Introducing Copilot+ PCs — from blogs.microsoft.com

[On May 20th], at a special event on our new Microsoft campus, we introduced the world to a new category of Windows PCs designed for AI, Copilot+ PCs.

Copilot+ PCs are the fastest, most intelligent Windows PCs ever built. With powerful new silicon capable of an incredible 40+ TOPS (trillion operations per second), all–day battery life and access to the most advanced AI models, Copilot+ PCs will enable you to do things you can’t on any other PC. Easily find and remember what you have seen in your PC with Recall, generate and refine AI images in near real-time directly on the device using Cocreator, and bridge language barriers with Live Captions, translating audio from 40+ languages into English.

From DSC:
As a first off-the-hip look, Recall could be fraught with possible security/privacy-related issues. But what do I know? The Neuron states “Microsoft assures that everything Recall sees remains private.” Ok…


From The Rundown AI concerning the above announcements:

The details:

  • A new system enables Copilot+ PCs to run AI workloads up to 20x faster and 100x more efficiently than traditional PCs.
    Windows 11 has been rearchitected specifically for AI, integrating the Copilot assistant directly into the OS.
  • New AI experiences include a new feature called Recall, which allows users to search for anything they’ve seen on their screen with natural language.
  • Copilot’s new screen-sharing feature allows AI to watch, hear, and understand what a user is doing on their computer and answer questions in real-time.
  • Copilot+ PCs will start at $999, and ship with OpenAI’s latest GPT-4o models.

Why it matters: Tony Stark’s all-powerful JARVIS AI assistant is getting closer to reality every day. Once Copilot, ChatGPT, Project Astra, or anyone else can not only respond but start executing tasks autonomously, things will start getting really exciting — and likely initiate a whole new era of tech work.


 

AI’s New Conversation Skills Eyed for Education — from insidehighered.com by Lauren Coffey
The latest ChatGPT’s more human-like verbal communication has professors pondering personalized learning, on-demand tutoring and more classroom applications.

ChatGPT’s newest version, GPT-4o ( the “o” standing for “omni,” meaning “all”), has a more realistic voice and quicker verbal response time, both aiming to sound more human. The version, which should be available to free ChatGPT users in coming weeks—a change also hailed by educators—allows people to interrupt it while it speaks, simulates more emotions with its voice and translates languages in real time. It also can understand instructions in text and images and has improved video capabilities.

Ajjan said she immediately thought the new vocal and video capabilities could allow GPT to serve as a personalized tutor. Personalized learning has been a focus for educators grappling with the looming enrollment cliff and for those pushing for student success.

There’s also the potential for role playing, according to Ajjan. She pointed to mock interviews students could do to prepare for job interviews, or, for example, using GPT to play the role of a buyer to help prepare students in an economics course.

 

 

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:





 

 

Description:

I recently created an AI version of myself—REID AI—and recorded a Q&A to see how this digital twin might challenge me in new ways. The video avatar is generated by Hour One, its voice was created by Eleven Labs, and its persona—the way that REID AI formulates responses—is generated from a custom chatbot built on GPT-4 that was trained on my books, speeches, podcasts and other content that I’ve produced over the last few decades. I decided to interview it to test its capability and how closely its responses match—and test—my thinking. Then, REID AI asked me some questions on AI and technology. I thought I would hate this, but I’ve actually ended up finding the whole experience interesting and thought-provoking.


From DSC:
This ability to ask questions of a digital twin is very interesting when you think about it in terms of “interviewing” a historical figure. I believe character.ai provides this kind of thing, but I haven’t used it much.


 

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.

 

12 Books for Instructional Designers to Read This Year — from theelearningcoach.com by Connie Malamed

Over the past year, many excellent and resourceful books have crossed my desk or Kindle. I’m rounding them up here so you can find a few to expand your horizons. The list below is in alphabetical order by title.

Each book is unique, yet as a collection, they reflect some common themes and trends in Learning and Development: a focus on empathy and emotion, adopting best practices from other fields, using data for greater impact, aligning projects with organizational goals, and developing consultative skills. The authors listed here are optimistic and forward-thinking—they believe change is possible. I hope you enjoy the books.

 

Below are some items for those creatives who might be interested in telling stories, designing games, crafting audio-based experiences, composing music, developing new worlds using 3D graphics, and more. 


CREATING THE SOUNDS OF LIGHTFALL — from bungie.net; via Mr. Robert Bender

The sounds of any game can make or break the experience for its players. Many of our favorite adventures come roaring back into our minds when we hear a familiar melody, or maybe it’s a special sound effect that reminds us of our time performing a particularly heroic feat… or the time we just caused some havoc with friends. With Lightfall sending Guardians to explore the new destination of Neomuna, there’s an entire universe hidden away within the sounds—both orchestral and diegetic—for Guardians to uncover and immerse themselves in. We recently assembled some of Destiny’s finest sound designers and composers to dive a little bit deeper into the stunning depths of Neomuna’s auditory experience.

