One of the more intriguing technologies demonstrated at this week's Microsoft Build conference was OpenAI Codex, a machine learning model that translates natural language into code "across more than a dozen programming languages." In a keynote presentation entitled "The Future of AI Development Tools," Microsoft chief technology officer Kevin Scott said that "Codex lets us use natural language to express our intentions, and the machine takes on the responsibility of translating those intentions into code." You heard that right: the machine does the coding for you! This could be the beginning of a paradigm shift in programming. It certainly takes the low-code trend to another level, because now you can (potentially) use AI software to talk an app into existence.
The foundational technology powering new AI coding assistants and other next-gen offerings based on natural language models is going to become an Azure cloud service. Microsoft announced the new Azure OpenAI Service during this week's Ignite 2021 tech event. It's based on GPT-3, an autoregressive language model that produces human-like text by leveraging deep learning, a machine learning construct that imitates the way people gain certain types of knowledge. GPT-3 comes from Microsoft partner OpenAI, an AI research and development company. The GPT-3 language model has been put to many uses, including no-code natural language software development in Power Apps, Microsoft's low-code development offering. Microsoft has a license to infuse GPT-3 technology into its products.
There's an app for everything today, so why not use one for car shopping? Shopping for a car online requires diligent research and repeated checking of listings -- usually on multiple websites. They can send mobile alerts when prices drop or new cars surface, and have abilities their company websites don't, like scanning a window sticker or vehicle identification number for price estimates. Plus, you'll have bargaining power in the palm of your hand when you talk with a dealership or private seller. We checked out many of the most downloaded and top-rated car-buying apps.
Shamim Mohammad has been CIO of CarMax for nearly two and a half years. During that time, he has led a radical digital transformation. One of the first hallmarks of this transformation has been co-locating teams from across divisions of the company, bringing IT staff and others from marketing, operations, finance, and the like. Just as digital is a topic that touches most divisions of the company and the customer, Mohammad has personified this diversity with the teams he has helped create. He also has identified different facets of digital and created product teams around each of them. This has aided in helping each team think about the customer ramifications of the work they are doing, and the evolution of each of these products as circumstances evolve. An overview of these teams can be found on the CarMax Digital site.
CarMax (KMX), the nation's largest used-car retailer, reported a decline in selling prices during its fiscal first quarter, but the company easily beat Wall Street's earnings forecast amid robust sales. Used-car prices are expected to decline this year, as vehicles leased during the U.S. auto sales boom in recent years begin to hit the market. Manufacturers and dealers are closely watching price trends because cheaper used cars could soften demand for new vehicles. CarMax CEO Bill Nash said Wednesday the Richmond, Virginia-based dealership chain has already seen an influx of off-lease vehicles, which is driving prices lower. "As more of them come in, prices will continue to drop," Nash told analysts during a conference call.