Apple Launches Open-Source Language-Based Image Editor

Apple has released MGIE, an open-source AI model that edits images using natural language instructions. MGIE, short for MLLM-Guided Image Editing, can also modify and optimize images. Developed in conjunction with University of California Santa Barbara, MGIE is Apple’s first AI model. The multimodal MGIE, which understands text and image input, also crops, resizes, flips, and adds filters based on text instructions using what Apple says is an easier instruction set than other AI editing programs, and is simpler and faster than learning a traditional program, like Apple’s own Final Cut Pro. Continue reading Apple Launches Open-Source Language-Based Image Editor

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: Session Details the Impact and Future of AI Technology

Dr. Fei-Fei Li, Stanford professor and co-director of Stanford HAI (Human-Centered AI), and Andrew Ng, venture capitalist and managing general partner at Palo Alto-based AI Fund discussed the current state and expected near-term developments in artificial intelligence. As a general purpose technology, AI development will both deepen, as private sector LLMs are developed for industry-specific needs, and broaden, as open source public sector LLMs emerge to address broad societal problems. Expect exciting advances in image models — what Li calls “pixel space.” When implementing AI, think about teams rather than individuals, and think about tasks rather than jobs. Continue reading CES: Session Details the Impact and Future of AI Technology

Stability AI Is Offering Paid Membership for Commercial Users

As the pressure ratchets up for AI companies to go beyond the wow factor and make money, Stability AI has formalized three subscription tiers as it seeks to expand commercial use of its open-source, multimodal core models. The Stability AI Membership offerings include a free tier for personal and research (i.e., non-commercial) use, a professional tier that costs $20 a month, and a custom-priced enterprise tier for large outfits. The company says that with the three tiers it is “striking a balance between fostering competitiveness and maintaining openness in AI technologies.” Continue reading Stability AI Is Offering Paid Membership for Commercial Users

EU Makes Provisional Agreement on Artificial Intelligence Act

The EU has reached a provisional agreement on the Artificial Intelligence Act, making it the first Western democracy to establish comprehensive AI regulations. The sweeping new law predominantly focuses on so-called “high-risk AI,” establishing parameters — largely in the form of reporting and third-party monitoring — “based on its potential risks and level of impact.” Parliament and the 27-country European Council must still hold final votes before the AI Act is finalized and goes into effect, but the agreement, reached Friday in Brussels after three days of negotiations, means the main points are set. Continue reading EU Makes Provisional Agreement on Artificial Intelligence Act

Intuitive Mammoth App Aims to Simplify Accessing Mastodon

Mozilla-backed Mammoth wants to lure social media users to the fediverse, presenting its latest iteration, Mammoth 2, as “the easiest way to quit Twitter/X for good and join Mastodon.” Having added a “For You” feed earlier this year, Mammoth 2 now debuts on the iPhone, iPad and Mac, delving deeper into news and curation. New “Smart Lists” are filled with recommended posts, suggested connections and accounts to follow. The future of social “is being built today on ActivityPub and Mastodon,” Mammoth’s creators claim, calling for “an open protocol anybody can build on,” as with “email or the open web.” Continue reading Intuitive Mammoth App Aims to Simplify Accessing Mastodon

IBM Announces Significant Advances in Quantum Computing

IBM has produced two quantum computing systems to meet its 2023 roadmap, one based on a chip named Condor, which at 1,121 functioning qubits is the largest transmon-based quantum processor released to date. Transmon-based chips use a type of superconducting qubit that is more error-resistant than typical qubits, which are notoriously unstable. The second IBM system uses three Heron chips, each with 133 qubits. The more modestly scaled Heron and its successor, Flamingo, play a vital role in IBM’s quantum plan, which boasts major progress as a result of these developments. Continue reading IBM Announces Significant Advances in Quantum Computing

Nightshade Data Poisoning Tool Targets AI to Protect Artist IP

A new tool called Nightshade offers creators a way to fend off artificial intelligence models attempting to train on visual artwork without permission. Created by a University of Chicago team led by Professor Ben Zhao, Nightshade makes it possible to include an instruction set that can cause AI models to “break” during unauthorized scraping. It does this by inserting “invisible pixels.” As a result, popular AI models including DALL-E, Midjourney and Stable Diffusion will subsequently render erratic results, turning dogs into cats and cars into cows, and so forth. Continue reading Nightshade Data Poisoning Tool Targets AI to Protect Artist IP

