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From ChatGPT to Gemini: how AI is rewriting the internet

Big players, including Microsoft, with Copilot, Google, with Gemini, and OpenAI, with ChatGPT-4, are making AI chatbot technology previously restricted to test labs more accessible to the general public.

How do these large language model (LLM) programs work? OpenAI’s GPT-3 told us that AI uses “a series of autocomplete-like programs to learn language” and that these programs analyze “the statistical properties of the language” to “make educated guesses based on the words you’ve typed previously.” 

Or, in the words of James Vincent, a human person: “These AI tools are vast autocomplete systems, trained to predict which word follows the next in any given sentence. As such, they have no hard-coded database of ‘facts’ to draw on — just the ability to write plausible-sounding statements. This means they have a tendency to present false information as truth since whether a given sentence sounds plausible does not guarantee its factuality.”

But there are so many more pieces to the AI landscape that are coming into play (and so many name changes — remember when we were talking about Bing and Bard last year?), but you can be sure to see it all unfold here on The Verge.

  • Gemini Advanced is most impressive when it’s working with Google

    Vector illustration of the Google Gemini logo.
    The Verge

    Chatbots occupy a tricky space for users — they have to be a search engine, a creation tool, and an assistant all at once. That’s especially true for a chatbot coming from Google, which is increasingly counting on AI to supplement its search engine, its voice assistant, and just about every productivity tool in its arsenal.

    Right now, the ultimate version of Google’s AI is Gemini Advanced, which launched last week for users willing to pay $20 per month for the privilege — the same price OpenAI charges for its upgraded ChatGPT Plus. So I plunked down $20 and decided to see how Gemini Advanced stood up to the rival service.

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  • Emma Roth

    Feb 13

    Emma Roth

    Google Gemini can hang onto your chats for up to three years.

    Google recently updated its privacy policy for Gemini — the chatbot it previously called Bard. It details just how long the company will keep conversations that are “reviewed or annotated” by human reviewers, despite whether you’ve deleted your app activity or not:

    Conversations that have been reviewed or annotated by human reviewers (and related data like your language, device type, location info, or feedback) are not deleted when you delete your Gemini Apps activity because they are kept separately and are not connected to your Google Account. Instead, they are retained for up to three years.

    To compare, ChatGPT lets you permanently delete conversations every 30 days.

  • OpenAI’s Dall-E sent a “shock wave of panic” through Adobe.

    That’s according to a new Bloomberg report, detailing how Adobe concentrated its efforts to build Firefly, the company’s own “commercially safe” generative AI model used in tools like Photoshop, following the success of rival tools like Midjourney.

    Analysts now anticipate that Adobe may be one of the first big tech companies to actually profit from AI. Meanwhile, Adobe Stock contributors who helped train Firefly, potentially unknowingly, receive annual payouts that are as low as $70.

  • ChatGPT is getting ‘memory’ to remember who you are and what you like

    ChatGPT logo in mint green and black colors.
    Illustration: The Verge

    Talking to an AI chatbot can feel a bit like Groundhog Day after a while, as you tell it for the umpteenth time how you like your emails formatted and which of those “fun things to do this weekend” you’ve already done six times. OpenAI is trying to fix that and personalize its own bot in a big way. It’s rolling out “memory” for ChatGPT, which will allow the bot to remember information about you and your conversations over time.

    Memory works in one of two ways. You can tell ChatGPT to remember something specific about you: you always write code in Javascript, your boss’s name is Anna, your kid is allergic to sweet potatoes. Or ChatGPT can simply try to pick up those details over time, storing information about you as you ask questions and get answers. In either case, the goal is for ChatGPT to feel a little more personal and a little smarter, without needing to be reminded every time.

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  • Feb 12

    Gregory Barber

    The return of the (robot) travel agent

    Illustration of a computer on vacation.
    Illustration by Erik Carter

    I was recently sitting in a hot tub with a friend — a glaciologist who studies how quickly the southern ice is sliding into the sea — when she mentioned that she had recently planned her honeymoon using ChatGPT. Our fellow bathers burst into laughter. “You’d done it, too?” This, apparently, is the present state of get-togethers among friends in their early 30s: six people and three AI-assisted honeymoons between them.

