Firebase Genkit: Developer Framework for AI-Powered Apps

Google is offering developers a toolkit for incorporating generative AI features into mobile and web applications. Firebase Genkit, an open-source framework, is available now in beta. Blending models, cloud services, agents, data sources and more in a “code-centric approach” developers are used to, the Genkit makes building and debugging for AI easier, according to Google. The first release is built for JavaScript and TypeScript developers, making building AI-powered apps available to professionals who specialize in building server-side applications using the Node.js JavaScript runtime. Continue reading Firebase Genkit: Developer Framework for AI-Powered Apps

Google Teases Astra AI Assistant and Debuts Gemini 1.5 Pro

Google is showing off a developmental chatbot it says represents the future of AI assistants. Called Project Astra, it has the ability to “see” and “hear,” remembering the information ingested, which it can then answer questions about — from simple queries such as “Where did I leave my glasses?” to unpacking and explaining computer code. Demonstrated at the Google I/O conference this week, Astra understands the world “just like people do” and is able to converse naturally, in real time. The company says some Project Astra features may come to Gemini late this year. Continue reading Google Teases Astra AI Assistant and Debuts Gemini 1.5 Pro

Google Taps AI for Its ‘Threat Intelligence’ Cybersecurity Plan

Google introduced Threat Intelligence at the RSA Conference in San Francisco this week. Claiming actionable information at “visibility only Google can deliver, based on billions of signals across devices and emails,” Threat Intelligence draws on the capabilities of the company’s Gemini LLMs, Mandiant cybersecurity arm, and cloud-based VirusTotal tool. An AI-powered Gemini agent “provides conversational search” across the repository of Threat Intelligence, “enabling customers to gain insights and protect themselves from threats faster than ever before,” Google says in a move to empower even small teams without IT departments with threat protection. Continue reading Google Taps AI for Its ‘Threat Intelligence’ Cybersecurity Plan

Alphabet Profit Up 57 Percent, Prompting First-Ever Dividend

Alphabet reported revenue of $80.5 billion for Q1, a 15 percent increase fueled largely by online advertising from Google Search and YouTube. The figure topped analyst estimates of $78.8 billion. Profit soared, rising 57 percent to more than $23.6 billion, wildly overperforming the forecast of $18.9 billion. The strong performance resulted in Alphabet announcing its first ever shareholder dividend, at 20 cents per share, which pays out on June 17. Alphabet’s board approved a $70 billion stock repurchase program, and the news-filled earnings event drove Alphabet shares up 13 percent in after-hours trading. Continue reading Alphabet Profit Up 57 Percent, Prompting First-Ever Dividend

Meta AI Assistant Is Launching Across Platforms with Llama 3

Pursuant to his goal of “building the world’s leading AI,” Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Friday that Meta AI is upgrading to Llama 3 concurrent with a rollout of its open-source chatbot across the company’s social platforms, integrating it into the search boxes atop WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook and Messenger. There is also a website, meta.ai, for those who prefer browser access. Reports of Meta upgrading its social AI capabilities began leaking out early last week, albeit on a more limited test scale than what Zuckerberg announced, which, excepting Threads, is cross-platform. Continue reading Meta AI Assistant Is Launching Across Platforms with Llama 3

Google Offers Public Preview of Gemini Pro for Cloud Clients

Google is moving its most powerful artificial intelligence model, Gemini 1.5 Pro, into public preview for developers and Google Cloud customers. Gemini 1.5 Pro includes what Google claims is a breakthrough in long context understanding, with the ability to run 1 million tokens of information “opening up new possibilities for enterprises to create, discover and build using AI.” Gemini’s multimodal capabilities allow it to process audio, video, text, code and more, which when combined with long context, “enables enterprises to do things that just weren’t possible with AI before,” according to Google. Continue reading Google Offers Public Preview of Gemini Pro for Cloud Clients

AI-Powered Video Generator Available for Google Workspace

Google Vids is a new AI-powered video creation app for Google Workspace. The aim is to integrate a simple AI video editor with the real-time collaboration capabilities of cloud-based text editors Docs, Sheets and Slides, “allowing people everywhere to tap into immersive storytelling at work.” Vids will be released to Workspace Labs in June. Vids will be able to generate an easy-to-edit storyboard and piece together a first draft, with suggestions from stock footage and stills, as well as background music. “It can also help you land your message with the right voiceover,” according to Google. Continue reading AI-Powered Video Generator Available for Google Workspace

Anthropic’s Claude 3 AI Is Said to Have ‘Near-Human’ Abilities

Anthropic has released Claude 3, claiming new industry benchmarks that see the family of three new large language models approaching “near-human” cognitive capability in some instances. Accessible via Anthropic’s website, the three new models — Claude 3 Haiku, Claude 3 Sonnet and Claude 3 Opus — represent successively increased complexity and parameter count. Sonnet is powering the current Claude.ai chatbot and is free, for now, requiring only an email sign-in. Opus comes with the the $20 monthly subscription for Claude Pro. Both are generally available from the Anthropic website and via API in 159 countries, with Haiku coming soon. Continue reading Anthropic’s Claude 3 AI Is Said to Have ‘Near-Human’ Abilities

