Meta’s WhatsApp Launches Voice Chat for Up to 128 People

Meta Platforms-owned instant messaging and VoIP service WhatsApp has updated its Voice Chat feature for mobile so it can now host group calls of up to 128 participants. Voice chats allow WhatsApp users to instantly talk live with members of a group chat while still being able to message within the group. The new feature, which is being compared to a Discord server, is being rolled out globally. The idea is to have the Voice Chat be less disruptive than group calling, which rings-in all group members. Voice chats can be quietly started with an in-chat bubble users tap to join. The updated version will have end-to-end encryption by default. Continue reading Meta’s WhatsApp Launches Voice Chat for Up to 128 People

Microsoft’s Next Generation of Bing AI Interacts with Images

Microsoft’s AI-powered Bing search engine has been drawing in excess of 100 million daily active users and logged half a billion chats. With OpenAI’s GPT-4 and DALL-E 2 models driving the action, it has also created over 200 million images since debuting in limited preview in February. Seeking to build on that momentum, Microsoft is adding new features and integrating Bing more tightly with its Edge browser. The company is also ditching its waitlist in a move to open preview. “We’re underway with the transformation of search,” CVP and consumer CMO Yusuf Mehdi said at a preview event last week. Continue reading Microsoft’s Next Generation of Bing AI Interacts with Images

OpenAI Previews ChatGPT Business, Unveils Privacy Controls

OpenAI is readying ChatGPT Business, a new subscription tier “for professionals who need more control over their data as well as enterprises seeking to manage their end users.” Pricing plans have yet to be disclosed for ChatGPT Business, which will be rolling out in the coming months, but OpenAI said it will adhere to the company’s API’s data usage policies, which means that by default end users’ data would not be used to train its models. The business plan was mentioned as part of an announcement disclosing that all ChatGPT users now have the ability to turn off their chat history. Continue reading OpenAI Previews ChatGPT Business, Unveils Privacy Controls

Google Cloud Partners with Replit to Develop AI Coding Tools

Google has teamed with San Francisco startup Replit in a bid to challenge Microsoft’s GitHub and the Github Copilot code generator launched in conjunction with OpenAI. Under the new partnership, Replit developers will get access to Google Cloud infrastructure, services, and foundation models via Replit’s software development AI, called Ghostwriter, while Google Cloud and Workspace developers will get access to Replit’s collaborative code editing platform. Replit, which says 20 million developers use its platform, launched Ghostwriter in the fall and in January added a conversational AI interface for generating code and debugging. Continue reading Google Cloud Partners with Replit to Develop AI Coding Tools

Microsoft Upgrades Teams with Avatars, AI, Improved Speed

On the heels of its success debuting the new Bing AI search engine, Microsoft has revamped Teams, promising twice the performance using half the memory resources and allowing users to appear as 3D avatars in video meetings. Teams now features AI and the interface has been redesigned. For now, the new Teams is available only to those who opt-in to a public preview for Windows users, though Microsoft plans to make it more widely available (including on Apple devices) later this  year. In January, Microsoft reported Teams had 280 million monthly active users, up from 250 million in July 2021. Continue reading Microsoft Upgrades Teams with Avatars, AI, Improved Speed

Microsoft Introduces Visual AI Tools to Bing, Edge Platforms

Microsoft is bringing Bing Image Creator to the new Bing search engine and Edge browser. Powered by an advanced version of the DALL-E model from OpenAI, the new tools will allow users to generate images using word prompts to describe what they want to want to create. The news comes as Microsoft says its new Bing AI Copilot has had “more than 100 million chats to date,” with people using it to refine answers to complex questions or as entertainment or creative inspiration. Bing data indicates images are one of the most searched categories, second only to general web searches, according to Microsoft. Continue reading Microsoft Introduces Visual AI Tools to Bing, Edge Platforms

Microsoft Creating AI Updates for Business Productivity Apps

Microsoft is giving its Office 365 productivity suite an AI update using OpenAI technology, including GPT-4, to power the new Microsoft 365 Copilot, “your copilot for work.” In February, Microsoft generated attention by adding ChatGPT to its Bing search platform, but it says Copilot is a much bigger deal. Combining the power of large language models with data in the Microsoft 365 apps, Copilot promises “more agency” via natural language, a “universal interface.” A new Business Chat feature turns prompts like “update my team on the new product strategy” into a summary of the latest meeting notes, emails and chat threads. Continue reading Microsoft Creating AI Updates for Business Productivity Apps

Discord Integrates OpenAI Tech, Updates AI-Driven Features

Chat app Discord is expanding the use of artificial intelligence on its platform, including the addition of OpenAI technology to its chatbot and moderation features. Discord says it has 150 million users across 19 million interest groups, called “servers,” that dialogue using text, audio and video chat. Discord’s Midjourney text-to-image generation group is its largest community, with in excess of 13 million members. “Harnessed properly, AI can fundamentally enhance and empower genuine human connection,” Discord CEO Jason Citron said at a press event last week, heralding “the most exciting moments in technology emerging.” Continue reading Discord Integrates OpenAI Tech, Updates AI-Driven Features

