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Alexa Just Got an AI Makeover


Alexa was due for an upgrade, and now it has gotten one. This week, Amazon held its annual media event where it debuted a slate of new hardware, software, and services. The company reserved the spot at center stage for Alexa, the voice assistant powering all of Amazon's smart home ambitions. Researchers at the company have given Alexa a technological upgrade that enables it to be more competitive in the ChatGPT era. Alexa can now speak more naturally, hold a conversation without as many awkward interactions, and even make its responses sound more emotionally nuanced.

The Morning After: Amazon turns Alexa into a more conversational chatbot for your home


Amid a barrage of Amazon-branded tablets and Alexa-powered tech, Dave Limp, SVP of Amazon Devices and Services, announced the company's digital assistant will soon tap into a purpose-built large language model (LLM) for almost every new Echo device. Amazon set out to design the LLM based on five foundational capabilities. One of these is ensuring interactions are "conversational," and the company claimed it "studied what it takes to make a great conversation. Still waiting on Amazon to add eyes and hand gestures to its Echo devices. Has anyone seen Astro recently?

Top Indian actor wins landmark case against AI


Anil Kapoor, one of India's leading actors and most recognizable faces, has just won a landmark ruling against artificial intelligence. Kapoor, who has appeared in over 100 films including Slumdog Millionaire and most recently, Thank You For Coming, filed a suit in Delhi High Court for protection of his personality rights. This includes his name, image, voice, and any other attributes of his likeness. As reported by Variety, the court granted an order on Wednesday which acknowledged the actor's personality rights and restraining others from "misusing" his attributes without permission. The order applies to the actor's rights globally, across media formats.

Confessions of a Viral AI Writer


Six or seven years ago, I realized I should learn about artificial intelligence. I'm a journalist, but in my spare time I'd been writing a speculative novel set in a world ruled by a corporate, AI-run government. The problem was, I didn't really understand what a system like that would look like. I started pitching articles that would give me an excuse to find out, and in 2017 I was assigned to profile Sam Altman, a cofounder of OpenAI. One day I sat in on a meeting in which an entrepreneur asked him when AI would start replacing human workers.

The next DALL-E will be able to generate results within ChatGPT


OpenAI is gearing up to roll out the third version of DALL-E, its text-to-image AI system, which reportedly improves its predecessor's capabilities and can generate results within the ChatGPT app. The company demonstrated how the new iteration integrates with ChatGPT to The Verge, and it showed the publication how users can ask the chatbot to write a lengthy and detailed prompt the image AI can use. OpenAI told Axios that DALL-E 3 is "significantly better" at being able to grasp a user's intention, especially if the prompt is long and detailed. If a user can't articulate what they want in a way that can maximize the image generator's abilities, then ChatGPT can help them write a comprehensive prompt for it. In the demo to The Verge, DALL-E produced four results for a prompt asking for a ramen restaurant logo in the mountains within ChatGPT.

Texas churchgoers get 'shotgun sermon' cooked up by chatbot

FOX News

Dr. Anthony Mazzarelli, the CEO of Cooper University Health Care in New Jersey and an ER physician as well, spoke with Fox News Digital about how Nuance's AI tool is helping physicians focus more on patients and less on paperwork. A Texas church hosted a Sunday service the was generated entirely by artificial intelligence. The Violet Crown City Church in north Austin used ChatGPT to develop a sermon, with pastor Jay Cooper saying he got the idea after reading about the technology and wondering what it might be like to use in during a service, according to a report from KXAN. "ChatGPT kicked out about a 15-minute service, like a shotgun sermon, an outline," Cooper said. "It's very clear that a human element is still needed. I had to fill out the service with additional prompts and add a couple prompts to the sermon to kind of beef it up."

'Brainless' robot can navigate complex obstacles


Researchers who created a soft robot that could navigate simple mazes without human or computer direction have now built on that work, creating a "brainless" soft robot that can navigate more complex and dynamic environments. "In our earlier work, we demonstrated that our soft robot was able to twist and turn its way through a very simple obstacle course," says Jie Yin, co-corresponding author of a paper on the work and an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at North Carolina State University. "However, it was unable to turn unless it encountered an obstacle. In practical terms this meant that the robot could sometimes get stuck, bouncing back and forth between parallel obstacles. "We've developed a new soft robot that is capable of turning on its own, allowing it to make its way through twisty mazes, even negotiating its way around moving obstacles.

AI-focused tech firms locked in 'race to the bottom', warns MIT professor

The Guardian

The scientist behind a landmark letter calling for a pause in developing powerful artificial intelligence systems have said tech executives did not halt their work because they are locked in a "race to the bottom". Despite support from more than 30,000 signatories, including Elon Musk and the Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, the document failed to secure a hiatus in developing the most ambitious systems. Speaking to the Guardian six months on, Tegmark said he had not expected the letter to stop tech companies working towards AI models more powerful than GPT-4, the large language model that powers ChatGPT, because competition has become so intense. "I felt that privately a lot of corporate leaders I talked to wanted [a pause] but they were trapped in this race to the bottom against each other. So no company can pause alone," he said.

Russia says 19 Ukrainian drones downed over Crimea, Black Sea, and regions

Al Jazeera

Russian aerial defence systems destroyed a wave of 19 Ukrainian drones that were launched overnight in attacks against targets in the Russia-annexed Crimean peninsula, the surrounding Black Sea and other regions of Russia. The Russian defence ministry said early on Thursday that it had "thwarted" the attacks by Ukraine's aircraft-type unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). "In the night from 20th to 21st September, an attempt by the Kyiv regime to commit a terrorist attack with lethal drones on sites in the Russian Federation was intercepted," the defence ministry said on the Telegram messaging app. "Air defence systems destroyed 19 Ukrainian UAVs over the Black Sea and the territory of the Republic of Crimea, and one each over the territories of Kursk, Belgorod and Oryol regions," the ministry said. The Belgorod and Kursk regions of Russia border eastern Ukraine, while Oryol is closer to the capital, Moscow.

Nvidia CEO tours India eyeing AI market to hedge China risks

The Japan Times

During a five-day tour of India earlier this month, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang visited four cities, dined with tech executives and researchers, took numerous selfies, and sat for a one-on-one conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the AI sector. Huang's India itinerary was so crammed that he confessed to surviving entire work days on spicy masala omelets and cold coffees. Huang may have been treated like a head of state, but the trip's purpose was all business. For Nvidia, whose graphics processors are vital to the development of artificial intelligence systems, the South Asian nation of 1.4 billion people presents a rare opportunity. As the U.S. increasingly clamps down on exports of high-end chips to China and the world seeks an alternative electronics manufacturing base, India could shape up to be a source of AI talent, a site for chip production and a market for Nvidia's products.