Microsoft Study: GPT-4 Nearing Artificial General Intelligence

A March research paper by Microsoft has reopened discussion as to whether artificial intelligence is inching toward human reasoning, as the industry grapples with how an AI system can assimilate training data in a way that allows it to generate answers and promulgate ideas that weren’t programmed into it. Asked for a stable way to stack a book, nine eggs, a laptop, a bottle and a nail, the Microsoft AI generated a response researchers say hinted at artificial general intelligence, or AGI, a term used to connote an as yet theoretical type of machine learning that can duplicate human reasoning. Continue reading Microsoft Study: GPT-4 Nearing Artificial General Intelligence

U.S. Agencies Join Global Coalition in Secure Software Push

The U.S. and a coalition of international government agencies have issued joint guidance that aims to get software companies to heighten security for their products. “Shifting the Balance of Cybersecurity Risk: Principles and Approaches for Security-by-Design and -Default” takes the position that today’s software is insecure by default and it is the customer’s burden to take steps to make it safe. Manufacturers should make their products safe before they ship by taking steps including deprecating the “default password,” writing their programs using only secure coding languages, providing free patches and setting up vulnerability reporting programs. Continue reading U.S. Agencies Join Global Coalition in Secure Software Push

Google Is Improving Its Bard AI Chatbot with PaLM Upgrade

Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai is promising Bard critics that a new and improved conversational AI model will soon be available. Although both the LaMDA-powered Bard and its rival, OpenAI’s ChatGPT have been prone to a variety of errors in their early stages, Bard — following on the heels of ChatGPT’s release and meteoric popularity — has borne the brunt of less favorable reviews. Google is taking steps to maintain thought leadership in the space, so that parent company Alphabet can compete with Microsoft and OpenAI, who were quicker to move ChatGPT into the public consciousness, gaining a first-mover advantage. Continue reading Google Is Improving Its Bard AI Chatbot with PaLM Upgrade

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

Game Creators Are Now Testing the Benefits of Generative AI

Game developers are harnessing the power of generative AI to improve the state of play. With hundreds of computer-controlled characters, many of whom have incidental roles, the goal of giving these bit players the ability to spout some meaningful dialogue, should a player cross their path, is one potential use for chatbot text. Sony’s Haven Studios is using GenAI to quickly mock-up characters, while Roblox is developing an AI system it plans to let users leverage to create digital objects and build-out virtual worlds based on text prompts. Continue reading Game Creators Are Now Testing the Benefits of Generative AI

Deepmind’s AlphaCode AI Can Program Like Human Coders

DeepMind researchers have trained an AI to solve computer coding challenges as well as the average person. In a paper published last week in the journal Science, the group from Google’s AI division described how AlphaCode performed when pitted against human programmers, ranking in the top 54.3 percent in simulated tests, commensurate with “approximately human-level performance.” “This performance in competitions approximately corresponds to a novice programmer with a few months to a year of training,” according to Science, which says about half the humans who compete in coding contests could outperform the AI. Continue reading Deepmind’s AlphaCode AI Can Program Like Human Coders

AI Coding Tools Speed Process to Offset Developer Shortage

New AI-powered coding tools such as Amazon’s CodeWhisperer and Copilot from GitHub and OpenAI may be giving some developers the jitters. Following splashy debuts for both programs last week, GitHub CEO Thomas Dohmke offered public assurances that Copilot is not designed to replace coders, but to speed the process, alleviating a software developer shortage. Similar to Copilot, CodeWhisperer can autocomplete Java, JavaScript and Python functions based on a comment or some keystrokes. Amazon says it trained the system using billions of lines of open source code, publicly available documentation and its own codebase. Continue reading AI Coding Tools Speed Process to Offset Developer Shortage

