Growth in Ad Sales, AWS Drive Amazon Profit Up 200 Percent

Amazon’s net sales for Q4 were $170 billion, a 14 percent increase year-over-year. For the full year 2023, net sales were up by 12 percent to $574.8 billion. “This Q4 was a record-breaking holiday shopping season and closed out a robust 2023 for Amazon,” CEO Andy Jassy said in the recent earnings release. The results included October Prime Day and holiday season shopping. Outstanding Q4 performers included ad sales, up 27 percent to $14 billion, and Amazon Web Services, which brought in $24.2 billion, growing 13 percent.”What we’re most pleased with is the continued invention and customer experience improvements across our businesses,” Jassy added. Continue reading Growth in Ad Sales, AWS Drive Amazon Profit Up 200 Percent

Meta Combines Research Units to Develop Open-Source AGI

In a Threads post last week, Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company’s new frontier is open-source artificial general intelligence (AGI). Meta has united its FAIR and GenAI research teams behind the goal of developing such a platform, which Zuckerberg described as part of the company’s “long-term vision.” “The next generation of services required is building full general intelligence, building the best AI assistants, AIs for creators, AIs for businesses and more,” Zuckerberg said, explaining that will require “advances in every area of AI from reasoning to planning to coding to memory and other cognitive abilities.” Continue reading Meta Combines Research Units to Develop Open-Source AGI

CES: Microsoft Rolling Out a Copilot Hotkey for Windows PCs

Microsoft is introducing a dedicated AI Copilot hotkey on Windows 11 laptops and PCs. The move, announced at CES 2024, heralds “the year of the AI PC,” according to Microsoft Executive VP and Consumer CMO Yusuf Mehdi, who said the keyboard enhancement will “not only simplify people’s computing experience but also amplify it.” The addition of the Copilot key is the first big change to the Windows PC keyboard since the four-paned Windows key was introduced in 1994. When pressed, the new key will open Copilot for seamless engagement with artificial intelligence. Continue reading CES: Microsoft Rolling Out a Copilot Hotkey for Windows PCs

Google’s NotebookLM is a Personalized Lite Language Model

Google personalized AI assistant NotebookLM is an experimental product that has been in early access since July. Now the company is integrating its new Gemini Pro LLM with NotebookLM and making it available to U.S. residents 18 and older. NotebookLM is engineered “to help you do your best thinking,” Google says, with documents uploaded to the service making it “an instant expert in the information you need,” allowing it to answer questions about your data. Unlike generic chatbots, NotebookLM draws responses from the documents you feed it, meaning it will be hyper-focused — a lite version of a custom trained model. Continue reading Google’s NotebookLM is a Personalized Lite Language Model

Bill Gates Imagines Agents as the Human-Computer Interface

Bill Gates has published his thinking about the future of computing, and fascinatingly, it’s the same as his prediction from decades ago: agents. No mere bots — and certainly not anthropomorphized paperclips — agents (to Gates) will abstract almost all HCI to a natural language conversation with systems that have our permission to take meaningful actions. Gates makes a highly specific prediction: within five years, the very idea of an app itself will seem as outdated as a rotary phone dial does next to an iPhone. A conversational UI will sit on top of a language model that has access to as much of our private data as we wish to give it. Continue reading Bill Gates Imagines Agents as the Human-Computer Interface

GitHub Copilot Brings AI-Powered Coding Tool to Enterprise

GitHub Copilot Chat for enterprise becomes generally available in December, and the GitHub site is integrating the artificial intelligence assistant across its entire platform, promising that AI will infuse every step of the developer lifecycle. “Just as GitHub was founded on Git, today we are re-founded on Copilot,” the Microsoft-owned company announced this month. Powered by OpenAI’s GPT-4, the new configuration will offer inline Copilot Chat for code questions, contextual guidance and “slash commands” for /fix and /test. The AI tool is designed to assist coders with their everyday workflows with a series of “one-click” assists and other shortcuts. Continue reading GitHub Copilot Brings AI-Powered Coding Tool to Enterprise

Samsung Is an Early Mover in Mobile LLM Space with Gauss

Samsung Electronics has unveiled a generative AI model called Samsung Gauss designed specifically for artificial intelligence apps on mobile devices. If Samsung deploys Gauss to its smartphones anytime soon it would be among the first handset makers to natively integrate generative AI, putting it ahead of Apple. Gauss was revealed at the Samsung AI Forum 2023 in Korea, held by Samsung Research. Gauss is a large language model that facilitates tasks such as composing emails, summarizing documents and translating content. Samsung says it also enables smarter device control when integrated into products. Continue reading Samsung Is an Early Mover in Mobile LLM Space with Gauss

