Flamingo & Aria: How AI is Jazzing Up YouTube Shorts and Opera Browser

Learn how Google’s Flamingo is amplifying the visibility of YouTube Shorts through intuitive descriptions, while Opera’s Aria is offering an intelligent sidebar that’s transforming browsing into a knowledge-packed interaction.


A Google DeepMind AI language model is now making descriptions for YouTube Shorts

Google’s AI brainiacs combined their DeepMind and Google Brain teams. This big ol’ band of tech wizards cooked up something neat for YouTube Shorts – you know, those quick little vids that make your coffee break fun.

They’ve got this thing called Flamingo. It’s a smart-alecky machine that looks at the start of your video and says, “Hey, that’s a pooch juggling saltines on its noggin!” It’ll jot that down as a description, helping your video pop up when someone’s itching for some balancing act doggie drama.

DeepMind, the head honcho, explains this all in a video they’ve posted. It’s a quick watch. Gives you the whole shebang in a nice, bite-sized package.

Here’s the problem Flamingo’s trying to solve: YouTube Shorts creators, in a hurry to toss their quick flicks into the web-o-sphere, often forget to add descriptions. It’s like leaving your house without pants – not a great look. But, Flamingo’s got their backs.

Now, this ain’t a show and tell. The descriptions won’t be visible to you or me. It’s all behind-the-scenes stuff. And they’re making darn sure it’s all above board and doesn’t paint a nasty picture of your video.

They’re promising no faux pas like that time Google Photos called two folks gorillas. You’d think they’d have learned by now. But let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. If Flamingo messes up, they’ll have some ‘splaining to do.

Right now, Flamingo’s cranking out descriptions for new Shorts uploads and even some of the oldies. When asked if it’ll be used for longer YouTube videos, they gave the classic maybe-yes-maybe-no answer. We’ll just have to wait and see. But one thing’s for sure, if they do go ahead with it, YouTube search might get a whole lot smarter.


Opera Aria is a new browser experience with integrated AI

Opera, that web browser you may or may not have forgotten existed, has decided to up its game with a fancy new AI sidebar named Aria. Now, don’t go expecting a singing, Mozart-like sidebar. This AI buddy, fueled by OpenAI’s ChatGPT, can whip up text, write code, answer your burning questions, and more, all while hanging out on the left side of your screen. Handy, huh?

Remember the Microsoft Edge browser with its own AI features? Opera’s looking to be a tough contender in this field, sprucing up its own sidebar with similar upgrades. It’s like having a know-it-all buddy right there in your browser, helping you summarize articles or whip up a tweet, and they never ask you to spot them for a beer.

But don’t jump the gun! As of now, you gotta download the latest developer version of Opera One on your desktop or get your hands on the latest Opera beta on Android to access Aria. Once you’re signed up, Opera will ping you when you can start asking your AI friend the meaning of life, the universe, and everything else. So, sit tight and buckle up, because browsers are about to get a whole lot chattier.


All the major Bing Chat and AI announcements from Microsoft Build 2023

Microsoft just threw a huge party called Build 2023, and boy, did they have a lot to yak about.

Big headline: Bing is bringing ChatGPT on board as its default search buddy. Translation? ChatGPT will start acting like your cool friend who’s always up-to-date, not like your grandpa stuck in 2021. The cherry on top? ChatGPT’s answers will now come with citations, giving you a map to the source of wisdom.

This new feature is being rolled out for ChatGPT Plus subscribers, but Microsoft isn’t leaving the rest of us in the cold. Soon, everyone gets to play with the toy for free with a Bing plug-in.

Microsoft’s been on a roll lately, soup-ing up Bing Chat. Last week, OpenAI dished out over 70 plugins to ChatGPT Plus users. These are like superpowers for your chatbot, letting it do cool things like surfing the web. And now, Microsoft’s jumping on the bandwagon and using the same plugin standard. This means more tools will play nice together across ChatGPT and Microsoft Copilot.

