted human neurons into rats' brains with damaged visual cortices and discovered that the neurons integrated themselves into rats' brains and started reacting to flashing lights. The researchers didn’t measure whether the organoid transplants improved the rats’ vision.
Scientists Grew Mini Human Guts Inside Mice
Researchers announced they have successfully transplanted tiny balls of human intestinal tissue into mice. After several weeks, these spheres - known as organoids - developed key features of the human immune system. The model could be used to mimic the human intestinal system without having to experiment on sick patients.
How CRISPR could help save crops from devastation caused by pests
Since the beginning of agriculture, farmers had to deal with pests. We have developed many tools to protect crops from them and now we can add one more - CRISPR. This article highlights three projects targeting three different pests in California that have one thing in common - all three of them are using CRISPR to modify pests so they do not threaten the crops.
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