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

ETC@USC Student Challenge: Future of Themed Experiences

On October 22, ETC@USC began a one-week student challenge on “The Future of Themed Experiences.” Leveraging the tools, techniques and resources of today and those that could emerge in the next few years, students were asked to come up with an original idea for an experience that: 1) has a specific location-based experience, and 2) extends the experience out into the real and virtual worlds before and after the person has the location-based experience. Eighteen 3-minute pitch videos were submitted and an esteemed panel of industry executives chose to reward five of them. All 18 videos with follow-up Q&A discussions are available online. Continue reading ETC@USC Student Challenge: Future of Themed Experiences

White House Creates a ‘Blueprint’ of AI Rights for Consumers

The White House has issued a “blueprint” for consumer protections with regard to artificial intelligence. Aimed at guiding federal agencies while setting the bar for future legislation, the voluntary directive offers five areas of focus — safety, algorithmic discrimination protection, data privacy, notice, human alternatives — and a section on applying the rules. “Among the great challenges posed to democracy today is the use of technology, data, and automated systems in ways that threaten the rights of the American public,” begins the bill, which says such tools are “too often used” to limit opportunities and prevent access to critical resources or services. Continue reading White House Creates a ‘Blueprint’ of AI Rights for Consumers

Cook Hints Apple’s First realityOS Glasses Will Be AR, not VR

Despite speculation that Apple will debut a realityOS (rOS) headset next year, CEO Tim Cook says the metaverse is not yet ready for prime time, telling a European publication he’s “really not sure the average person can tell you what the metaverse is.” On a continental excursion that included a commencement address at the University of Naples Federico II in Italy, Cook appeared bullish on augmented reality, while downplaying virtual reality, the technology around which Meta Platforms is building its future. “I think AR is a profound technology that will affect everything,” Cook told the magazine Bright. Continue reading Cook Hints Apple’s First realityOS Glasses Will Be AR, not VR

D-ID Creative Reality Studio Helps Users Make DIY AI Videos

Artificial intelligence company D-ID has launched a new presentation platform that can generate video from a single image and text. Creative Reality Studio offers from among 270 voices and 119 languages that users can pair with one of the company’s original avatar creations or an uploaded photo. The product is aimed at markets including education, the metaverse, advertising and sales. The company is offering a limited free 14-day trial, after which users would be required to switch to a $49 per month Pro subscription or higher-end Enterprise plan (pricing available on request). Continue reading D-ID Creative Reality Studio Helps Users Make DIY AI Videos

FTC Explores New Rules Surrounding Data Collection and AI

The Electronic Privacy Information Center is calling on the Federal Trade Commission to create rules that would protect the digital privacy of teens. Human Rights Watch is asking the FTC for safeguards to prevent education companies from selling minors’ personal information to data brokers and a ban on data-driven advertising targeting children. Both groups were represented at the FTC’s first public forum to explore adopting new rules around data collection and AI training on personal data. Practices the FTC is examining include the timeframe in which companies can retain consumer data and mandating audits of automated decision-making systems. Continue reading FTC Explores New Rules Surrounding Data Collection and AI

Inworld Raises $50M to Create AI-Powered Virtual Characters

Virtual character developer platform Inworld AI has raised $50 million in a Series A funding round led by Section 32 and Intel Capital. The Mountain View-based startup — one of six companies chosen to participate in the 2022 Disney Accelerator — will create virtual characters for games, the metaverse and other entertainment and marketing applications. Because it is focused on providing an interior life, or “mind,” Inworld AI is platform agnostic, with APIs that work across Unity, Unreal Engine, Omniverse and others. Another convenient feature: it lets developers build characters by describing them in natural language. Continue reading Inworld Raises $50M to Create AI-Powered Virtual Characters

Google Is the First Paying Customer of Wikimedia Enterprise

Wikimedia Enterprise has announced Google and the Internet Archive as its first customers. The Wikimedia Foundation launched the enterprise unit last year as a paid service for clients that source and reuse Wikipedia data at high volume. Google has been using Wikipedia content to fuel its search engine results. Wikimedia Enterprise clients have access to custom APIs that allow it to scrape and utilize data more efficiently and at greater scale. The service also provides guaranteed uptime and real-time content updates, minimizing outdated or inaccurate information. Continue reading Google Is the First Paying Customer of Wikimedia Enterprise