Here’s the kicker: developers can now use one platform to create plugins that work across multiple platforms. Think ChatGPT, Bing, Copilot – the whole shebang. Plus, fresh plugins are incoming to Bing Chat, from names you’d recognize like Instacart, Kayak, and Zillow.

And just when you thought the party was winding down, Microsoft cranks it up a notch. Bing Chat and these new plugins will pop up in Windows via the new Windows Copilot. It’s like Microsoft’s turning Windows 11 into a smarty-pants with AI upgrades via Copilot and Dev Home.

In the leadup to this whole shebang, Microsoft gave Bing Chat a bit of a makeover, adding chat history, an export tool, and scrapping chat limits. Sounds like a win-win to me. Sit tight, folks, it’s gonna be a wild ride.


Here’s how ads might look in Google’s new AI-powered search experience

Google is spicing things up in the ad business. If a recent video is anything to go by, your Google searches are about to look like a billboard on the Vegas strip. This new hoopla is courtesy of Google’s fancy schmancy Search Generative Experience (SGE), which is basically their AI-powered search.

Now, let me break it down for you. Imagine you’re planning a trip to Maui and looking up some outdoor stuff to do. As soon as you hit search, you get smacked with ads – sponsored links pop up like unwanted guests before the actual search results. You can barely see Google’s shiny new SGE, which is supposed to revolutionize how we search. Not a great start, is it?

Then let’s say you type in “hiking backpacks for kids,” and, like magic, you get some backpack listings. But guess what’s chilling right at the top of the list? Yep, a sponsored link. Google’s subtly shoving more ads in there like a stealthy pickpocket.

Then, just when you thought you were safe, after asking about kid-friendly surfing, you get slapped with more ads about surf lessons and activities for the kiddos. Three simple queries, and you’re drowning in ads.

Of course, this was a video for a Google blog post selling ad products, so maybe they’re just showing off. But if this really is how Google’s SGE rolls out – and you can get on the waitlist to try it out – expect it to be filled with ads, whether you like it or not. After all, someone’s gotta foot the bill for all that fancy AI stuff, right? Seems like they’ve got us between a rock and a hard place, doesn’t it?


Spark email gets +AI to ‘write better emails faster’ while keeping control of your inbox

In the spirit of making your life a piece of cake, Spark, the well-known email client, is hitting the streets with a shiny new update. This hot rod now comes loaded with a generative AI—dubbed Spark +AI—to help you whip up spiffy emails faster than you can say “automatic reply.” And don’t fret, the AI’s got your privacy and autonomy in mind, too.

In a blog post brighter than a Vegas marquee, the folks behind Spark let slip about their AI helper that promises to pen the perfect email in no time flat. This little wizard also rewords your rough drafts, so sounding like Shakespeare on a coffee binge is easier than ever.

Spark +AI stands on three pillars: quick and quality email writing, instilling you with the confidence of a Hollywood agent, and making sure you stay the boss of your own inbox.

This AI can whip up an email quicker than you can blink, give your drafts a makeover, and play around with tone like it’s in a voice actor’s booth. But don’t worry, this ain’t no rogue AI—it won’t send out any emails by itself. It’s only here to help you piece together your masterpiece.

Spark’s hopped on the OpenAI bandwagon, using its GPT integration to make your emails slicker than a greased pig. Of course, your email content will be shared with OpenAI, but just to give you the Spark +AI perks. Neither Spark nor OpenAI are gonna use your info to school their models, keeping your data safe and sound.

All this AI wizardry is tucked inside Spark Premium. Not part of the gang yet? The good folks at Spark are throwing in a week-long free trial, so you can test drive the AI features.

Finally, don’t be in a hurry if you’re an Android user. Spark +AI is rolling out phase by phase to make sure everything’s steady. If you’re an iOS user chomping at the bit, just manually update your app on the App Store. As for the Android folks, just sit tight, you’ll get your turn in the coming days.