Reddit Announces IPO on Heels of Expanded Deal with Google

Community message board and social news aggregator Reddit, founded in 2005, has filed to go public on the New York Stock Exchange in an IPO observers say may be complete in a matter of weeks. It is the first social media company to go public in many years, with Snap Inc.’s 2017 offering cited as the most recent stock market splash. Reddit’s bankers are reportedly seeking a $5 billion valuation, about half the $10 billion it was valued at for a 2021 private funding round. Reddit filed with the SEC the same day it announced an “expanded partnership” with Google to use Vertex AI. Continue reading Reddit Announces IPO on Heels of Expanded Deal with Google

Cineverse to Launch cineSearch Powered by Google’s Vertex AI

Global streamer Cineverse has launched an AI-powered search and discovery tool called cineSearch. Developed using the Vertex AI platform from Google Cloud, cineSearch will be released in public beta this spring. A waitlist has already been started, and Cineverse says it will be made more widely available in partnership with OEM and third-party streaming platform partners in the coming months. Simultaneously, the Los Angeles-based firm is rolling out a new ad platform called Cineverse 360, or C360 for short, that will connect brands across omnichannel services reaching 82 million monthly viewers at launch. Continue reading Cineverse to Launch cineSearch Powered by Google’s Vertex AI

Google Intros Gemini Advanced Chatbot, One AI Subscription

Google has rebranded its Bard chatbot as Gemini, and is launching a Gemini mobile app along with a subscription offering for Gemini Advanced that will be included as part of the new $19.95 monthly Google One AI Premium plan. As with Bard, Google will continue to make a free version of the Gemini chatbot available. Gemini Advanced is powered by Gemini Ultra, the most sophisticated of the three Gemini AI models Google unveiled in December. “Gemini Advanced not only allows you to have longer, more detailed conversations, it also better understands the context from your previous prompts,” Google explains. Continue reading Google Intros Gemini Advanced Chatbot, One AI Subscription

Unpacked: Samsung Intros Galaxy AI with Next Gen S Phones

During this week’s Unpacked event, Samsung introduced Galaxy AI, a suite of artificial intelligence tools designed for the new Galaxy S series smartphones — the Galaxy S24, Galaxy S24+, and Galaxy S24 Ultra. “AI amplifies nearly every experience on the Galaxy S24 series,” including real-time text and call translations, a powerful suite of creative tools in the ProVisual Engine and a new kind of “gestural search that lets users circle, highlight, scribble on or tap anything onscreen” to see related search results. The AI enhancements are largely enabled by a multiyear deal with Google and Qualcomm. Samsung also debuted a wearable accessory, the Galaxy Ring. Continue reading Unpacked: Samsung Intros Galaxy AI with Next Gen S Phones

Google Debuts Turnkey Gemini AI Studio for Developing Apps

Google is rolling out Gemini to developers, enticing them with tools including AI Studio, an easy-to-navigate Web-based platform that will serve as a portal to the multi-tiered Gemini ecosystem, beginning with Gemini Pro, with Gemini Ultra to come next year. The service aims to allow developers to quickly create prompts and Gemini-powered chatbots, providing access to API keys to integrate them into apps. They’ll also be able to access code, should projects require a full featured IDE. The site is essentially a revamped version of what was formerly Google’s MakerSuite. Continue reading Google Debuts Turnkey Gemini AI Studio for Developing Apps

Google Announces the Launch of Gemini, Its Largest AI Model

Google is closing the year by heralding 2024 as the “Gemini era,” with the introduction of its “most capable and general AI model yet,” Gemini 1.0. This new foundation model is optimized for three different use-case sizes: Ultra, Pro and Nano. As a result, Google is releasing a new, Gemini-powered version of its Bard chatbot, available to English speakers in the U.S. and 170 global regions. Google touts Gemini as built from the ground up for multimodality, reasoning across text, images, video, audio and code. However, Bard will not as yet incorporate Gemini’s ability to analyze sound and images. Continue reading Google Announces the Launch of Gemini, Its Largest AI Model

Nvidia Sales Surge as Rivals Circle and China Sanctions Loom

Nvidia logged another record quarter, with Q3 revenue of $18.12 billion, up 206 percent from a year ago and a 34 percent increase from Q2 that exceeded both its own and analyst projections. The surge, attributed to increasing demand for the chips that drive artificial intelligence, logged primarily under Nvidia’s data center results a record $14.51 billion, up 279 percent from the prior year and 41 percent from Q2. Profits swelled to $9.2 billion, a stunning 1,259 percent increase from 2022’s $680 million. The results for Nvidia’s Q3 were for the three-month period ending October 31. Continue reading Nvidia Sales Surge as Rivals Circle and China Sanctions Loom