Landscapes Radiate Light and Drama in Erin Hanson’s Vibrant Oil Paintings — from thisiscolossal.com by Kate Mothes and Erin Hanson

 

io.google/2024

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How generative AI expands curiosity and understanding with LearnLM — from blog.google
LearnLM is our new family of models fine-tuned for learning, and grounded in educational research to make teaching and learning experiences more active, personal and engaging.

Generative AI is fundamentally changing how we’re approaching learning and education, enabling powerful new ways to support educators and learners. It’s taking curiosity and understanding to the next level — and we’re just at the beginning of how it can help us reimagine learning.

Today we’re introducing LearnLM: our new family of models fine-tuned for learning, based on Gemini.

On YouTube, a conversational AI tool makes it possible to figuratively “raise your hand” while watching academic videos to ask clarifying questions, get helpful explanations or take a quiz on what you’ve been learning. This even works with longer educational videos like lectures or seminars thanks to the Gemini model’s long-context capabilities. These features are already rolling out to select Android users in the U.S.

Learn About is a new Labs experience that explores how information can turn into understanding by bringing together high-quality content, learning science and chat experiences. Ask a question and it helps guide you through any topic at your own pace — through pictures, videos, webpages and activities — and you can upload files or notes and ask clarifying questions along the way.


Google I/O 2024: An I/O for a new generation — from blog.google

The Gemini era
A year ago on the I/O stage we first shared our plans for Gemini: a frontier model built to be natively multimodal from the beginning, that could reason across text, images, video, code, and more. It marks a big step in turning any input into any output — an “I/O” for a new generation.

In this story:


Daily Digest: Google I/O 2024 – AI search is here. — from bensbites.beehiiv.com
PLUS: It’s got Agents, Video and more. And, Ilya leaves OpenAI

  • Google is integrating AI into all of its ecosystem: Search, Workspace, Android, etc. In true Google fashion, many features are “coming later this year”. If they ship and perform like the demos, Google will get a serious upper hand over OpenAI/Microsoft.
  • All of the AI features across Google products will be powered by Gemini 1.5 Pro. It’s Google’s best model and one of the top models. A new Gemini 1.5 Flash model is also launched, which is faster and much cheaper.
  • Google has ambitious projects in the pipeline. Those include a real-time voice assistant called Astra, a long-form video generator called Veo, plans for end-to-end agents, virtual AI teammates and more.

 



New ways to engage with Gemini for Workspace — from workspace.google.com

Today at Google I/O we’re announcing new, powerful ways to get more done in your personal and professional life with Gemini for Google Workspace. Gemini in the side panel of your favorite Workspace apps is rolling out more broadly and will use the 1.5 Pro model for answering a wider array of questions and providing more insightful responses. We’re also bringing more Gemini capabilities to your Gmail app on mobile, helping you accomplish more on the go. Lastly, we’re showcasing how Gemini will become the connective tissue across multiple applications with AI-powered workflows. And all of this comes fresh on the heels of the innovations and enhancements we announced last month at Google Cloud Next.


Google’s Gemini updates: How Project Astra is powering some of I/O’s big reveals — from techcrunch.com by Kyle Wiggers

Google is improving its AI-powered chatbot Gemini so that it can better understand the world around it — and the people conversing with it.

At the Google I/O 2024 developer conference on Tuesday, the company previewed a new experience in Gemini called Gemini Live, which lets users have “in-depth” voice chats with Gemini on their smartphones. Users can interrupt Gemini while the chatbot’s speaking to ask clarifying questions, and it’ll adapt to their speech patterns in real time. And Gemini can see and respond to users’ surroundings, either via photos or video captured by their smartphones’ cameras.


Generative AI in Search: Let Google do the searching for you — from blog.google
With expanded AI Overviews, more planning and research capabilities, and AI-organized search results, our custom Gemini model can take the legwork out of searching.


 

Hello GPT-4o — from openai.com
We’re announcing GPT-4o, our new flagship model that can reason across audio, vision, and text in real time.