Alteryx reimagines data analytics with generative AI

Look who’s steppin’ into the world of AI! It’s Irvine’s very own Alteryx, the data analytics bigshot, who’s pulled the wraps off their brand-spankin’-new generative AI engine, AiDIN.

So what’s this AiDIN gizmo all about? It’s a suite of smart tools designed to help businesses make sense of their data mountains faster than a jackrabbit on a hot griddle. They’re launching it with three new features: Magic Documents, Workflow Summary, and an OpenAI connector.

Magic Documents is like having your own personal secretary who talks tech. Instead of you going blue in the face explaining all the number-crunching done by Auto Insights, this tool does the heavy lifting, summarizing all that jazz in clear, concise language. So whether you’re writing an email or prepping a presentation, it’s got your back.

Workflow Summary’s just as handy, but it’s more about keeping things shipshape. Got a tangled web of processes and workflows? Workflow Summary, powered by yours truly, ChatGPT, helps you tidy it all up with a nice, neat summary. Less mess, less stress.

And let’s not forget the OpenAI connector. It’s like a universal translator for data, helping you implement AI in your data and analytics workflows in ways you didn’t know you could. It’s the real deal, and it’s making a splash.

Sure, the AI scene’s as crowded as Times Square on New Year’s Eve, and Alteryx has plenty of competition. But with over $600 million in funding and a hunger for innovation, they’re not about to be left in the dust. Here’s lookin’ at you, Alteryx!


AMD and Microsoft present AI Developer Tools for Ryzen 7040 processors

AMD and Microsoft are servin’ up some piping hot AI tools for these fancy Ryzen 7040 chips. This piece of hardware is the new star quarterback in silicon, stepping on the turf with AI workload handling that’ll leave regular x86 processors eating dust.

What’s the score, you ask? These chips have a trick play up their sleeves, like boosting our gadgets to do all that jazz we’ve been dreaming of. You know, making your tired peepers look like they’re locked on screen instead of the cat dancing in the background during a Zoom call, and smart framing and background blur.

And it ain’t all just smoke and mirrors. Developers eager to dive into the new chip’s magic can now have a sneak peek of AMD’s Developer Tools for Ryzen AI. These gizmos let them tap into the Ryzen chips’ capabilities through an open-source framework called Vitis AI Execution Provider, running on ONNX Runtime, with a sprinkle of Microsoft Olive support and XDNA AI Engine boosting power.

Got a Ryzen 7040HS machine and a hankering to test it out? Mosey on over to Ryzen AI Cloud to Client Demo Github. Happy trailblazing, partner!

Oh, and a small plug – if you’ve got a soft spot for refurb tech, there’s a 2022 HP Envy x360 on Amazon with your name on it.

Oh, one last thing. You good at translating tech lingo to the layman? Notebookcheck’s got a spot for you. Check ’em out, y’all.


Google to work with Europe on stop-gap ‘AI Pact’

Google’s top dog, Sundar Pichai, is shaking hands across the pond with Europe’s lawmakers on a little thing called an “AI Pact”. It’s basically a pinky swear to play nice with AI while the bigwigs sort out the official rules.

Pichai was talking shop with Thierry Breton, the EU’s Internal Market Commissioner. Breton is all gung-ho about not dragging feet in the AI game. So, the EU’s looking to get this AI pact on the road before their official AI laws roll out.

For now, Google’s the only tech giant with its name on this pact’s dance card. We asked both Google and the European Commission for the lowdown on the whole deal.

Breton wants AI in Europe to play by the book – data protection, online safety, and AI rules. No cafeteria picking here. Pichai’s on board with that and they’re ready to take on disinformation before the elections in Europe.

Now, the AI pact doesn’t have any legal teeth, but it’s a step towards getting everybody to play nice in the AI sandbox.

