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Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is more a part of our lives than ever before. While some might call it hype and compare it to NFTs or 3D TVs, AI is causing a sea change in nearly every facet of life that technology touches. Bing wants to know you intimately, Bard wants to reduce websites to easy-to-read cards, and ChatGPT has infiltrated nearly every part of our lives. At The Verge, we’re exploring all the good AI is enabling and all the bad it’s bringing along.

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Microsoft’s Edge Copilot AI can’t really summarize every YouTube video

The chatbot’s summarization feature relies on preprocessed video data or existing subtitles and transcripts.

EU reaches provisional agreement on AI Act, paving way for landmark law

The set of comprehensive rules that will govern AI in Europe could serve as a benchmark for other countries.

ChatGPT is winning the future — but what future is that?

OpenAI didn’t mean to kickstart a generational shift in the technology industry. But it did. Now all we have to decide is where to go from here.

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Not a flattering portrayal of Sam Altman.

A new report from The Washington Post says that senior OpenAI staffers had indicated to the board Altman had been “psychologically abusive.” The board had also worried that it couldn’t keep Altman accountable.

All of that contributed to Altman’s firing, the report says — though, as we now know, Altman ultimately came out on top.

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Google is reportedly working on a project that lets AI models tell someone's “life story.”

Project Ellmann, named after biographer and literary critic Richard David Ellmann, will take users’ search results and photos to make a chatbot able to answer “previously impossible questions.”

CNBC saw documents presenting Ellmann and said the goal is to present a “bird’s-eye” approach to a person’s life. Ellmann allegedly categorizes moments into chapters: for example, the “college” chapter or the “becomes a parent” chapter. People could use Ellmann to ask questions like “did I have a pet,” or “when did my sibling last visit.”
Google tells The Verge that Ellmann was an early internal experiment. “Google Photos has always used AI to help people search their photos and videos,” the company said. It added if they decide to roll out features like Ellmann they would “take the time needed to ensure they were helpful and designed to protect users’ privacy.”

Personally, this type of hyperpersonalization is lost on me because I have a good enough memory of my life that I wish I could forget certain moments.

Sam Altman on being fired and rehired by OpenAI

“I totally get why people want an answer right now. But I also think it’s totally unreasonable to expect it.”

Bing, Bard, and ChatGPT: How AI is rewriting the internet

How we use the internet is changing fast thanks to the advancement of AI-powered chatbots that can find information and redeliver it as a simple conversation.

Everything we know so far about OpenAI, Sam Altman’s return, and what happens next

OpenAI’s board suddenly removed CEO Sam Altman on November 17th. Now he’s back. What just happened, and what will happen next?

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The UK’s antitrust watchdog has eyes on Microsoft’s partnership with OpenAI.

The CMA is asking whether the relationship and “recent developments” between the two companies constitutes a merger that impacts competition in the UK.

“The only thing that has changed is that Microsoft will now have a non-voting observer on OpenAI’s Board, which is very different from an acquisition such as Google’s purchase of DeepMind in the UK,” said Microsoft’s president Brad Smith to Bloomberg.

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Papa John’s used an AI platform to create Spanish subtitles and narration for a commercial with Shaq.

Moises, the audio tech app behind it, officially launched Music.AI today. It offers a mix of proprietary AI models and third-party tools for commercial use. The APIs also include one for vocal extraction, downbeat detection, and a tool that can transform a song into a video (complete with synchronized lyrics) — among others.

Papa Johns Shaq-A-Roni TV Spot, 'Mucho más Pepperoni' canción de Young MC

[ | Realtime TV Advertising Performance Measurement]

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OpenAI is low on Toner.

Helen Toner, one of the board members who fired Sam Altman and then ousted herself when Altman returned, has given an interview to The Wall Street Journal. She is unable to give a specific reason for Altman’s firing beyond “Our goal in firing Sam was to strengthen OpenAI and make it more able to achieve its mission.”

Listen, babe, I am fully happy to hear you out, but if being full of shit is a firing offense for CEOs, everyone in the Fortune 500 would be looking for a new job.

With Dream Scenario, Nic Cage wants to let you in on a secret

Dream Scenario’s Nic Cage wants you to know that there’s a difference between maximalism and pushing the boundaries of filmmaking as an art.

What the AI quack!

Google launched its Gemini AI model earlier today to compete with OpenAI’s popular GPT-4. While Google has a number of videos demonstrating Gemini’s capabilities, the one below stood out to me.

This multimodal AI model is capable of reasoning across images, audio, video, code, and, of course, text. So you can start drawing, and Gemini will understand you’re drawing a duck, or you can set some cups down on a table with a paper ball and Gemini reasons you want to play a game. If Gemini can understand my poor attempts at doodling, then I’ll be the one shouting, “what the quack!”

AI art takes skills too.

And wow, I do not have them. So I flew to Berlin to learn from a “Promptographer,” and I came home with more generated pancakes than I know what to do with.

Inside Google’s big AI shuffle — and how it plans to stay competitive, with Google DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis

Google invented a lot of core AI technology, and now the company’s turning to Demis to get back in front of the AI race for AI breakthroughs.

OpenAI execs dubbed ChatGPT a “Low key research preview.”

The phrase became an internal joke after ChatGPT’s popularity exploded right out of the gate, according to the NYT’s recap of its launch a year ago and the reaction among Big Tech companies.

Google and Meta scrambled AI teams to launch competing products — even if that meant removing some guardrails — like Bard and LLaMa. And Microsoft’s rush to beat Google had Satya Nadella saying, “We have a big order coming to you, a really big order coming to you,” to Nvidia’s Jensen Huang as he ordered $2 billion in chips.

The GPU haves and have-nots.

This chart from Omdia Research estimating Nvidia’s largest customers this year has been making the rounds in my social media feeds.

As I wrote in an earlier issue of Command Line, these H100s are essentially the tech industry’s new gold, since they are the preferred workhorse for powering generative AI. The gap in shipment volume between Meta, Microsoft and everyone else is quite something, and tracks with what I’ve heard from sources in recent months.

A chart showing H100 GPU shipments this year.
Omdia Research
How many phone charges does an AI-generated image take?

The answer, according to a pre-print study, is about one. Researchers at AI company Hugging Face and Carnegie Mellon University found that general-purpose AI models like GPT-4 are “orders of magnitude” more power-hungry than purpose-made models powering products like Google Translate.

The study, though not yet peer-reviewed, puts into context the environmental cost of generative AI, particularly of inefficient models (one image from the least efficient image-creating model can use as much CO2 as an average gas car driving about 4 miles, for instance).

A chart showing the cost of different generative AI tasks — image generation sits at the high end, generating significantly more CO2 than text classification models.
A comparison of the power consumption required for different generative AI tasks.
Image: Hugging Face / Carnegie Mellon University

A better way to YouTube

Plus, in this week’s Installer: Tesla’s Cybertruck, Spotify Wrapped, the apps of the year, Wordle, and more.