GPT-4o (“o” for “omni”) is a step towards much more natural human-computer interaction—it accepts as input any combination of text, audio, image, and video and generates any combination of text, audio, and image outputs. It can respond to audio inputs in as little as 232 milliseconds, with an average of 320 milliseconds, which is similar to human response time in a conversation. It matches GPT-4 Turbo performance on text in English and code, with significant improvement on text in non-English languages, while also being much faster and 50% cheaper in the API. GPT-4o is especially better at vision and audio understanding compared to existing models.

Example topics covered here:

  • Two GPT-4os interacting and singing
  • Languages/translation
  • Personalized math tutor
  • Meeting AI
  • Harmonizing and creating music
  • Providing inflection, emotions, and a human-like voice
  • Understanding what the camera is looking at and integrating it into the AI’s responses
  • Providing customer service

With GPT-4o, we trained a single new model end-to-end across text, vision, and audio, meaning that all inputs and outputs are processed by the same neural network. Because GPT-4o is our first model combining all of these modalities, we are still just scratching the surface of exploring what the model can do and its limitations.





From DSC:
I like the assistive tech angle here:





 

 

Voice Banks (preserving our voices for AI) — from thebrainyacts.beehiiv.com by Josh Kubicki

The Ethical and Emotional Implications of AI Voice Preservation

Legal Considerations and Voice Rights
From a legal perspective, the burgeoning use of AI in voice cloning also introduces a complex web of rights and permissions. The recent passage of Tennessee’s ELVIS Act, which allows legal action against unauthorized recreations of an artist’s voice, underscores the necessity for robust legal frameworks to manage these technologies. For non-celebrities, the idea of a personal voice bank brings about its own set of legal challenges. How do we regulate the use of an individual’s voice after their death? Who holds the rights to control and consent to the usage of these digital artifacts?

To safeguard against misuse, any system of voice banking would need stringent controls over who can access and utilize these voices. The creation of such banks would necessitate clear guidelines and perhaps even contractual agreements stipulating the terms under which these voices may be used posthumously.

Should we all consider creating voice banks to preserve our voices, allowing future generations the chance to interact with us even after we are gone?

 

Smart(er) Glasses: Introducing New Ray-Ban | Meta Styles + Expanding Access to Meta AI with Vision — from meta.com

  • Share Your View on a Video Call
  • Meta AI Makes Your Smart Glasses Smarter
  • All In On AI-Powered Hardware

New Ray-Ban | Meta Smart Glasses Styles and Meta AI Updates — from about.fb.com

Takeaways

  • We’re expanding the Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses collection with new styles.
  • We’re adding video calling with WhatsApp and Messenger to share your view on a video call.
  • We’re rolling out Meta AI with Vision, so you can ask your glasses about what you’re seeing and get helpful information — completely hands-free.

 


How Early Adopters of Gen AI Are Gaining Efficiencies — from knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu by Prasanna (Sonny) Tambe and Scott A. Snyder; via Ray Schroeder on LinkedIn
Enterprises are seeing gains from generative AI in productivity and strategic planning, according to speakers at a recent Wharton conference.

Its unique strengths in translation, summation, and content generation are especially useful in processing unstructured data. Some 80% of all new data in enterprises is unstructured, he noted, citing research firm Gartner. Very little of that unstructured data that resides in places like emails “is used effectively at the point of decision making,” he noted. “[With gen AI], we have a real opportunity” to garner new insights from all the information that resides in emails, team communication platforms like Slack, and agile project management tools like Jira, he said.


6 YouTube Channels to Stay Up to Date with AI — from heaigirl.substack.com by Diana Dovgopol
Here are some cool AI YouTube channels.

Here are 6 YouTube channels I watch to stay up to date with AI. This list will be useful whether you’re a casual AI enthusiast or an experienced programmer.

1. Matt Wolfe: AI for non-coders
This is a fast-growing YouTube channel focused on artificial intelligence for non-coders. On this channel, you’ll find videos about ChatGPT, Midjourney, and any AI tool that it’s gaining popularity.


