This Week's Top AI & Tech News and Trends

Through May 19, 2024

The Jeju Island Volcanic Sites, South Korea. By Adam’s Creations.

Hello AI Citizens,

This week in The AI Citizen:

  • 100 Exciting Announcements from Google I/O 2024

  • Is It Time to Believe the AI Hype?

  • It Is the End of Google Search as We Know It.

  • Saudi Arabia Spends Big to Become an A.I. Superpower.

  • What’s New in Apple’s iOS 18? Eye-Tracking AI and More

  • Waymo Robotaxis: 50,000 Paid Trips Every Week.

  • What’s the Next Smartphone Evolution?

  • In the Race for Space Metals, Companies Hope to Cash In.

  • How to Put a Data Center in a Shoebox.

  • Can Game Theory Make AI More Reliable?

  • Deepfakes of your dead loved ones are a booming Chinese business.

Check out this week’s top AI tools, featured programs, and more!

Let's dive in!

Google Keynote (Google I/O ‘24)

100 Exciting Announcements from Google I/O 2024

Google I/O 2024 showcased a plethora of innovations across AI, accessibility, and developer tools. Highlights include the introduction of Gemini 1.5 Flash and Gemini 1.5 Pro models, which are now available on Google AI Studio and Vertex AI, offering enhanced performance and a 2 million token context window. Project Astra, a vision for future AI assistants, and Trillium TPU, the latest and most efficient AI accelerator, were also unveiled. Noteworthy advancements include the Audio Overviews for NotebookLM, Grounding with Google Search now available on Vertex AI, and audio understanding in Gemini 1.5 Pro. Generative media models saw significant updates with Imagen 3 for high-quality image generation, Veo for advanced video creation, and Music AI Sandbox for music production. Additionally, tools like VideoFX and updates to ImageFX and MusicFX were introduced, along with expanded multimodal capabilities for Pixel devices and new features for Google Workspace. The event emphasized Google's commitment to enhancing AI-driven productivity, creativity, and accessibility. Source: Google

OpenAI’s team demoenstrating GPT-4o

Is It Time to Believe the AI Hype?

The tech world unanimously agrees that AI is a transformative force, potentially even surpassing the impact of the internet. Despite skepticism about industry motives, recent AI demonstrations are proving their revolutionary potential. Like smartphones, which evolved from exotic gadgets to essential tools, AI's impressive capabilities may soon become a standard part of daily life. Source: Wired.

Liz Reid recently took over as Google's head of search as it rushes to add new AI features. PHOTOGRAPH: SAJJAD HUSSAIN/GETTY IMAGES

It Is the End of Google Search as We Know It

Google is radically transforming its search engine, integrating AI-driven features through its Search Generative Experience. This shift represents a major departure from its traditional search methods, akin to tossing a carefully crafted screenplay into the air and letting the pieces fall where they may. These experimental features are now becoming a permanent part of the Google Search experience. Source: Wired.

Saudi Arabia Spends Big to Become an A.I. Superpower

MIT Technology Review Saudi Arabia plans to invest $100 billion in AI and other technologies to diversify its oil-dependent economy. The state-owned Public Investment Fund (PIF) aims to establish the country as a global AI leader by 2030. Notable initiatives include collaborations with venture capital firms, funding for startups through the GAIA partnership, and the development of an AI research hub at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. While the kingdom’s ambitious plans attract major tech companies and AI researchers, challenges such as investment delays and human rights concerns remain. If successful, Saudi Arabia's AI investments could significantly boost its economy and geopolitical influence. Source: New York Times

Credit: Waymo

Waymo Robotaxis: 50,000 Paid Trips Every Week

Waymo's robotaxis are increasingly popular, now making over 50,000 paid trips weekly across Phoenix, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. This growth indicates a significant adoption of autonomous ride-hailing services, averaging around 300 bookings per hour, demonstrating the rising acceptance and utilization of driverless transportation. Source: Engadget

Coming later this year, Apple’s new accessibility features include Eye Tracking, a way for users to navigate iPad and iPhone with just their eyes. Source: Apple.

