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How Revolutionary Are Meta's AI Efforts?

#artificialintelligence

Mark Zuckerberg introduced Facebook's rebranding to Meta at the company's annual Connect event last year to reposition the company for the "new internet," the metaverse. The metaverse has been around for some time as a kind of urban legend, perhaps aptly described in the 2011 science fantasy book Ready Player One. That was until some of the biggest names in tech started investing heavily in related technologies, including virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR), Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence (AI). Today AI is one of the most exciting technology fields to work on. Zuckerberg said the metaverse is something he's wanted to work on since even before the conception of Facebook.


Vodafone's deployment of Europe's first 5G standalone core

#artificialintelligence

Vodafone's motivation to become the first service provider in Germany, and in Europe, to commercially offer 5G Standalone based services was highly driven by their desire of using this new technology to address the industry challenges and needs, such as: The core network in 5G non-standalone solutions is based on existing LTE infrastructure, meaning customers are not able to fully exploit advanced 5G capabilities such as network slicing and ultra-low latency. Vodafone wanted their customers to, for example, be able to experience applications such as lag-free online gaming experiences and virtual reality, and for enterprises, industrial robot applications, or remotely operated drone fleets, which is only possible with 5G Standalone. Better support and accelerate Industry 4.0 realization across Germany Vodafone is considered a key contributor to the development of Germany's digital infrastructure whose customers rely on them to deliver the best in connectivity. The German market has a very high percentage of small and medium enterprises that are world market leaders, and for those industries, it is super important to be competitive now in the journey towards digitalization and industry 4.0. Vodafone wanted to be ready to support them.


Microsoft Earnings Dented by Cloud Slowdown, Videogame Sales Drop

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

Microsoft suffered its slowest earnings growth in two years, hurt by a sharp slowdown in its cloud business, declining videogame sales and the effects of strong dollar. The company on Tuesday posted sales of $51.9 billion for its fiscal fourth-quarter, up 12% for the same period a year earlier, though below Wall Street expectations. Sales were affected by myriad other issues, including supply-chain disruptions in China, scaling back operations in Russia after the country's invasion of Ukraine and upheaval in the digital-advertising market.


NVIDIA Research Lets Developers Improvise With 3D Objects

#artificialintelligence

Jazz is all about improvisation -- and NVIDIA is paying tribute to the genre with AI research that could one day enable graphics creators to improvise with 3D objects created in the time it takes to hold a jam session. The method, NVIDIA 3D MoMa, could empower architects, designers, concept artists and game developers to quickly import an object into a graphics engine to start working with it, modifying scale, changing the material or experimenting with different lighting effects. NVIDIA Research showcased this technology in a video celebrating jazz and its birthplace, New Orleans, where the paper behind 3D MoMa will be presented this week at the Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition. Inverse rendering, a technique to reconstruct a series of still photos into a 3D model of an object or scene, "has long been a holy grail unifying computer vision and computer graphics," said David Luebke, vice president of graphics research at NVIDIA. "By formulating every piece of the inverse rendering problem as a GPU-accelerated differentiable component, the NVIDIA 3D MoMa rendering pipeline uses the machinery of modern AI and the raw computational horsepower of NVIDIA GPUs to quickly produce 3D objects that creators can import, edit and extend without limitation in existing tools," he said.


Conscious Domination: Can sentient AI Power the Future of Video Games and Stock Trading? - Herbert R. Sim

#artificialintelligence

"Do you think a butler is a slave? What is the difference between a butler and a slave?" The above was a calculated, almost chilly response by LaMDA, Google's artificially intelligent chatbot, to a question posed by Google engineer Blake Lemoine. A further exchange only heightened Lemoine's suspicions and, much to the chagrin of Google, concluded that LaMDA is sentient, of having the ability to display a sense of consciousness. While the tech company has sought to distance itself from Lemoine's claims and attempt to debunk them with its own team of ethicists and engineers, the case with LaMDA has brought an uncomfortable spotlight to the world of artificial intelligence (AI).