Top AI mobile apps, Stable Video 3D, & my AI film workflow — from by Heather Cooper
Plus 1-Click 3D animation and other cool AI tools

#3 Photomath
Photomath is a comprehensive math help app that provides step-by-step explanations for a wide range of math problems, from elementary to college level. Photomath is only available as a mobile app. (link)

Features:

  • Get step-by-step solutions with multiple methods to choose from
  • Scan any math problem, including word problems, using the app’s camera
  • Access custom visual aids and extra “how” and “why” tips for deeper understanding

Google researchers unveil ‘VLOGGER’, an AI that can bring still photos to life — from venturebeat.com by Michael Nuñez

Google researchers have developed a new artificial intelligence system that can generate lifelike videos of people speaking, gesturing and moving — from just a single still photo. The technology, called VLOGGER, relies on advanced machine learning models to synthesize startlingly realistic footage, opening up a range of potential applications while also raising concerns around deepfakes and misinformation.



What We Risk By Automating Tasks We Loathe — from marcwatkins.substack.com by Marc Watkins

I’m fascinated by the potential of these tools to augment and enhance our work and creativity. There’s no denying the impressive capabilities we’re already seeing with text generation, image creation, coding assistance, and more. Used thoughtfully, AI can be a powerful productivity multiplier.

At the same time, I have significant concerns about the broader implications of this accelerating technology, especially for education and society at large. We’re traversing new ground at a breakneck pace, and it’s crucial that we don’t blindly embrace AI without considering the potential risks.

My worry is that by automating away too many tasks, even seemingly rote ones like creating slide decks, we risk losing something vital—humanity at the heart of knowledge work.


Nvidia Introduce AI Nurses — from wireprompt.substack.com | Weekkly AI Report from WirePrompt

Nvidia has announced a partnership with Hippocratic AI to introduce AI “agents” aimed at replacing nurses in hospitals. These AI “nurses” come at a significantly low cost compared to human nurses and are purportedly intended to address staffing issues by handling “low-risk,” patient-facing tasks via video calls. However, concerns are raised regarding the ethical implications and effectiveness of replacing human nurses with AI, particularly given the complex nature of medical care.



16 Changes to the Way Enterprises Are Building and Buying Generative AI — from a16z.com by Sarah Wang and Shangda Xu

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • Resourcing: budgets are growing dramatically and here to stay
  • Models: enterprises are trending toward a multi-model, open source world
  • Use cases: more migrating to production
  • Size of total opportunity: massive and growing quickly

 

This week in 5 numbers: Another faith-based college plans to close — from by Natalie Schwartz
We’re rounding up some of our top recent stories, from Notre Dame College’s planned closure to Valparaiso’s potential academic cuts.

BY THE NUMBERS

  • 1,444
    The number of students who were enrolled at Notre Dame College in fall 2022, down 37% from 2014. The Roman Catholic college recently said it would close after the spring term, citing declining enrollment, along with rising costs and significant debt.
  • 28
    The number of academic programs that Valparaiso University may eliminate. Eric Johnson, the Indiana institution’s provost, said it offers too many majors, minors and graduate degrees in relation to its enrollment.

A couple of other items re: higher education that caught my eye were:

Universities Expect to Use More Tech in Future Classrooms—but Don’t Know How — from insidehighered.com by Lauren Coffey

University administrators see the need to implement education technology in their classrooms but are at a loss regarding how to do so, according to a new report.

The College Innovation Network released its first CIN Administrator EdTech survey today, which revealed that more than half (53 percent) of the 214 administrators surveyed do not feel extremely confident in choosing effective ed-tech products for their institutions.

“While administrators are excited about offering new ed-tech tools, they are lacking knowledge and data to help them make informed decisions that benefit students and faculty,” Omid Fotuhi, director of learning and innovation at WGU Labs, which funds the network, said in a statement.

From DSC:
I always appreciated our cross-disciplinary team at Calvin (then College). As we looked at enhancing our learning spaces, we had input from the Teaching & Learning Group, IT, A/V, the academic side of the house, and facilities. It was definitely a team-based approach. (As I think about it, it would have been helpful to have more channels for student feedback as well.)


Per Jeff Selingo:

Optionality. In my keynote, I pointed out that the academic calendar and credit hour in higher ed are like “shelf space” on the old television schedule that has been upended by streaming. In much the same way, we need similar optionality to meet the challenges of higher ed right now: in how students access learning (in-person, hybrid, online) to credentials (certificates, degrees) to how those experiences stack together for lifelong learning.

