Tech talk | Your top 5 technology stories this week
With the holiday season around the corner, a new generative AI-shopping experience tops the list.
1. Google unveiled new artificial intelligence tools designed to enhance your holiday shopping experience. For instance, if you’re on the lookout for a gift for your 4-year-old nephew, the system can assist you in finding suitable ideas with a simple command like “gifts for a 4-year-old who likes science.” This marks the debut of generative artificial intelligence in Google Shopping, a timely introduction preceding the holiday season when users may be drawn to the platform for their shopping needs.
Google Shopping now boasts three noteworthy features:
- It can suggest gift ideas based on the provided interests in your search.
- It can generate photorealistic images of desired items based on your descriptions.
- The platform introduces 40 photos featuring individuals of diverse shapes, sizes, and backgrounds, aiming to provide a virtual try-on experience for clothing.
Users can access these new options by navigating to Search Labs and enabling Search Generative Experiences (SGE).
2. Cleveland Clinic, one of the largest health systems in the US, announced on October 31 that it plans to begin delivering prescriptions via drone in 2025. Patients could find a prescription on their doorstep as little as 10 minutes after it’s ordered and packaged. The Clinic anticipates making hundreds of flights daily through Zipline Drone Deliveries in 2025.
3. Elon Musk’s newest company xAI announced the launch of an unleashed AI system called “Grok.” According to the company release, “A unique and fundamental advantage of Grok is that it has real-time knowledge of the world via the 𝕏 platform (formerly Twitter). It will also answer spicy questions that are rejected by most other AI systems.”
4. Meta – the parent company of Instagram and Facebook announced a new policy that will require companies and businesses to disclose whether a political advertisement has been digitally created or altered. This policy will go into affect in 2024, the year of the U.S. presidential election. The company press release says the policy was enacted to deter companies from creating deep fakes.
5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) engineers have developed a novel laser-based technique to expedite the discovery of valuable metamaterials for real-world applications. The method involves using two lasers: one to swiftly interact with the material and another to measure its vibrations, without any physical contact. This non-invasive approach enables the calculation of dynamic properties, such as the material’s response to impacts and its sound absorption or scattering capabilities. The ultrafast laser pulse allows for the rapid characterization of numerous miniature structures within minutes, providing a safe and efficient means to assess microscale metamaterials.