Google’s ambitious plan to overhaul its virtual assistant with advanced AI technology, reshaping how consumers and developers engage with the platform


Google Assistant to get an AI makeover

Google’s Assistant is set for a big makeover, using snazzy AI technology akin to ChatGPT and Google’s own Bard chatbo. This shake-up signifies a major shift for Google, impacting how Assistant serves customers, developers, and employees alike. The current and new AI-infused Assistant will co-exist.

What does this AI injection mean for Assistant? In simple terms, it could now chat more naturally, give more detailed responses, and smartly complete tasks. The new Assistant might tap into LaMDA, Google’s conversational AI, which allows chatbots like Bard to carry out human-like convos. This could mean Assistant might better understand and respond to your chat contextually.

The revamped Assistant is likely to be a game-changer for folks used to the current version’s limitations. Plus, if Google opens up access to third-party apps, we might see an influx of new voice apps and experiences driven by this AI advancement.


Meta prepares chatbots with personas to try to retain users

Meta, the Facebook bigwig, is gearing up to roll out AI-powered chatbots next month. The goal? To spice up interaction on their platforms and keep folks around longer. These guys are packed with personality, from an Abe Lincoln doppelgänger to a surfer dude with travel tips. These “personas” aim to be a new, playful way to search and offer advice.

During a recent earnings call, Zuckerberg mentioned plans for AI to help with customer service and other business interactions. He also hinted at the future creation of chatbots for the metaverse. It’s clear Zuck is putting a lot of thought and energy into this.

Meta’s been putting its money into AI that can generate text, images, and code, and has just released a commercial version of such an AI called Llama 2, which could power its new chatbots.


Dell is all in on generative AI

Dell is rolling out its Generative AI Solutions for clients to tap into large language models and put together generative AI projects. They’re offering new hardware setups, a platform service that’s looked after for you, and computers that’ll get your AI project done quicker.

Dell’s buddied up with Nvidia for the infrastructure part, merging Nvidia’s Tensor Core GPU and Dell’s own AI software and data storage. The result? Companies can speed through their AI models quicker. Dell’s also putting out new computers with built-in AI skills that they say will be compact, battery-saving machines.

Dell is also launching its Professional Services, a platform service that will guide users as they start dabbling with generative AI models and fix any hiccups once these models are part of their businesses.


Leaked Email Shows Amazon Formed A New Group To Work On The ‘Most Ambitious’ AI Models

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy has kicked up Rohit Prasad, SVP and head scientist for Alexa, to directly report to him and lead a new AI team. The aim? Tackle the company’s “most ambitious” large language models (LLMs).

LLMs are the tech backbone of AI tools, which learn from huge piles of data to churn out responses that sound like they came from a human. Big guns like OpenAI, Google, and Meta have wowed everyone with their hefty, powerful LLMs, and Amazon has got a few of their own, including Alexa Teacher Model and Titan.

Prasad, who has been a top dog on the Alexa team for over a decade, will take charge of a “central team” to build Amazon’s most comprehensive LLMs. He will still be engaged in his previous role in Amazon’s devices and services team.


Instagram reportedly developing new AI features, including an AI-generated image detector

Meta is reportedly developing new AI features for Instagram that will directly impact user experience, according to leaked screenshots shared by app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi. Unlike most social media platforms where generative AI is primarily used to aid marketers and businesses, Instagram is focusing on AI features that enhance user interaction and content creation.

One significant feature under development is labels that help users distinguish between AI-generated and real photos. This could have a substantial impact on user experience and help curb misinformation.

Direct message summaries are another feature under development, which could prove beneficial for influencers and content creators who receive a large volume of messages.

Instagram is also developing tools to make photo editing easier using generative AI. The ‘Restyle’ tool would let users transform their images into any visual style they prompt, while the ‘AI Brush’ tool could add or replace specific parts of an image. These would be similar to Samsung’s Object Eraser feature or Google Pixel’s Magic Eraser.