Matter Adds Major Appliances with 9 New Device Categories

The Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA) is releasing an update to its smart home connectivity standard. Matter 1.2 adds nine new device types, including robot vacuums, washing machines, refrigerators and dishwashers. New certification and testing tools and core improvements to the specification and SDK are also rolling out in this major new release for the standard, which debuted a little over a year ago for things like door locks and light switch controls. In theory, Matter-compliant devices will be able to be controlled by smart home platforms like Amazon Alexa, Apple Home, Samsung SmartThings and Google Home. Continue reading Matter Adds Major Appliances with 9 New Device Categories

Microsoft’s Radius App is Open Source and Cloud Agnostic

Microsoft has launched Radius, a language-agnostic collaboration app for creating and running cloud-native applications. Radius sprang from the Microsoft Azure Incubations team, whose projects include the development app Dapr, event-driven autoscaling solution KEDA, and the Copacetic security tool. Dapr and KEDA are among the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) projects. Microsoft submitted Copacetic to CNCF and plans to submit Radius, which standardizes deployment and automates resource provisioning through features like Recipes and Connections. Continue reading Microsoft’s Radius App is Open Source and Cloud Agnostic

Comcast-Charter Venture Starts Shipping Xumo Stream Box

Xumo, a joint venture between Comcast and Charter Communications, has begun rolling out its Xumo Stream Box to Charter’s Spectrum customers, with plans to bring it to Comcast’s Xfinity homes soon. The Xumo Stream Box is powered by Comcast’s Entertainment Operating System (EOS), designed to simplify the process of finding content, regardless of where it resides. “Xumo is streaming simplified, bringing a live TV experience together with all the top apps,” Charter President of Product and Technology Rich DiGeronimo said of the new device. Xumo Stream Box can be used to find, discover and select content on-demand using voice control. Continue reading Comcast-Charter Venture Starts Shipping Xumo Stream Box

Big Tech Firms Propel Hugging Face to $4.5 Billion Valuation

Hugging Face has collected $235 million in an investment round that includes contributions from Amazon, IBM, Google, Nvidia, Salesforce, AMD, Intel and Qualcomm. The New York-based startup creates and distributes open-source tools for artificial intelligence development, carving an AI-centric niche similar to the more general programming approach taken by the Microsoft-owned GitHub. The incoming cash infusion — earmarked for talent recruitment — gives Hugging Face a lofty $4.5 billion valuation that experts say indicates momentum for open source in what has to date been a highly competitive AI sector. Continue reading Big Tech Firms Propel Hugging Face to $4.5 Billion Valuation

White House Launches $20 Million AI Cybersecurity Challenge

The White House has unveiled plans for a two-year competition with $18.5 million in prizes for artificial intelligence coders who can come up with ways to identify and fix software vulnerabilities in critical infrastructure code, such as that which runs the Internet. Styled AIxCC, the AI Cyber Challenge is being led by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) with support from companies including Anthropic, Google, Microsoft and OpenAI, who have committed to lending expertise and technology. Up to seven small businesses will potentially receive $1 million each to participate. Continue reading White House Launches $20 Million AI Cybersecurity Challenge

Meta’s AudioCraft Turns Words into Music with Generative AI

Meta Platforms is releasing AudioCraft, a generative AI framework that creates “high-quality,” “realistic” audio and music from text prompts. AudioCraft consists of three models: MusicGen, AudioGen and EnCodec, all of which Meta announced it is open-sourcing. Released in June, MusicGen was trained on Meta-owned and licensed music, and generates music from text prompts, while AudioGen, which was trained on public domain samples, generates sound effects (like honking horns and barking dogs) from text prompts. The EnCodec decoder allows “higher quality music generation with fewer artifacts,” according to Meta. Continue reading Meta’s AudioCraft Turns Words into Music with Generative AI

Spotify’s Confidence Development Platform Is in Private Beta

Spotify is rolling out its new Confidence software development product in private beta. Based on its learnings from more than 10 years of experience experimenting at scale, the company says Confidence aims to make it simple for teams to set up, run and analyze their own user tests so they can quickly perfect and productize ideas. “Whether it’s automatically coordinating simultaneous A/B tests or orchestrating the rollout of an AI recommendation system across mobile, desktop, and web, the platform we built scales experimentation best practices and capabilities,” Spotify explains, adding that it plans to make the technology available soon to all companies. Continue reading Spotify’s Confidence Development Platform Is in Private Beta