Google is taking reservations to talk to its supposedly-sentient chatbot – Yahoo Entertainment





At the I/O 2022 conference this past May, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced that the company would, in the coming months, gradually avail its experimental LaMDA 2 conversational AI model to select beta users. Those months have come. On Thursday, researchers at Google's AI division announced that interested users can register to explore the model as access increasingly becomes available.
Regular readers will recognize LaMDA as the supposedly sentient natural language processing (NLP) model that a Google researcher got himself fired over. NLPs are a class of AI model designed to parse human speech into actionable commands and are behind the functionality of digital assistants and chatbots like Siri or Alexa, as well as do the heavy lifting for realtime translation and subtitle apps. Basically, whenever you're talking to a computer, it's using NLP tech to listen.
"I'm sorry, I didn't quite get that" is a phrase that still haunts many early Siri adopters' dreams, though in the past decade NLP technology has advanced at a rapid pace. Today's models are trained on hundreds of billions of parameters, can translate hundreds of languages in real time and even carry lessons learned in one conversation through to subsequent chats.
Google's AI Test kitchen will enable beta users to experiment and explore interactions with the NLP in a controlled, presumably supervised, sandbox. Access will begin rolling out to small groups of US Android users today before spreading to iOS devices in the coming weeks. The program will offer a set of guided demos which will show users LaMDA's capabilities.
"The first demo, 'Imagine It,' lets you name a place and offers paths to explore your imagination," Tris Warkentin, Group Product Manager at Google Research, and Josh Woodward, Senior Director of Product Management for Labs at Google, wrote in a Google AI blog Thursday. "With the 'List It' demo, you can share a goal or topic, and LaMDA will break it down into a list of helpful subtasks. And in the 'Talk About It (Dogs Edition)' demo, you can have a fun, open-ended conversation about dogs and only dogs, which explores LaMDA’s ability to stay on topic even if you try to veer off-topic."
The focus on safe, responsible interactions is a common one in an industry where there's already a name for chatbot AIs that go full-Nazi, and that name in Taye. Thankfully, that exceedingly embarrassing incident was a lesson that Microsoft and much of the rest of the AI field has taken to heart, which is why we see such strident restrictions on what users can have Midjourney or Dall-E 2 conjure, or what topics Facebook's Blenderbot 3 can discuss.
That's not to say the system is foolproof. "We’ve run dedicated rounds of adversarial testing to find additional flaws in the model," Warkentin and Woodward wrote. "We enlisted expert red teaming members… who have uncovered additional harmful, yet subtle, outputs." Those include failing "to produce a response when they’re used because it has difficulty differentiating between benign and adversarial prompts," and producing "harmful or toxic responses based on biases in its training data." As many AIs these days are wont to do.
Francis Lawrence, of 'I Am Legend' and Hunger Games fame, is taking the reins.
It is currently testing the feature with a limited group of English language users.
It's moving beyond language learning for the first time.
The complex onboarding and user experience is the price people pay to use decentralized apps – and it’s also one of the reasons why most are not using those services. CoinDCX on Friday launched Okto, a mobile platform that will host other decentralized apps and won't require users to remember the long string of words as their password. "To make decentralized investment opportunities further accessible, Okto has integrated multi-party computation technology to solve private key related issues, helping users to recover their passkey and funds seamlessly," said the startup, backed by B Capital Group and Coinbase Ventures among its backers.
Email Protection, which is now in open beta, strips trackers out of messages.
Existing users under the age of 16 years old will be asked to shift to the most restrictive content setting.
Nearly halfway to its 2050 goal of fielding a World-Cup caliber robotic soccer team, the 25th anniversary of RoboCup shows how far the technology has come, and how far it still has to run.
The Galaxy Watch 5 isn’t a huge upgrade, but thanks to capable health and activity tracking features and an easy-to-use interface, Samsung’s latest remains the best Android smartwatch around.
The company says it almost hits the fastest possible speeds for the PCIe 4.0 interface.
HP is unveiling a pair of PCs built with remote work in mind, including its first Dragonfly Folio hybrid laptop.
Meta is finally addressing a problem that’s long vexed users: its lack of customer support.
Because hey, you’re paying for it.
T-Mobile and SpaceX have announced that Starlink satellites launched next year will be able to connect directly to the carrier's phones over existing cellular bands. The companies hope to enable global roaming wherever satellite coverage exists, and the service may potentially be added for free to existing T-Mobile plans. SpaceX's Elon Musk and T-Mobile's Mike Sievert announced the "technology alliance" at the space company's Starbase in Texas.
FOLLOW-UP: T-Mobile’s coverage will get a big boost from SpaceX’s Starlink satellites, starting with texts The CEOs of SpaceX and T-Mobile will join forces on Thursday to reveal how their companies will work together to increase wireless connectivity. Details about the announcement, set to be live-streamed at 7 p.m. CT (5 p.m. PT) from SpaceX’s Starbase facility in South Texas, haven’t been made public. But the plan seems likely to involve using SpaceX’s Starlink satellite constellation and T-Mo
Apple just dropped event invites for its annual iPhone unveiling. The big event is set for September 7 — a rare Wednesday announcement for the company, likely owing to the Labor Day holiday on the 5th. It's the first of these events to return to Steve Jobs Theater, after the previous event was held in a large, outdoor setting (I had the sunburn to prove it).
Yes, we're approaching the general time frame when Apple's CEO Tim Cook takes to the stage and unveils new iPhones and Apple Watches, but Amazon's latest deal is pretty epic. You can score an Apple Watch SE 40mm or 44mm for nearly $100 off. Whether you're looking for your first Apple Watch or upgrading from an earlier mode (Series 3, 2, 1, or 0), the SE gives you everything you could want.
Many gamers aired their disapproval of the price hike on social media.
T-Mobile was an also-ran until its merger with Sprint and the ongoing transition to 5G. But as Verizon and AT&T struggle, T-Mobile goes from strength to strength, with big earnings and buybacks ahead.
The new prices, which largely varies between $30 to $80 more, goes immediately into effect in Europe, the U.K., China, Australia, Mexico and Canada, the company said in a blog post. The revised price will hit Japan on September 15, said the Japanese conglomerate. The U.S. is not impacted by the price hike, the company confirmed.
Keep tabs on your schedule with an Echo Show 15 — now $85 off! — and more deals.

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