Culture in institutions. The common thread throughout the conference was how the culture of institutions (both universities and governments) need to change so our structures and practices can evolve. Too many people in higher ed right now are employing a scarcity mindset and seeing every change as a zero-sum game. If you’re not happy about the present, as many attendees suggested you’re not going to be excited about the future.

 

Immersive virtual reality tackles depression stigma says study — from inavateonthenet.net

A new study from the University of Tokyo has highlighted the positive effect that immersive virtual reality experiences have for depression anti-stigma and knowledge interventions compared to traditional video.

The study found that depression knowledge improved for both interventions, however, only the immersive VR intervention reduced stigma. The VR-powered intervention saw depression knowledge score positively associated with a neural response in the brain that is indicative of empathetic concern. The traditional video intervention saw the inverse, with participants demonstrating a brain-response which suggests a distress-related response.

From DSC:
This study makes me wonder why we haven’t heard of more VR-based uses in diversity training. I’m surprised we haven’t heard of situations where we are put in someone else’s mocassins so to speak. We could have a lot more empathy for someone — and better understand their situation — if we were to experience life as others might experience it. In the process, we would likely uncover some hidden biases that we have.


Addendum on 3/12/24:

Augmented reality provides benefit for Parkinson’s physical therapy — from inavateonthenet.net

 

World’s largest projection mapping snags Guinness World Record — from inavateonthenet.net
A nightly projection mapping display at the Tokyo metropolitan government headquarters has been recognised by Guinness World Records as the largest in the world.

 

From DSC:
I recently ran into the following item:


UK university opens VR classroom — from inavateonthenet.net

Students at the University of Nottingham will be learning through a dedicated VR classroom, enabling remote viewing and teaching for students and lecturers.

Based in the university’s Engineering Science and Learning Centre (ELSC), this classroom, believed to be the first in the UK to use a dedicated VR classroom, using 40 VR headsets, 35 of which are tethered overhead to individual PCs, with five available as traditional, desk-based systems with display screens.


I admit that I was excited to see this article and I congratulate the University of Nottingham on their vision here. I hope that they can introduce more use cases and applications to provide evidence of VR’s headway.

As I look at virtual reality…

  • On the plus side, I’ve spoken with people who love to use their VR-based headsets for fun workouts/exercises. I’ve witnessed the sweat, so I know that’s true. And I believe there is value in having the ability to walk through museums that one can’t afford to get to. And I’m sure that the gamers have found some incredibly entertaining competitions out there. The experience of being immersed can be highly engaging. So there are some niche use cases for sure.
  • But on the negative side, the technologies surrounding VR haven’t progressed as much as I thought they would have by now. For example, I’m disappointed Apple’s taken so long to put a product out there, and I don’t want to invest $3500 in their new product. From the reviews and items on social media that I’ve seen, the reception is lukewarm. At the most basic level, I’m not sure people want to wear a headset for more than a few minutes.

So overall, I’d like to see more use cases and less nausea.


Addendum on 2/27/24:

Leyard ‘wall of wonder’ wows visitors at Molecular Biology Lab — from inavateonthenet.net

 

Hologram lecturers thrill students at trailblazing UK university — from theguardian.com by Rachel Hall

Prof Vikki Locke and Prof Gary Burnett try out the hologram technology. Photograph: Christopher Thomond/The Guardian

Any university lecturer will tell you that luring students to a morning lecture is an uphill struggle. But even the most hungover fresher would surely be enticed by a physics lesson from Albert Einstein or a design masterclass from Coco Chanel.

This could soon be the reality for British students, as some universities start to beam in guest lecturers from around the globe using the same holographic technology that is used to bring dead or retired singers back to the stage.

 

Enter the New Era of Mobile AI With Samsung Galaxy S24 Series — from news.samsung.com

Galaxy AI introduces meaningful intelligence aimed at enhancing every part of life, especially the phone’s most fundamental role: communication. When you need to defy language barriers, Galaxy S24 makes it easier than ever. Chat with another student or colleague from abroad. Book a reservation while on vacation in another country. It’s all possible with Live Translate,2 two-way, real-time voice and text translations of phone calls within the native app. No third-party apps are required, and on-device AI keeps conversations completely private.