    My friend is a pro at arranging helicopters and snow cat brigades to remote wedges of ice. But she was overloaded with decisions about charger plates and floral arrangements, and had put the task of arranging a 12-day trip to Tasmania on her husband-to-be. A statistician, he was using ChatGPT to answer questions at work, following the advice of a mentor who told him he’d better make a habit of it. So he asked it for an itinerary that would emphasize the couple’s love of nature, adventure, and (it being a honeymoon) luxury. A specific request: time for at least one lengthy trail run.

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  • Mia Sato

    Feb 12

    Mia Sato

    When a death is clickbait

    A laughing skull made out of code.
    Illustration by Erik Carter

    In late December 2023, several of Brian Vastag and Beth Mazur’s friends were devastated to learn that the couple had suddenly died. Vastag and Mazur had dedicated their lives to advocating for disabled people and writing about chronic illness. As the obituaries surfaced on Google, members of their community began to dial each other up to share the terrible news, even reaching people on vacations halfway around the world. 

    Except Brian Vastag was very much alive, unaware of the fake obituaries that had leapt to the top of Google Search results. Beth Mazur had in fact passed away on December 21st, 2023. But the spammy articles that now filled the web claimed that Vastag himself had died that day, too.

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  • Wes Davis

    Feb 11

    Wes Davis

    Using generative AI to declare political victory.

    The AI-generated stand-in voice for imprisoned Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan claimed victory on behalf of his party in Pakistan’s parliamentary elections on Saturday, according to The New York Times.

    The party has used an AI version of his voice this way for months. As the Times writes, the use highlights both the usefulness and the danger of generative AI in elections.

  • Wes Davis

    Feb 10

    Wes Davis

    Google’s Gemini for Android doesn’t require “Hey Google” to auto-send queries anymore.

    Now, the chatbot formerly known as Bard will respond to your queries when you stop talking, regardless of how you summoned it. Before, that only worked when you invoked Google’s chatbot with the phrase “Hey Google.”

  • Microsoft’s Copilot AI can explain stuff to you in Notepad.

    The rumors are true, even Notepad is getting a generative AI boost. A new update called “Explain with Copilot” will help users decipher any text, code segments, or log files they select within the text editor as Microsoft’s AI add-on enters its second year.

    Microsoft announced the feature is in beta testing, available to Windows Insiders in the Canary and Dev Channels.

    A screenshot of the menu in Windows 11 allowing users to activate “Explain with Copilot” inside the Notepad app.
    A screenshot of Notepad’s new “Explain with Copilot” feature.
    Image: Microsoft
  • Google’s AI now goes by a new name: Gemini

    A Google logo sits at the center of ominous concentric circles
    Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

    Google is famous for having a million similar products with confusingly different names and seemingly nothing in common. (Can I interest you in a messaging app?) But when it comes to its AI work, going forward there is only one name that matters: Gemini.

    The company announced on Thursday that it is renaming its Bard chatbot to Gemini, releasing a dedicated Gemini app for Android, and even folding all its Duet AI features in Google Workspace into the Gemini brand. It also announced that Gemini Ultra 1.0 — the largest and most capable version of Google’s large language model — is being released to the public. 

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  • OpenAI is adding new watermarks to DALL-E 3

    King Potato surrounded by minion potatoes created by DALL-E 3
    Image: OpenAI

    OpenAI’s image generator DALL-E 3 will add watermarks to image metadata as more companies roll out support for standards from the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity (C2PA).

    The company says watermarks from C2PA will appear in images generated on the ChatGPT website and the API for the DALL-E 3 model. Mobile users will get the watermarks by February 12th. They’ll include both an invisible metadata component and a visible CR symbol, which will appear in the top left corner of each image.

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  • Hugging Face makes it easier to create its custom chatbots.

    Hugging Face tech lead Philipp Schmid posted yesterday that users can now create custom chatbots in “two clicks” using Hugging Chat Assistant. Users’ creations are then publicly available.