Microsoft Pulls AI Analysis Tool Azure Face from Public Use

As part of an overhaul of its AI ethics policies, Microsoft is retiring from the public sphere several AI-powered facial analysis tools, including a controversial algorithm that purports to identify a subject’s emotion from images. Other features Microsoft will excise for new users this week and phase out for existing users within a year include those that claim the ability to identify gender and age. Advocacy groups and academics have expressed concern regarding such facial analysis features, characterizing them as unreliable and invasive as well as subject to bias. Continue reading Microsoft Pulls AI Analysis Tool Azure Face from Public Use

Spotify Says One Billion MAUs by 2030 a Path to Profitability

Trying to assuage fears over what investors are concerned is a limited-growth market, audio streamer Spotify says it plans to hit one billion global monthly average users by 2030. Spotify closed Q1 with 422 million MAUs and 182 million paid subscribers, per Statista. At an Investor Day presentation in New York City this week, CEO Daniel Ek and chief freemium business officer Alex Norström showed slides indicating the company’s goal represents compounded annual growth rates of 26 percent for MAUs, paid subscribers and revenue (on a currency-adjusted basis). To get there, the executives emphasized emerging markets and podcasts. Continue reading Spotify Says One Billion MAUs by 2030 a Path to Profitability

Microsoft, Google, Apple Unite Behind Passwordless Logins

Apple, Google and Microsoft have joined forces in a rare intercorporate collaboration to create passwordless sign-in technology that relies on smartphones to sign-in. The tech giants announced last week that they are coordinating support for the passwordless sign-in standard, developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the FIDO (Fast Identity Online) Alliance. As a result, by the end of the year users of any of the three operating systems should be able to sign-in to any app or website when using supporting browsers from their nearby device. Continue reading Microsoft, Google, Apple Unite Behind Passwordless Logins

Pew Research Finds Americans Suspicious of AI and Biotech

A Pew Research study finds the public has a cautionary attitude toward artificial intelligence and human enhancements, with concerns about potentially unintended consequences of autonomous machines, and fear of what accelerated change in these areas might mean for society. The survey of more than 10,250 U.S. adults in November 2021 examined opinions of six technologies broken down into two categories: AI and bioengineering, with crossover in the area of AI-enhanced exoskeletons. Across all categories, a majority believe that federal government and “end users” should be involved — along with the creators or inventors — in setting standards. Continue reading Pew Research Finds Americans Suspicious of AI and Biotech

NFTs Are Poised to Move Beyond Arts into Academia, Health

As NFTs work their way into the social fabric via digital art and collectibles, there is speculation that their usefulness is only beginning to be understood. While non-fungible tokens have gained popularity due to their use in illustration, music, entertainment, gaming and sports, as a medium they’re still in their infancy. As units of data saved onto a blockchain, the provenance of every NFT is trackable, substantiating ownership and authenticity. As such, there is interest in using them for everything from educational credentialing and documenting medical treatment to automotive applications and philanthropic fundraising. Continue reading NFTs Are Poised to Move Beyond Arts into Academia, Health

CES: Remote Work Advances Adoption of Smart Home Tech

The smart home sector has been evolving for at least a decade but when COVID-19 created the necessity for remote working, millions of people had a personal and very eye-opening experience in their homes. CTA senior director of member programs Melissa Matalon led a discussion with Michael D. Ham, president and co-founder of global wellness company RePure, and Ian Bryant, senior director of strategic partnerships at CEDIA, the trade group for the home technology industry. “A decade ago, health and wellness wasn’t relevant to smart homes,” noted Ham. “Now that people are spending so much more time at home, wellness is on everyone’s minds,” said Matalon. Continue reading CES: Remote Work Advances Adoption of Smart Home Tech

Scorsese Institute and Virtual Production Center New at NYU

Cinematic iconoclast Martin Scorsese has secured a perch for his legacy at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts, which has announced the establishment of the Martin Scorsese Institute of Global Cinematic Arts (SICA). The new Institute takes shape not only to celebrate film history but to showcase the future and will encompass the state-of-the-art Martin Scorsese Virtual Production Center to complement the Martin Scorsese Department of Cinema Studies and provide general support for student scholarships, all of which is a result of the largest donation in the school’s history. Continue reading Scorsese Institute and Virtual Production Center New at NYU