The EU’s been leading the charge on digital rules and has some drafts in the works. But, the tech world doesn’t hold its breath and has been advancing at lightning speed. Just look at OpenAI’s chatbot, ChatGPT, stealing the show.

They’ve been working on the EU AI Act since 2021, and are hoping to get it passed before year-end. But even if it does get passed, it won’t take effect for another year or so, which is why they’re eager for this pact.

In other news, Margrethe Vestager, who’s spearheading the EU’s digital strategy, hinted that the EU and U.S. might team up on some ground rules before the big AI Act comes into play.

Meanwhile, the EU’s still got some tricks up its sleeve with the GDPR that can regulate certain AI apps. Plus, there’s a couple of new acts coming down the pike, the DSA and DMA, that might lay down the law for AI app makers.

Even with all that, the EU’s doubling down on the need for dedicated AI rules. Google’s jumping at the chance to be in the mix on this. Guess we’re about to see an AI regulation showdown!


Elon thinks AI could become humanity’s uber-nanny: Excerpts from a dinner convo

At the Wall Street Journal CEO Council conference, Elon Musk played hopscotch with topics from Twitter, AI, Mars, and more. The audience got a taste of Musk’s well-known knack for talking circles. Highlights included his outlook on Twitter as a “town square”, a space for everyone to have their say – from the left, middle, to the right. And boy, it’s not just talk, he’s building a media company for it.

Musk also chatted about juggling his time between his many ventures with only a part-time assistant, since he feels no one else can prioritize his schedule as he does. Meanwhile, he’s pretty downbeat on AI, though he contradicts himself by saying AI won’t destroy humanity, but rather might take on an ‘uber-nanny’ role.

On the Twitter front, he claimed the platform has done a clean-up job, giving the boot to hate speech and most spammers, making it a better place for advertisers. He also assured that he and Twitter’s new CEO will be in cahoots over moderation. And, yes, Twitter will be on a hiring spree again.

For Musk, free speech isn’t a matter of debate, and he isn’t a fan of holding his tongue. He sees censoring as a boomerang that will eventually come back to you. He’s less cool with AI’s free speech though, and he’s been advocating for AI regulation. To counter the threat of AI being weaponized on social media, Musk wants to move Twitter towards being a subscription-based system – the idea being, it’s harder for bots to fake authenticity when there’s money involved. Only time will tell how much of this saga unfolds as he envisions.


Microsoft aims to win the AI app race with three big advantages

Alrighty, here’s the lowdown, folks. Microsoft is gunning for the big leagues in the AI app world. They’ve got a new trick up their sleeve, expanding their Copilot applications with a new plugin standard. The goal? To be the bee’s knees in AI, bringing developers to their yard.

But it ain’t no walk in the park. Google’s stepping up to the plate with their own AI, Bard, and it’s set to play nice with a bunch of apps. According to some bigwig at Gartner Research, this AI showdown ain’t about fancy hardware, it’s about who’s got the best building blocks (or APIs, as the techies call ’em). And switching sides? Apparently as easy as changing your socks.

Microsoft might be in the driver’s seat here, though. They’ve got three aces in their hand: first-mover advantage with OpenAI, a brand name that’s as strong as an ox, and a loyal horde of developers ready to conquer the AI world.

Yet, there are folks saying, “Hold your horses, Microsoft.” The company’s big AI push is like trying to catch lightning in a bottle. They’ve spent big bucks partnering with OpenAI, but whether people are ready to dive headfirst into a Microsoft-led AI world is still up in the air. There could be pushback, especially from businesses looking to keep their data under wraps and go their own way with AI customization.

On top of it all, there are safety and accountability concerns, like keeping everyone in check when the AI playground gets crowded. One brainiac from Brown University reckons the real challenge is setting up guardrails where people are affected.

So, that’s the scoop. Microsoft’s making a play for AI app supremacy, but it’s still anyone’s game. Buckle up, folks. It’s gonna be a wild ride.