What’s New in Apple’s iOS 18? Eye-Tracking AI and More

Apple has unveiled several new accessibility features for iOS 18, including AI-powered Eye Tracking, Music Haptics, and Vocal Shortcuts. Eye Tracking allows users to control their iPad or iPhone using only their eyes, without additional hardware. Music Haptics uses the iPhone's Taptic Engine to let users feel the music, and Vocal Shortcuts enable custom phrases for Siri to perform tasks. These features, available later this year, highlight Apple's commitment to accessibility and innovation, potentially revolutionizing device use for individuals with physical disabilities. The upcoming WWDC conference is highly anticipated for more AI advancements from Apple. Source: Apple.

What’s the Next Smartphone Evolution?

OpenAI’s latest product, GPT-4o, is poised to redefine human-computer interaction, potentially rendering existing voice assistants like Siri obsolete. This advanced AI model represents a significant leap forward, highlighting the rapid evolution of technology and the emergence of more sophisticated tools for seamless interaction. Source: The Atlantic

In the Race for Space Metals, Companies Hope to Cash In

The space mining industry is gaining renewed interest as costs for rocket launches drop and regulatory environments become more favorable. Despite past failures, current ventures are optimistic about the potential for profitability in extracting valuable metals from space, although success is not guaranteed. Source: Undark

How to Put a Data Center in a Shoebox

Researchers at Imec have developed superconducting processing units that could revolutionize computing by being 100 times more energy efficient than today's best chips. This innovation could shrink the power of a data center into a system the size of a shoebox, marking a significant leap in computational efficiency and compactness. Source: Spectrum IEEE

Can Game Theory Make AI More Reliable?

MIT CSAIL researchers have introduced a novel "consensus game" that enhances the reliability of language models by applying game-theoretic principles. This approach involves two AI components—one generating text and the other evaluating it—working together to reach a consensus on the correct message. By treating text generation and comprehension as a collaborative game, the researchers significantly improved the AI's accuracy across various tasks, outperforming even larger models. This equilibrium-ranking method, presented at the ICLR conference, marks a promising step towards more consistent and truthful AI-generated text. Source: MIT

Deepfakes of your dead loved ones are a booming Chinese business

Sun Kai, cofounder of Silicon Intelligence, speaks with a digital replica of his late mother via an app on his phone, finding comfort in their virtual conversations. This AI technology, which has gained significant traction in China, allows users to interact with avatars of deceased loved ones, offering a modern twist on traditional mourning practices. Despite its benefits, this technology raises ethical questions and concerns about whether it hinders the natural grieving process. Critics worry that it might keep people stuck in mourning, unable to move on, while supporters argue it provides therapeutic value by maintaining a connection with the departed. Source: MIT

Can Brain-Controlled Robots Get More Versatile?

MIT Technology Review Researchers at Stanford, led by Ruohan Zhang, have developed Neural Signal Operated Intelligent Robots (NOIR) that enable users to control robots through brain-to-computer interfaces (BCIs). Using electroencephalogram (EEG) signals, users can command robots to perform complex tasks like ironing or making a sandwich. By breaking down tasks into sequences of simple thoughts, such as selecting and manipulating objects, the system translates these intentions into actions. Initial tests showed promising results, with users achieving an 81.2% accuracy in object selection and 73.9% accuracy in location selection, demonstrating the potential of BCIs to handle versatile robotic tasks.

Do you find these insights valuable? Are there other topics you think we should cover? Share your thoughts with us. 

Email us at [email protected].

This Week's AI Tool Highlights 

Chief AI Officer Program Launch by World AI University (WAIU)

World AI University is introducing the Chief AI Officer (CAIO) program, a focused 2-week (20 hours) executive training program running from June 10-21, 2021. This program is crafted to equip executives, CXOs, and leaders from both government and private sectors with critical AI leadership skills necessary for today's dynamic technological landscape.

Program Highlights:

  • AI Leadership Skills: Develop the ability to evaluate and enhance your organization’s AI capabilities.

  • Strategic Initiative Leadership: Learn to spearhead and manage AI-driven projects and initiatives.

  • Mastering Generative AI Tools: Gain hands-on experience with cutting-edge generative AI technologies.

  • AI Integration: Explore effective strategies to incorporate AI tools into your organization’s operations.

  • Successful AI Adoption: Ensure smooth and impactful AI implementation within your organization.

  • Capstone Project: Apply your skills to a real-world project, demonstrating practical AI integration.

Upcoming Cohorts: For those interested in future sessions, cohorts are available in July, August, and September.

Secure your seats early as there’s a limited capacity of 25 leaders per cohort. We look forward to your participation!

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