Yasa-1: Startup Reka Launches New AI Multimodal Assistant

Startup Reka AI is releasing in preview its first artificial intelligence assistant, Yasa-1. The multimodal AI is described as “a language assistant with visual and auditory sensors.” The year-old company says it “trained Yasa-1 from scratch,” including pretraining foundation models “from ground zero,” then aligning them and optimizing to its training and server infrastructures. “Yasa-1 is not just a text assistant, it also understands images, short videos and audio (yes, sounds too),” said Reka AI co-founder and Chief Scientist Yi Tay. Yasa-1 is available via Reka’s APIs and as docker containers for on-site or virtual private cloud deployment. Continue reading Yasa-1: Startup Reka Launches New AI Multimodal Assistant

Zoom Reveals Upcoming Collaboration Tools Powered by AI

Zoom Communications kicked off its Zoomtopia 2023 confab with innovations underpinned by artificial intelligence. It’s showpiece, Zoom Docs, is a collaboration tool built from the ground up around AI. The modular workspace integrates with Zoom and third-party apps as a way to streamline teamwork, manage projects and stay organized. Scheduled for general release in 2024, Zoom Docs combines traditional document functionality with AI assists for things like adding content generated from Zoom Meetings to docs, summarization and search. Zoom Docs leverages the power of the previously announced Zoom AI Companion, a GenAI assistant that just got whiteboard capability. Continue reading Zoom Reveals Upcoming Collaboration Tools Powered by AI

AI Wearable Makes Its Runway Debut at Paris Fashion Week

“Smartphones helped us evolve into the modern, connected humans that we are,” but now the world is ready for the next step, which is “screenless” computing, Humane Chairman and President Imran Chaudhri said at a TED Talks appearance earlier this year. Now, Humane has debuted what some are calling “a futuristic AI pin wearable” at Paris Fashion Week. Styled the “Humane Ai Pin,” the connected device is an “intelligent clothing-based wearable” that “uses a range of sensors that enable natural and intuitive compute interactions” designed to integrate seamlessly into users’ day-to-day lives. Continue reading AI Wearable Makes Its Runway Debut at Paris Fashion Week

SAP Plans to Launch Its New AI Assistant ‘Joule’ in November

Enterprise software firm SAP is launching its own AI assistant named “Joule,” which will be embedded throughout the company’s cloud portfolio, offering users contextualized insights across SAP apps and third-party sources on both desktop and mobile platforms. The German business solutions giant has an estimated 300 million global enterprise users using its software for applications related to managing human resources, finance, supply chain, procurement and customer experience, as well as the underlying SAP Business Technology Platform. Continue reading SAP Plans to Launch Its New AI Assistant ‘Joule’ in November

Wix AI Site Generator Builds Websites Using Only AI Prompts

Global SaaS and website creation platform Wix Ltd. will release an AI Site Generator that allows people to create websites using only natural language artificial intelligence prompts. The generator will include a suite of AI-powered capabilities, many of which Wix is already offering as part of its template-based site-building framework. The package “significantly streamlines the entire website-building, design and management process,” offering automated tools that provide the opportunity for Wix users to “operationalize and grow their businesses with never-before-seen ease,” the company co-founder and CEO Avishai Abrahami said. Continue reading Wix AI Site Generator Builds Websites Using Only AI Prompts

JoshGPT Offers Conversational AI to Control the Smart Home

Smart home platform Josh.ai is rolling out JoshGPT and a handheld remote control that allows users to integrate operational functionalities with a generative assistant that answers questions across all topics. The new features are intended to make Josh.ai a contender against Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and the Apple HomeKit. With its Josh app, location-aware Josh Micro with Nano microphones and handheld Josh Remote, the company says Josh.ai is “more than a voice add-on, it is the industry’s only multifaceted control system.” Custom software also lets Josh Remote simplify installation and provide a dedicated experience for each household TV. Continue reading JoshGPT Offers Conversational AI to Control the Smart Home

Zuckerberg Shares Meta Strategy with Staff After Rocky Year

Following nine months of difficult repositioning that included layoffs and consolidation as Meta Platforms segued to its “year of efficiency,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently shared his plans for the company’s future with employees at an all-hands meeting. In a discussion that has been reported as an effort to help bolster staff morale during this challenging period, Zuckerberg explained his strategy regarding job cuts, offered insight on the tech giant’s approach to artificial intelligence, and took a swipe at Apple’s upcoming Vision Pro mixed reality headset while talking about his goals for VR and the metaverse. Continue reading Zuckerberg Shares Meta Strategy with Staff After Rocky Year

Anthropic Takes Claude Chatbot Public After Months of Tests

After several months of testing, Anthropic is making its AI chatbot Claude available for general release in two configurations: the high-performace Claude and a lighter, cheaper, faster option called Claude Instant. Anthropic was launched in 2021 by a pair of former OpenAI employees, and its Claude chatbots are competitors to that firm’s ChatGPT. Accessible through a chat interface and API in Anthropic’s developer console, Claude is being marketed as the product of training designed to produce a more “helpful, honest, and harmless AI systems.” To that end, Anthropic says “Claude is much less likely to produce harmful outputs.” Continue reading Anthropic Takes Claude Chatbot Public After Months of Tests