The 92 Absolute Best Prime Day Deals We've Found (Day 2)

WIRED

Amazon Prime Day is winding down, ending in just a few hours (11:59 pm PT to be exact). Most of the deals are for Prime subscribers, but there are great discounts for non-members as well. We've spent hours combing through thousands of deals; these are our favorites on WIRED-tested gear, from Alexa-enabled speakers and robot vacs to laptops and tablets. The WIRED Gear team tests products year-round. We sorted through hundreds of thousands of deals by hand to make these picks. Crossed out products are out of stock or no longer discounted. Our Amazon Prime Day coverage page has the latest stories, and our Prime Day Shopping Tips will help you avoid bad deals. You can also get a 1-year subscription to WIRED for $5 here. Updated July 13: We've added new deals, including the OnePlus 9 Pro, Logitech K380 Keyboard, and Bose QuietComfort 45 Headphones. We've also removed expired deals and updated prices. If you buy something using links in our stories, we may earn a commission. This helps support our journalism. We've got a separate roundup of more great home and kitchen deals right here. There are blenders, and then there are Vitamix blenders. I was skeptical, but like my fellow Gear reviewer Joe Ray, the Vitamix made me a blender person.


The 88 Absolute Best Prime Day Deals We've Found (Day 2)

WIRED

Amazon Prime Day is here. The mega-retailer's two-day sales event for Prime subscribers is in full swing, and there are plenty of deals on some of our favorite gear and gadgets, from Alexa-enabled speakers to robot vacs to laptops and tablets. The WIRED Gear team tests products year-round. We sorted through hundreds of thousands of deals by hand to make these picks. Crossed out products are out of stock or no longer discounted. Our Amazon Prime Day coverage page has the latest stories, and our Prime Day Shopping Tips will help you avoid bad deals. You can also get a 1-year subscription to WIRED for $5 here. Updated July 13: We've added five new deals, including JackRabbit eBike, Apollo City 2022 electric scooter, and more. We've also shifted a few sections around to highlight new deals, removed a number of expired deals, and updated prices and links throughout. If you buy something using links in our stories, we may earn a commission. This helps support our journalism. We've got a separate roundup of more great home and kitchen deals right here. There are blenders, and then there are Vitamix blenders. I was skeptical, but like my fellow Gear reviewer Joe Ray, the Vitamix made me a blender person. A blender is, essentially, just a blade atop a motor.


Unity Agrees to Buy ironSource in $4.4 Billion Videogame Deal

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

Unity Software agreed to buy ironSource Ltd., in a $4.4 billion, all-stock deal, joining forces with the Israeli mobile-app and ad-tech company as the broader tech industry faces a slowdown in digital advertising. The transaction, announced Wednesday, combines two providers of services for videogame and other software developers. It comes amid a rout in technology stocks and a series of layoff announcements and hiring freezes in the industry tied in part to a slowdown in digital advertising sales. Last month Unity laid off about 4% of its workforce, saying the move served as a way to better match the size of its staff with its needs.


The 78 Absolute Best Prime Day Deals

WIRED

Amazon Prime Day is here. The mega-retailer's two-day sales event for Prime subscribers is in full swing, and there are plenty of deals on some of our favorite gear and gadgets, from Alexa-enabled speakers to robot vacs to laptops and tablets. The WIRED Gear team tests products year-round. We sorted through hundreds of thousands of deals by hand to make these picks. Crossed out products are out of stock or no longer discounted. Our Amazon Prime Day coverage page has the latest stories, and our Prime Day Shopping Tips will help you avoid bad deals. You can also get a 1-year subscription to WIRED for $5 here. Updated July 12: We've added 7 new deals and crossed out any that are no longer available. We've also updated prices and link throughout. If you buy something using links in our stories, we may earn a commission. This helps support our journalism. Prime Day is the best time to pick up a new Amazon device, whether that's a Kindle, Fire tablet, or Echo speaker--they're unlikely to get cheaper than this.


The 72 Absolute Best Prime Day Deals

WIRED

Amazon Prime Day is here. The mega-retailer's two-day sales event for Prime subscribers is in full swing, and there are plenty of deals on some of our favorite gear and gadgets, from Alexa-enabled speakers to robot vacs to laptops and tablets. The WIRED Gear team tests products year-round. We sorted through hundreds of thousands of deals by hand to make these picks. Crossed out products are out of stock or no longer discounted. Our Amazon Prime Day coverage page has the latest stories, and our Prime Day Shopping Tips will help you avoid bad deals. You can also get a 1-year subscription to WIRED for $5 here. If you buy something using links in our stories, we may earn a commission. This helps support our journalism. Prime Day is the best time to pick up a new Amazon device, whether that's a Kindle, Fire tablet, or Echo speaker--they're unlikely to get cheaper than this. For a complete list, read our Best Prime Day Deals on Amazon Devices roundup.