Mintlify Leverages AI to Auto-Generate Code Documentation

A seed round by Ithaca, New York-based software firm Mintlify has raised $2.8 million led by Bain Capital Ventures. The startup uses artificial intelligence to automate software documentation. CEO and co-founder Han Wang says the funds will go to product development and hiring that will increase the company’s small staff. Mintify was launched in 2021 by Wang and Hahnbee Lee, a pair of software engineers who were driven to address a pressing industry need: quality documentation. A 2017 survey by GitHub found that 93 percent of developers listed incomplete or outdated documentation as an industry-wide problem. Continue reading Mintlify Leverages AI to Auto-Generate Code Documentation

OpenAI Debuts Tool to Translate Natural Language into Code

OpenAI’s Codex, an AI system that translates natural language into code, was released via an API in private beta. Codex, trained on billions of lines of public code, can turn plain English commands into 12+ programming languages and also powers GitHub service Copilot that suggests whole lines of code within Microsoft Visual Studio and other development environments. OpenAI explained that Codex will be offered for free during an “initial period,” and invites “businesses and developers to build on top of it through the API.”

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OpenAI and Microsoft Introduce $100 Million AI Startup Fund

OpenAI unveiled a $100 million OpenAI Startup Fund to fund early-stage companies pursuing ways that AI can have a “transformative” impact on healthcare, education, climate change and other fields. OpenAI chief executive Sam Altman said the Fund will make “big, early bets” on no more than 10 such companies. OpenAI, with funding from Microsoft and others, will manage the Fund. Selected projects will get “early access” to future OpenAI systems, support from OpenAI’s team and credits for Microsoft Azure. Continue reading OpenAI and Microsoft Introduce $100 Million AI Startup Fund

Twitch Makes a Bigger Play to Become All-Purpose Streamer

The live-streaming gaming platform Twitch is hugely popular but has a goal to get even bigger. At the annual TwitchCon event, the company showed off an advertising campaign promoting itself as an all-purpose live-streaming platform. This move takes place just as the site’s biggest star, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, defected to Mixer, a rival streaming service owned by Microsoft. On the gaming front, the company also faces competition from Caffeine, a social broadcast platform that received $100 million from 21st Century Fox. Continue reading Twitch Makes a Bigger Play to Become All-Purpose Streamer

Microsoft Announces Launch of Azure Blockchain Services

In the past year, Microsoft has demonstrated a focus on blockchain technology. It previously launched a blockchain developer kit along with its Azure Blockchain Workbench. Just last week, ahead of its Build developer conference, Microsoft announced the launch of Azure Blockchain Services, a “fully managed service that allows for the formation, management, and governance of consortium blockchain networks” which are “meant to help businesses build applications on top of blockchain technology,” according to TechCrunch.

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Experian Uses Machine Learning for Predictive Maintenance

The credit reporting company Experian is adopting machine learning to get a jump on identifying problems and predicting application behavior more reliably. Machine learning tools can help such Experian tools as ServiceNow, which monitors infrastructure performance and spots unusual, potentially threatening behavior. With machine learning, Experian hopes to head off and/or fix problems that could impact, and potentially lose, customers. The company also now mandates that monitoring be built into all new applications. Continue reading Experian Uses Machine Learning for Predictive Maintenance

DeepMind Intros Intriguing Deep Neural Network Algorithm

A research team at Google’s AI unit DeepMind, led by Ali Eslami and Danilo Rezende, has created software via a generative query network (GQN) to create a new perspective of a scene that the neural network has never seen. The U.K.-based unit developed the deep neural network-based software that applies the network to a handful of shots of a virtual scene to create a “compact mathematical representation” of the scene — and then uses that representation to render an image with a new perspective unfamiliar to the network. Continue reading DeepMind Intros Intriguing Deep Neural Network Algorithm

As Job Market Improves, Demand for Programmers Hits High

One of the greatest challenges to today’s economic growth is a lack of technology talent. Companies are adopting new strategies to find qualified software engineers, programmers and developers, including new apprenticeship and internship programs. The national unemployment rate hit 4.1 percent in January, its lowest since 2000. As the job market improves, demand for tech talent also increases. For software engineers, the unemployment rate was a mere 1.9 percent last year, which was down from 4 percent in 2011.

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