Week in technology: OpenAI’s ChatGPT advances and Meta’s AI push

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Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg declared that the company was integrating artificial intelligence into its digital assistants and smart glasses



Here’s a recap of the key events in the realm of science and technology this week.

ChatGPT is now capable of internet browsing, conversing, and image processing

OpenAI, which is supported by Microsoft, revealed earlier this week that ChatGPT users can now explore the internet. This will expand the range of data accessible to the popular chatbot beyond its previous limitation set in September 2021, according to a Reuters report. In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, OpenAI stated that browsing is particularly beneficial for tasks that necessitate up-to-date information, such as assisting with technical research, selecting a bicycle, or planning a vacation. The feature is already accessible to Plus and Enterprise users and will soon be extended to all users. To enable it, select Browse with Bing in the GPT-4 selector, as mentioned in ChatGPT’s post. The company also announced that the chatbot is now equipped with vision, hearing, and speech capabilities. While ChatGPT has been confined to written prompts since its launch, the upcoming updates, which will be rolled out over the next two weeks, will allow users with paid versions to engage in conversations with the AI and show it relevant images. Read more about this here.

Nasa scientists initiate the return process for asteroid sample probe

On 27 September, Nasa scientists finally began the process of accessing the space probe carrying the largest ever asteroid samples brought back to Earth. When the initial lid was removed today, researchers “found black dust and debris on the avionics deck of the Osiris-Rex science canister,” as explained in an AFP report, without definitively confirming whether these substances belong to the asteroid. Osiris-Rex was launched in 2016, landed on the Bennu asteroid, and collected approximately 250 grams (nine ounces) of dust from its rocky surface. Even this small quantity, NASA stated, should “help us gain a better understanding of the types of asteroids that could pose a threat to Earth.” After a 6.21-billion-kilometer (3.86-billion-mile) journey, the probe concluded by touching down in the western state of Utah on 24 October after descending through Earth’s atmosphere, added the AFP report.

Meta integrates AI in smart glasses and digital assistants

On 27 September, Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg revealed that the company is embedding artificial intelligence (AI) in its digital assistants and smart glasses. The next-generation Meta Ray-Ban smart glasses will be available starting from $299 when they are launched on 17 October, according to an AFP report. Zuckerberg stated that these smart glasses will also enable users to stream their real-time perspectives. The company is also introducing 28 AI characters that users can communicate with on WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram, featuring “personalities” inspired by celebrities such as Snoop Dogg, Paris Hilton, and YouTube star MrBeast, as specified in the AFP report. All these announcements were made at Meta’s Connect developers conference, which took place at the company’s headquarters in Silicon Valley, serving as its main annual product event.

(With contributions from news agencies)

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