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Feb 8, 2023

‘AI First’ To Last: How Google Fell Behind In The AI Boom

Posted by in categories: business, robotics/AI

With Bard, its newly launched “experimental conversational AI service,” Google is scrambling to ship AI products. But past scandals, botched launches and a talent drain have put it in a surprise position: playing catch-up in a field it helped create.

In 2016, a few months after becoming CEO of Google, Sundar Pichai made a sweeping proclamation: Google, whose name had become synonymous with search, would now be an “AI-first” company. Announced at Google’s massive I/O developer conference, it was his first major order of business after taking the company reins.

What AI-first meant, exactly, was murky, but the stakes were not.

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Feb 8, 2023

Will Microbes Replace Machines?

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, food, robotics/AI

Just when we are getting accustomed to artificial intelligence in our daily lives, get ready for a new disruptor: synthetic biology, or syn-bio, the design and engineering of biological systems to create and improve processes and products. It promises to become a manufacturing paradigm of the future.

Recent advances in molecular, cell, and systems biology have enabled scientists to shift their focus from research of syn-bio to design and engineering, creating some truly mind blowing applications. By using microorganisms, for example, companies can now manufacture an infinite number of things, cell by cell, from scratch. This offers new ways of producing almost everything that humans consume, from flavors and fabrics to foods and fuels.

By the end of the decade, syn-bio may be used extensively in manufacturing industries that account for more than a third of global output, according to BCG Henderson Institute, Boston Consulting Group’s strategy think tank. Various sources estimate that the syn-bio market today is about $10 billion and is expected to reach $30 billion in the next five years.

Continue reading “Will Microbes Replace Machines?” »

Feb 8, 2023

Conversational Computing Changes Everything: Bing vs. Bard Is Just The Beginning

Posted by in categories: computing, internet

Today’s Internet is in the early stages of being transformed once again—this time, instead of search, social, mobile, etc.—it’s going to be a Web that supports conversations.

Feb 8, 2023

Astonished Scientists Just Discovered Another New ‘Ring World’ In Our Solar System

Posted by in category: space

After the news in January of the James Webb Space Telescope spying rings around Chariklo—a tiny world over two billion miles away from Earth—new research reveals another remote ringed world in the solar system.

Quaoar (pronounced “kwar-waar”) is a dwarf planet about 700 miles/1,110 kilometers in diameter—about half the size of Pluto—that orbits the Sun beyond Neptune in the remote and cold Kuiper belt region. It has a tiny moon called Weywot.

Scientists have found rings around Quaoar, a small body in the solar system about half the size of Pluto.

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Feb 8, 2023

Google’s A.I.-powered ‘multisearch,’ which combines text and images in a single query, goes global

Posted by in categories: business, mobile phones, robotics/AI

Amid other A.I.-focused announcements, Google today shared that its newer “multisearch” feature would now be available to global users on mobile devices, anywhere that Google Lens is already available. The search feature, which allows users to search using both text and images at the same time, was first introduced last April as a way to modernize Google search to take better advantage of the smartphone’s capabilities. A variation on this, “multisearch near me,” which targets searches to local businesses, will also become globally available over the next few months, as will multisearch for the web and a new Lens feature for Android users.

As Google previously explained, multisearch is powered by A.I. technology called Multitask Unified Model, or MUM, which can understand information across a variety of formats, including text, photos, and videos, and then draw insights and connections between topics, concepts, and ideas. Google put MUM to work within its Google Lens visual search features, where it would allow users to add text to a visual search query.

“We redefined what we mean to search by introducing Lens. We’ve since brought Lens directly to the search bar and we continue to bring new capabilities like shopping and step-by-step homework help,” Prabhakar Raghavan, Google’s SVP in charge Search, Assistant, Geo, Ads, Commerce and Payments products, said at a press event in Paris.

Continue reading “Google’s A.I.-powered ‘multisearch,’ which combines text and images in a single query, goes global” »

Feb 8, 2023

Google Maps launches Immersive View in five cities, will roll out ‘glanceable directions’ soon

Posted by in category: mapping

Google is launching new updates for Maps that are part of its plan to make the navigation app more immersive and intuitive for users, the company announced today at its event in Paris.

Most notably, the company announced that Immersive View is rolling out starting today in London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Tokyo. Immersive View, which Google first announced at I/O in May 2022, is designed to help you plan ahead and get a deeper understanding of a city before you visit it. The company plans to launch Immersive View in more cities, including Amsterdam, Dublin, Florence and Venice in the coming months.

Feb 8, 2023

Generative AI is building the foundation of proptech’s next wave

Posted by in categories: economics, finance, robotics/AI

For artificial intelligence, 2022 was a year of breakthroughs. Image generation models such as DALL-E, MidJourney and StableDiffusion came in early in the year, garnering much attention, and ChatGPT went viral near the end.

Riding on the euphoria generated by these technological developments, about $49 billion in venture capital was invested in AI in 2022 — 40% more than a year earlier, per CB Insights.

Yet, there has been little conversation about how AI will play a growing role in real estate, a more than $50 trillion asset class, and one of the key drivers of the global economy. We believe this represents a significant opportunity for real estate tech entrepreneurs.

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Feb 8, 2023

Here’s when Tesla CEO Elon Musk will finally reveal his Master Plan 3

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, robotics/AI, space travel, sustainability

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted Wednesday that he will present the long-awaited and often teased Master Plan 3 during the company’s investor day March 1.

Tesla’s investor day will be held at the company’s Gigafactory Texas located near Austin. The event will be live streamed. Some of the company’s institutional and retail investors will be invited to attend in person, according to the company. Investors will be able to see its production line and discuss topics like the company’s long-term expansion plans, generation 3 platform and capital allocation with its leadership team, according to the company.

Musk first hinted about the Master Plan 3 last March with vague goals to scale operations at Tesla to “extreme size.” He also leaned into themes like AI and noted that this next stage in the plan would include his other companies SpaceX and The Boring Company. Later in the year, Musk revealed more details about his Master Plan part three. Per a companywide meeting, the plan’s raison d’etre is: “How do you get to enough scale to actually shift the entire energy infrastructure of earth?”

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Feb 8, 2023

AI is the next frontier — but for whom?

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

A few weeks.

Discussions about diversity are more important than ever as AI enters a new golden era. Every new technology that appears seems to be accompanied by some harrowing consequence.

A few weeks ago, a founder told me it took three hours of endless clicking to find an AI-generated portrait of a Black woman. It reminded me, in some ways, of a speech I saw three years ago when Yasmin Green, the then-director of research and development for Jigsaw, spoke about how human bias seeps into the programming of AI. Her talk and this founder, miles away and years apart, are two pieces of the same puzzle.

Continue reading “AI is the next frontier — but for whom?” »

Feb 8, 2023

Abandoned Mine Shafts Can Use Gravity to Turn Them Into Giant Batteries

Posted by in category: energy

Abandoned mine shafts like this one can be turned into giant storage batteries.

The technology uses the vertical drop in abandoned mine shafts to generate zero-emission electricity.

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