With Interpreter, live conversations can be instantly translated on a split-screen view so people standing opposite each other can read a text transcription of what the other person has said. It even works without cellular data or Wi-Fi.


Galaxy S24 — from theneurondaily.com by Noah Edelman & Pete Huang

Samsung just announced the first truly AI-powered smartphone: the Galaxy S24.


For us AI power users, the features aren’t exactly new, but it’s the first time we’ve seen them packaged up into a smartphone (Siri doesn’t count, sorry).


Samsung’s Galaxy S24 line arrives with camera improvements and generative AI tricks — from techcrunch.com by Brian Heater
Starting at $800, the new flagships offer brighter screens and a slew of new photo-editing tools

 

CES 2024: Unveiling The Future Of Legal Through Consumer Innovations — from abovethelaw.com by Stephen Embry
The ripple effects on the legal industry are real.

The Emerging Role of Smart TVs
Boothe and Comiskey claim that our TVs will become even smarter and better connected to the web and the internet. Our TVs will become an intelligent center for a variety of applications powered through our smartphone. TVs will be able to direct things like appliances and security cameras. Perhaps even more importantly, our TVs can become e-commerce centers, allowing us to speak with them and conduct business.

This increased TV capability means that the TV could become a more dominant mode of working and computing for lawyers. As TVs become more integrated with the internet and capable of functioning as communication hubs, they could potentially replace traditional computing devices in legal settings. With features like voice control and pattern recognition, TVs could serve as efficient tools for such things as document preparation and client meetings.

From DSC:
Now imagine the power of voice-enabled chatbots and the like. We could be videoconferencing (or holograming) with clients, and be able to access information at the same time. Language translation — like that in the Timekettle product — will be built in.

I also wonder how this type of functionality will play out in lifelong learning from our living rooms.

Learning from the Living AI-Based Class Room

 


Also, some other legaltech-related items:


Are Tomorrow’s Lawyers Prepared for Legal’s Tech Future? 4 Recent Trends Shaping Legal Education | Legaltech News — from law.com (behind paywall)

Legal Tech Predictions for 2024: Embracing a New Era of Innovation — from jdsupra.com

As we step into 2024, the legal industry continues to be reshaped by technological advancements. This year promises to bring new developments that could revolutionize how legal professionals work and interact with clients. Here are key predictions for legal tech in 2024:

Miss the Legaltech Week 2023 Year-in-Review Show? Here’s the Recording — from lawnext.com by Bob Ambrogi

Last Friday was Legaltech Week’s year-end show, in which our panel of journalists and bloggers picked the year’s top stories in legal tech and innovation.

So what were the top stories? Well, if you missed it, no worries. Here’s the video:

 

7thSense powers content on Sphere’s interior and exterior LED displays — from inavateonthenet.net

At 16K x 16K resolution, Sphere’s interior LED display plane is the highest resolution LED screen in the world. Soaring to a height of 240 feet, and with over 3 acres of display surface, the screen wraps up, over, and around the audience to create a fully immersive visual environment.


50-foot-high Hypervsn hologram launches at The Sphere in Las Vegas — from inavateonthenet.net

The pubic atrium of the recently opened MSG Sphere in Las Vegas features Hypervsn’s largest-ever 30 x 50-foot holographic display wall alongside real-life humanoid robots that greet visitors on arrival, a 360-degree avatar capture and a beam-forming sound display.

The 50-foot-high installation project included 420 individual SmartV Hypervsn displays fixed to a secure rack that hangs from the atrium wall.



 

Mark Zuckerberg: First Interview in the Metaverse | Lex Fridman Podcast #398


Photo-realistic avatars show future of Metaverse communication — from inavateonthenet.net

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Meta, took part in the first-ever Metaverse interview using photo-realistic virtual avatars, demonstrating the Metaverse’s capability for virtual communication.

Zuckerberg appeared on the Lex Fridman podcast, using scans of both Fridman and Zuckerberg to create realistic avatars instead of using a live video feed. A computer model of the avatar’s faces and bodies are put into a Codec, using a headset to send an encoded version of the avatar.

The interview explored the future of AI in the metaverse, as well as the Quest 3 headset and the future of humanity.


 
© 2024 | Daniel Christian