    Schmid directly compares the feature to OpenAI’s GPTs feature, and adds they can use “any available open LLM, like Llama2 or Mixtral.”

    A screenshot showing examples of Hugging Chat Assistants.
    Hugging Chat Assistants are available now.
    Image: Hugging Face
  • Microsoft’s AI Copilots can write sales emails for anyone.

    When Microsoft started its big AI push last year, it launched Copilot tools for Sales and Service to summarize meetings, manage customer lists, and find info for customer service agents, and now they’re more widely available.

    Microsoft isn’t the only one applying AI to these tasks — AWS announced a slew of generative AI services for contact centers in December, including transcriptions of audio calls and Q for Amazon Connect, which lets users ask questions about their data.

  • Amazon made an AI bot to talk you through buying more stuff on Amazon

    Image: Amazon

    Amazon has taken the wraps off of an AI shopping assistant, and it’s called Rufus — the same name as the company’s corgi mascot. The new chatbot is trained on Amazon’s product library and customer reviews, as well as information from the web, allowing it to answer questions about products, make comparisons, provide suggestions, and more.

    Rufus is still in beta and will only appear for “select customers” before rolling out to more users in the coming weeks. If you have access to the beta, you can open up a chat with Rufus by launching Amazon’s mobile app and then typing or speaking questions into the search bar. A Rufus chat window will show up at the bottom of your screen, which you can expand to get an answer to your question, select suggested questions, or ask another question.

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  • Google Maps is getting ‘supercharged’ with generative AI

    Google Maps with generative AI
    Image: Google

    Google is bringing generative AI to — where else? — Google Maps, promising to help users find cool places through the use of large language models (LLM).

    The feature will answer queries for restaurant or shopping recommendations, for example, using its LLM to “analyze Maps’ detailed information about more than 250 million places and trusted insights from our community of over 300 million contributors to quickly make suggestions for where to go.”

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  • Microsoft LASERs away LLM inaccuracies

    Microsoft logo
    Illustration: The Verge

    During the January Microsoft Research Forum, Dipendra Misra, a senior researcher at Microsoft Research Lab NYC and AI Frontiers, explained how Layer-Selective Rank Reduction (or LASER) can make large language models more accurate. 

    With LASER, researchers can “intervene” and replace one weight matrix with an approximate smaller one. Weights are the contextual connections models make. The heavier the weight, the more the model relies on it. So, does replacing something with more correlations and contexts make the model less accurate? Based on their test results, the answer, surprisingly, is no. 

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  • Wes Davis

    Jan 31

    Wes Davis

    ChatGPT continues to be a bad lawyer.

    New York lawyer Jae Lee will face an attorney grievance panel after trusting known liar ChatGPT for case research.

    The court’s order says Lee filed a “defective brief” citing a made-up case. Lee isn’t alone — others have fallen for the allure of chatbots, including former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and counsel representing a member of The Fugees.

  • Meta’s free Code Llama AI programming tool closes the gap with GPT-4

    Meta logo on blue background
    Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

    Meta’s latest update to its code generation AI model, Code Llama 70B, is “the largest and best-performing model” yet. Code Llama tools launched in August and are free for both research and commercial use. According to a post on Meta’s AI blog, Code Llama 70B can handle more queries than previous versions, which means developers can feed it more prompts while programming, and it can be more accurate.

    Code Llama 70B scored 53 percent in accuracy on the HumanEval benchmark, performing better than GPT-3.5’s 48.1 percent and closer to the 67 percent mark an OpenAI paper (PDF) reported for GPT-4.

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  • Arc Search combines browser, search engine, and AI into something new and different

    Three screenshots showing Arc Search on an iPhone.
    Arc Search browses the web for you and then builds you the webpage you wanted. That’s the idea, anyway.
    Image: The Browser Company / David Pierce

    A few minutes ago, I opened the new Arc Search app and typed, “What happened in the Chiefs game?” That game, the AFC Championship, had just wrapped up. Normally, I’d Google it, click on a few links, and read about the game that way. But in Arc Search, I typed the query and tapped the “Browse for me” button instead.