Baidu Rushes Ernie Launch to Meet China’s Chatbot Demand

China’s Baidu is racing to meet the March 16 deadline to debut Ernie Bot, which it hopes will be the Eastern equivalent to OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Teams have been working around the clock. In addition to programming duties, staff has been reaching out to borrow compute time on high-powered processors that Chinese companies can no longer purchase at their discretion due to U.S. sanctions. Ernie is still being trained ahead of its highly anticipated launch. Baidu intends to roll out its chatbot in stages, first to a limited pool of public users who can provide test feedback, observers say. Continue reading Baidu Rushes Ernie Launch to Meet China’s Chatbot Demand

Snapchat’s New AI Chatbot Is Powered by OpenAI GPT Tech

Snapchat is launching My AI, a new chatbot running a customized version of the latest GPT technology from OpenAI. Available as an experimental feature to subscribers with a $3.99 per month Snapchat+ account, My AI rolls out starting this week, offering everything from birthday gift recommendations to weekend recreational plans, recipes and auto-generated poetry and prose. “As with all AI-powered chatbots, My AI is prone to hallucination and can be tricked into saying just about anything,” Snapchat cautions, explaining that “all conversations with My AI will be stored and may be reviewed to improve the product experience.” Continue reading Snapchat’s New AI Chatbot Is Powered by OpenAI GPT Tech

AI ‘Inflection Point’ in 2023 Ushered in with Search, Browsing

It appears 2023 will mark a critical inflection point for artificial intelligence, according to Microsoft vice chair and president Brad Smith, who calls AI “the most consequential technology advance of our lifetime” and says it will change “almost everything. Because, like no technology before it, these AI advances augment humanity’s ability to think, reason, learn and express ourselves.” One example is Microsoft’s infusion of AI in two common tools — the search engine and the web browser — with new versions of its Bing search engine and Edge browser, tools positioned “as an AI co-pilot for the web.” Continue reading AI ‘Inflection Point’ in 2023 Ushered in with Search, Browsing

Microsoft Goes All-In on Teams Integration with HoloLens 2

Full Microsoft Teams integration has come to HoloLens 2 headsets, which are now able to make calls, browse and view calendars or join group meetings, among other things. Microsoft is also combining its key Dynamics 365 Mixed Reality Apps Teams and OneDrive to existing integrations with the Azure cloud and Power Platform. “No matter where they are,” HoloLens 2 users can “summon an array of holographic windows with a Teams call or chat, a Power BI dashboard, a Word document, a PDF or video, their OneDrive folder, or their calendar and operate in an immersive, 3D experience,” the company says. Continue reading Microsoft Goes All-In on Teams Integration with HoloLens 2

ChatGPT: OpenAI’s New Chatbot Draws Praise and Criticism

OpenAI’s new AI chatbot, ChatGPT, is taking the world by storm. “Quite simply, the best artificial intelligence chatbot ever released to the general public,” is how The New York Times describes ChatGPT, which more than a million people signed up for when it opened for testing last week. Screenshots of ChatGPT conversations blew up Twitter. “Something big is happening,” tweeted one fan. “I just had a 20-minute conversation with ChatGPT about the history of physics … OMG,” offered another. The acronym stands for “generative pre-trained transformer,” a language model that leverages deep learning to respond to text-based input with human-like responses. Continue reading ChatGPT: OpenAI’s New Chatbot Draws Praise and Criticism

YouTube’s Live Q&A Brings Order to Live-Stream Questioning

YouTube is adding a Live Q&A feature aimed at helping creators to interact with viewers during live streams. Now, when a Q&A starts a prompt will appear pinned to the top of the chat. As viewers begin chatting their questions, creators can select the ones they’re responding to and pin them at the top, too, so participants will know which query is being responded to. The new system brings some organization to what was a sometimes confusing Q&A format, with creators scrolling for questions and participants often clueless as to the context of the response. Continue reading YouTube’s Live Q&A Brings Order to Live-Stream Questioning

YouTube Offers Co-Streaming with ‘Go Live Together’ Feature

YouTube is getting ready to introduce a new feature called “Go Live Together” that allows qualifying creators to have a guest join their live stream. Initially available only via mobile, YouTube plans to eventually expand to more platforms and expand the number of participating creators. Although creators can only host one guest at a time, they can rotate them. Once you are invited, the guests’ stream will appear below the host’s. To activate it, creators will be asked to enter stream details, including a title, description, thumbnails, visibility and monetization settings. The move follows similar functionality introduced by TikTok and Twitch. Continue reading YouTube Offers Co-Streaming with ‘Go Live Together’ Feature