AD Verification Company DoubleVerify To Acquire AI Firm Scibids In $125 Million Deal

DoubleVerify, an ad verification company, has announced its plan to acquire Scibids, an AI-powered adtech firm, in a cash and stock deal valued at approximately $125 million. DoubleVerify’s technology helps marketers ensure their ads are viewed by real people and do not appear next to inappropriate content. Scibids uses data from a marketer’s advertising stack to automate bidding in ad auctions and manage campaign budgets.

The companies initiated a partnership in June to launch the “DoubleVerify Algorithmic Optimizer”, a product that combines DoubleVerify’s media quality and ad performance data with Scibids’ AI algorithms. This partnership enables advertisers to optimize their campaign performance. According to DoubleVerify CEO Mark Zagorski, Scibids’ technology significantly improved user attention levels and the number of impressions DoubleVerify won in ad auctions for various campaigns with Fortune 500 brands.


Flapmax Partners with Intel to Accelerate AI Innovation in Africa

Flapmax, an AI company, has announced a strategic partnership with Intel to promote AI innovation and stimulate economic empowerment in Africa. This collaboration will offer technology access, training, mentorship, and funding opportunities to entrepreneurs in emerging markets through the FAST Accelerator program. The program, created by Flapmax in partnership with Microsoft, is designed to assist startups that are building cloud-based and AI-enabled products and services that support communities, companies, and governments.

The program seeks to bring advanced technologies and curricula, including generative AI, robotics, and deep tech, to innovators in Africa and other technologically underserved communities.

Program participants will work closely with Intel through extensive mentorship and coaching. The Flapmax engineering team will assist startups in applying new Intel-optimized AI hardware and software solutions, scaling and fine-tuning their AI models on Microsoft Azure cloud platform. Participants will also gain access to the Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub, Azure OpenAI, as well as Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365 developer sandboxes.


Shopify Has Conducted Quiet Layoffs In Recent Weeks. Big AI Plans Have Workers Worried A Larger Cut Is On The Way

Shopify employees are reportedly worried about potential mass layoffs as the e-commerce giant moves to incorporate more AI into its customer support operations. In recent weeks, the company has quietly laid off several employees across various departments, including customer support, engineering, and marketing.

Shopify executives shared plans to integrate more AI into their customer support experience. Their goal is to automate responses to simpler inquiries from merchants, reducing the need for human involvement unless necessary. This might result in a decrease in the overall work volume for support advisors but increase the time spent on each case.


News Corp using AI to produce 3,000 Australian local news stories a week

News Corp Australia is leveraging generative artificial intelligence (AI) technology to produce 3,000 local news articles per week. Revealed by executive chair Michael Miller at the World News Media Congress in Taipei, the initiative involves a team of four staff utilizing AI to generate stories on weather, fuel prices, and traffic conditions for local communities.

This AI-powered unit, named Data Local, is managed by News Corp’s data journalism editor Peter Judd. The stories produced by this technology supplement copy written by reporters for the company’s 75 “hyperlocal” mastheads across the country, in areas such as Penrith, Lismore, Fairfield, Bundaberg, and Cairns.

These AI-generated stories, such as “Where to find the cheapest fuel in Penrith”, are monitored and managed by human journalists. However, there is no on-page disclosure that the reports are compiled using AI.

In addition to local stories, the AI system is also used to provide up-to-date service information such as fuel prices, daily court lists, traffic, weather, death, and funeral notices. This information is overseen by journalists from the Data Local team.


Shocking Skill! AI Can Predict Which Employees Will Quit And When

Artificial intelligence (AI) is playing an increasingly important role in human resource management, enabling organizations to predict which employees are likely to quit and when they might do so. This groundbreaking development was shared by Sharon Davies, the managing director of the recruitment company Talent Propeller.

AI’s ability to forecast employee departures could significantly impact workforce planning. It provides detailed analyses and reports that can help mitigate potential disruptions caused by unexpected resignations of crucial staff members. Davies explained, “The AI can tell you ‘Mary who works in this team has a 50% chance of leaving her role within three months’.”

This new capability could enable managers to proactively take steps to retain employees or engage in constructive discussions about their career aspirations and requirements. AI-generated insights could suggest strategies such as offering salary increases to retain an employee for a longer period.