    Arc Search, the new iOS app from The Browser Company, which has been working on a browser called Arc for the last few years, went to work. It scoured the web — reading six pages, it told me, from Twitter to The Guardian to USA Today — and returned a bunch of information a few seconds later. I got the headline: Chiefs win. I got the final score, the key play, a “notable event” that also just said the Chiefs won, a note about Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift, a bunch of related links, and some more bullet points about the game.

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  • Google’s Lumiere brings AI video closer to real than unreal

    Google’s new video generation AI model Lumiere uses a new diffusion model called Space-Time-U-Net, or STUNet, that figures out where things are in a video (space) and how they simultaneously move and change (time). Ars Technica reports this method lets Lumiere create the video in one process instead of putting smaller still frames together. 

    Lumiere starts with creating a base frame from the prompt. Then, it uses the STUNet framework to begin approximating where objects within that frame will move to create more frames that flow into each other, creating the appearance of seamless motion. Lumiere also generates 80 frames compared to 25 frames from Stable Video Diffusion.

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  • OpenAI cures GPT-4 ‘laziness’ with new updates

    A rendition of OpenAI’s logo, which looks like a stylized whirlpool.
    Illustration: The Verge

    In a blog post, OpenAI said the updated GPT-4 Turbo “completes tasks like code generation more thoroughly than the previous preview model and is intended to reduce cases of ‘laziness’ where the model doesn’t complete a task.”

    The company, however, did not explain what it updated.

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  • Google’s Hugging Face deal puts ‘supercomputer’ power behind open-source AI

    An illustration of a cartoon brain with a computer chip imposed on top.
    Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

    Google Cloud’s new partnership with AI model repository Hugging Face is letting developers build, train, and deploy AI models without needing to pay for a Google Cloud subscription. Now, outside developers using Hugging Face’s platform will have “cost-effective” access to Google’s tensor processing units (TPU) and GPU supercomputers, which will include thousands of Nvidia’s in-demand and export-restricted H100s.

    Hugging Face is one of the more popular AI model repositories, storing open-sourced foundation models like Meta’s Llama 2 and Stability AI’s Stable Diffusion. It also has many databases for model training.

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  • Google cancels contract with an AI data firm that’s helped train Bard

    A graphic showing Bard’s logo with Gmail, Drive, Docs, and other apps
    Image: Google

    Google ended its contract with Appen, an Australian data company involved in training its large language model AI tools used in Bard, Search, and other products, even as the competition to develop generative AI tools increases. “Our decision to end the contract was made as part of our ongoing effort to evaluate and adjust many of our supplier partnerships across Alphabet to ensure our vendor operations are as efficient as possible,” Google spokesperson Courtenay Mencini said in a statement sent to The Verge

    Appen notified the Australian Securities Exchange in a filing, saying it “had no prior knowledge of Google’s decision to terminate the contract.”

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  • Microsoft is building a team to build smaller, cheaper AI models.

    The Information reports the new GenAI team will focus on developing smaller language models (SLMs) that are similar to LLMs like OpenAI’s GPT-4 but use less computing power. Microsoft spent hundreds of millions on chips for one supercomputer to run AI models, so any saving helps.

    The GenAI team will be led by Microsoft corporate vice president Misha Bilenko and report to Microsoft CTO Kevin Scott.

    Correction January 26th, 2024, 10:08AM ET: The Information has updated its earlier report, which said this will be part of the Azure cloud unit. It will in fact report to Microsoft’s CTO Kevin Scott.

  • Wes Davis

    Jan 21

    Wes Davis

    OpenAI banned a political chatbot developer in its first election misinformation action.

    Yesterday, The Washington Post reported that AI start-up Delphi cannot use OpenAI’s platform after it created Dean.Bot, a chatbot mimicking Representative Dean Phillips (D-MN) for a super PAC supporting his presidential bid.

    The bot ran afoul of OpenAI’s recently adopted misinformation policy that, among other things, disallows political campaigning using ChatGPT. The super PAC will reportedly try again with an open-source alternative.