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2024-06-13 19:46:50| Engadget

Discord and Sony have announced that theyre rolling out the ability for PlayStation 5 owners to start Discord voice chats directly from their consoles. Discord was available on next-gen Sony consoles previously, albeit through a somewhat clunky process that required players to use the app on their phone or PC to manually transfer the call. When you want to start a Discord call, go to the Game Base in your PS5 Control Center and select the Discord tab. Once youre in, youll see a list of servers youre a part of, see whos in a voice channel and join it straightaway. Likewise, if someone else is trying to start a Discord call with you, you can join the call the minute your PS5 sends you that notification. Sony and Discord collaborated to bring the chat platform to PS5 and PS4 two years ago. Back then, users could only see what games their friends were playing. The new Discord voice chat feature will gradually roll out to PS5 consoles over the coming weeks, starting with Asia, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East. The Americas will be the last region to get it, but when that will be is unknown.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/discord-calls-on-ps5-will-soon-be-far-less-convoluted-174650032.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2024-06-13 19:15:07| Engadget

The Yahoo News app is now AI-assisted, thanks to the companys purchase of Artifact. Yahoo rolled out an update to its news aggregation app on Thursday with AI-powered personal feeds, key takeaways and the ability to flag clickbait headlines. In April, Yahoo (Engadgets parent company) bought the remains of Artifact, the AI-fueled news and recommendation app from Instagrams co-founders that shut down earlier this year. Todays update showcases how the technology can improve Yahoos news feed, which brings in over 180 million unique visitors every month in the US. The new Yahoo News, available now on mobile and later on desktop, starts by letting you pick topics and publishers of interest for its algorithms to customize your feed accordingly. One noteworthy feature is the ability to quickly glance at the Key Takeaways of a given story: a short bullet list of main ideas that (if you request it) appear at the top of an article to help save time. This is Yahoos version of Artifacts Summarize feature. You can further customize your feed by blocking keywords you want to avoid (like, say, NFT) or publishers whose content you dont like. Maybe the most intriguing feature is its ability to flag clickbait, which prompts the AI to rewrite headlines that are misleading, overly sensational or withholding critical information in hopes that youll click. (Yes, please.) In addition to the app, Yahoo is revamping its homepage layout. The updated UI emphasizes top news, personalized recommendations, and real-time trending topics and is designed to evolve over time. The company says you can opt in to receive access to new features (presumably, many AI-powered) as theyre introduced. If youre in the US, you can download the new Yahoo News app for iOS or Android today.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/yahoo-news-gets-an-ai-powered-overhaul-171507596.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2024-06-13 19:00:34| Engadget