Before diving into the interview with our incredible team, we wanted to make sure you have seen the Lightfall music documentary that went out shortly after the expansion’s release. This short video is a great introduction to how our team worked to create the music of Lightfall and is a must-see for audiophiles and Destiny fans alike.

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Game Dev Diaries: The Hidden World of Audio — from lianaruppert.medium.com by Liana Ruppert, via Mr. Robert Bender

Every game has a story to tell, a journey to take players through that — if done well — can inspire wonderful memories that last a lifetime. Unlike other storytelling mediums, the art of video games is an intricate interweaving of experiences, including psychological cues that are designed to entrance players and make them feel like they’re a part of the story. One way this is achieved is through the art of audio. And no, we aren’t just talking about the many incredible soundtracks out there, we’re talking about the oftentimes overlooked universe of audio design.

What does an audio designer do?
“Number one? We don’t work on music. That’s a thing almost everyone thinks every audio designer does,” jokes Nyte when opening up about beginning her quest into the audio world. “That, or for a game like Destiny, people just assume we only work on weapon sounds and nothing else. Which, [Juan] Uribe does, but a lot of us don’t. There is this entire gamut of other sounds that are in-game that people don’t really notice. Some do, and that’s always cool, but audio is about all sounds coming together for a ‘whole’ audio experience.”


Also relevant/see:

The New Stack of Entertainment, Tensions of the AI Age, & Navigating Cambrian Explosions — from implications.com by Scott Belsky
Let’s explore some fun albeit heretical Hollywood possibilities, face key tensions, and talk about how to stay grounded with customer needs.

On the Transformation of Entertainment
What company will be the Pixar of the AI era? What talent agency will be the CAA of the AI era? How fast can the entertainment industry evolve to natively leverage AI, and what parts will be disrupted by the industry’s own ambivalence? Or are all of these questions myopic…and should we anticipate a wave of entirely new categories of entertainment?

We are starting to see material adoption of AI tools across many industries, including media and entertainment. No doubt, these tools will transform the processes behind generating content. But what entirely new genres of content might emerge? The platform shift to AI-based workflows might give rise to entirely new types of companies that transform entertainment as we know it – from actor representation, Hollywood economics, consumption devices and experiences, to the actual mediums of entertainment themselves. Let’s explore just a few of the more edgy implications:

 

What is executive function?

What is executive function? — from understood.org by Gail Belsky

Executive function is a set of mental skills that include working memory, flexible thinking, and self-control. We use these skills every day to learn, work, and manage daily life. Trouble with executive function can make it hard to focus, follow directions, and handle emotions, among other things.

Snapshot: What executive function is
Some people describe executive function as “the management system of the brain.” That’s because the skills involved let us set goals, plan, and get things done. When people struggle with executive function, it impacts them at home, in school, and in life.

There are three main areas of executive function. They are…

 
 

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

 

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

 

The Rise of Learning Societies — from educationnext.org by Alan Gottlieb
A small experiment in rural Idaho holds big promise for student success 

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The basic idea is this: Some parents who, for a variety of reasons, hesitate to send their children to a traditional brick-and-mortar school have neither the time, inclination, or temperament to homeschool or to monitor a full-time online program. Learning Societies provide an intimate environment where kids, supervised by professional educators, learn online and in small, in-person groups for six hours a day. Gem Prep leaders describe it as a sweet spot between traditional schooling and at-home online learning. It is particularly well suited to rural areas.

Learning Societies have the potential to achieve a happy medium that combines the strengths of both homeschooling (or online learning from home) and a traditional brick-and-mortar school.

A typical school day at a Gem Prep Learning Society sees some students engaged in online lessons on laptops while others receive instruction from a teacher in a small group, all within the same classroom. Both modalities use Gem Prep Online’s well-regarded curriculum.

 

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.


 



Adobe video-AI announcements for IBC — from provideocoalition.com by Rich Young

For the IBC 2023 conference, Adobe announced new AI and 3D features to Creative Cloud video tools, including Premiere Pro Enhance Speech for faster dialog cleanup, and filler word detection and removal in Text-Based Editing. There’s also new AI-based rotoscoping and a true 3D workspace in the After Effects beta, as well as new camera-to-cloud integrations and advanced storage options in Frame.io.

Though not really about AI, you might also be interested in this posting:


Airt AI Art Generator (Review) — from hongkiat.com
Turn your creative ideas into masterpieces using Airt’s AI iPad app.

The Airt AI Generator app makes it easy to create art on your iPad. You can pick an art style and a model to make your artwork. It’s simple enough for anyone to use, but it doesn’t have many options for customizing your art.

Even with these limitations, it’s a good starting point for people who want to try making art with AI. Here are the good and bad points we found.

Pros:

  • User-Friendly: The app is simple and easy to use, making it accessible for users of all skill levels.

Cons:

  • Limited Advanced Features: The app lacks options for customization, such as altering image ratios, seeds, and other settings.

 
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