My task for our AI overlords was simple: help me crack the New York Times Spelling Bee. I had spent a large chunk of a Saturday evening trying to shape the letters G, Y, A, L, P, O and N into as many words as possible. But three hours, 141 points and 37 words including nonapology, lagoon and analogy later, I had hit a wall. A few more words was all I needed to propel myself into Spelling Bees "genius" echelon, the title reserved for those who unscramble 70 percent of all possible words using the given letters, and the point at which the puzzle considers itself, effectively, solved. (100 percent solvers are bestowed the rank of "queen bee," but even I have limits.) My human mind was clearly struggling, but this task seemed like childs play for AI, so I fired up ChatGPT, told it I was trying to win the Spelling Bee, gave it my letters and laid out the rules. Give me a list of every word that can be formed with them, I typed. Youre allowed to repeat letters, but each word must contain 'N'. When I hit enter, this is what ChatGPT spat back: Here is a list of words formed with the letters "G Y A L P O N" that must contain the letter "N":GLNPAYOYPNLPGNOYLONAPYLGLGNAPYOANLYNAYGOPLGYPONAOGPLNYPNAOGLYThis is just a sample of the list due to the extensive number of permutations possible. Not a great start. The words need to be in the dictionary, I typed back. Sure, came the response. Ill provide a list of valid English words based on the given letters. ANGLY, GALON, LANG. Clearly, this wasnt working, so I turned to Microsofts Copilot (YANG, PLAYING, PLANNING, ANNOYINGLY), Googles Gemini (GAPON, GON, GIAN), and Anthropics Claude (MANGO, ONGOING, LAWN17.LAY). Meta AI helpfully told me that it made sure to only include words that are recognized by dictionaries in a list that contained NALYP and NAGY, while Perplexity a chatbot with ambitions of killing Google Search simply wrote GAL hundreds of times before freezing abruptly. Perplexity, a chatbot with ambitions of killing Google Search, went to pieces when asked to form words from a set of letters.Screenshot by Pranav Dixit / Engadget AI can now create images, video and audio as fast as you can type in descriptions of what you want. It can write poetry, essays and term papers. It can also be a pale imitation of your girlfriend, your therapist and your personal assistant. And lots of people think its poised to automate humans out of jobs and transform the world in ways we can scarcely begin to imagine. So why does it suck so hard at solving a simple word puzzle? The answer lies in how large language models, the underlying technology that powers our modern AI craze, function. Computer programming is traditionally logical and rules-based; you type out commands that a computer follows according to a set of instructions, and it provides a valid output. But machine learning, of which generative AI is a subset, is different. Its purely statistical, Noah Giansiracusa, a professor of mathematical and data science at Bentley University told me. Its really about extracting patterns from data and then pushing out new data that largely fits those patterns. OpenAI did not respond on record but a company spokesperson told me that this type of feedback helped OpenAI improve the models comprehension and responses to problems. Microsoft and Meta declined to comment. Google, Anthropic and Perplexity did not respond by publication time. At the heart of large language models are transformers, a technical breakthrough made by researchers at Google in 2017. Once you type in a prompt, a large language model breaks down words or fractions of those words into mathematical units called tokens. Transformers are capable of analyzing each token in the context of the larger dataset that a model is trained on to see how theyre connected to each other. Once a transformer understands these relationships, it is able to respond to your prompt by guessing the next likely token in a sequence. The Financial Times has a terrific animated explainer that breaks this all down if youre interested. I thought I was giving the chatbots precise instructions to generate my Spelling Bee words, all they were doing was converting my words to tokens, and using transformers to spit back plausible responses. Its not the same as computer programming or typing a command into a DOS prompt, said Giansiracusa. Your words got translated to numbers and they were then processed statistically. It seems like a purely logic-based query was the exact worst application for AIs skills akin to trying to turn a screw with a resource-intensive hammer. The success of an AI model also depends on the data its trained on. This is why AI companies are feverishly striking deals with news publishers right now the fresher the training data, the better the responses. Generative AI, for instance, sucks at suggesting chess moves, but is at least marginally better at the task than solving word puzzles. Giansiracusa points out that the glut of chess games available on the internet almost certainly are included in the training data for existing AI models. I would suspect that there just are not enough annotated Spelling Bee games online for AI to train on as there are chess games, he said. If your chatbot seems more confused by a word game than a cat with a Rubiks cube, thats because it wasnt especially trained to play complex word games, said Sandi Besen, an artificial intelligence researcher at Neudesic, an AI company owned by IBM. Word games have specific rules and constraints that a model would struggle to abide by unless specifically instructed to during training, fine tuning or prompting. If your chatbot seems more confused by a word game than a cat with a Rubiks cube, thats because it wasnt especially trained to play complex word games." None of this has stopped the worlds leading AI companies from marketing the technology as a panacea, often grossly exaggerating claims about its capabilities. In April, both OpenAI and Meta boasted that their new AI models would be capable of reasoning and planning. In an interview, OpenAIs chief operating officer Brad Lightcap told the Financial Times that the next generation of GPT, the AI model that powers ChatGPT, would show progress on solving hard problems such as reasoning. Joelle Pineau, Metas vice president of AI research, told the publication that the company was hard at work in figuring out how to get thesemodels not just to talk, but actually to reason, to planto have memory. My repeated attempts to get GPT-4o and Llama 3 to crack the Spelling Bee failed spectacularly. When I told ChatGPT that GALON, LANG and ANGLY werent in the dictionary, the chatbot said that it agreed with me and suggested GALVANOPY instead. When I mistyped the world sure as sur in my response to Meta AIs offer to come up with more words, the chatbot told me that sur was, indeed, another word that can be formed with the letters G, Y, A, L, P, O and N. Clearly, were still a long way away from Artificial General Intelligence, the nebulous concept describing the moment when machines are capable of doing most tasks as well as or better than human beings. Some experts, like Yann LeCun, Metas chief AI scientist, have been outspoken about the limitations of large language models, claiming that they will never reach human-level intelligence since they dont really use logic. At an event in London last year, LeCun said that the current generation of AI models just do not understand how the world works. Theyre not capable of planning. Theyre not capable of real reasoning," he said. "We do not have completely autonomous, self-driving cars that can train themselves to drive in about 20 hours of practice, something a 17-year-old can do. Giansiracusa, however, strikes a more cautious tone. We dont really know how humans reason, right? We dont know what intelligence actually is. I dont know if my brain is just a big statistical calculator, kind of like a more efficient version of a large language model. Perhaps the key to living with generative AI without succumbing to either hype or anxiety is to simply understand its inherent limitations. These tools are not actually designed for a lot of things that people are using them for, said Chirag Shah, a professor of AI and machine learning at the University of Washington. He co-wrote a high-profile research paper in 2022 critiquing the use of large language models in search engines. Tech companies, thinks Shah, could do a much better job of being transparent about what AI can and cant do before foisting it on us. That ship may have already sailed, however. Over the last few months, the worlds largest tech companies Microsoft, Meta, Samsung, Apple, and Google have made declarations to tightly weave AI into their products, services and operating systems. "The bots suck because they werent designed for this, Shah said of my word game conundrum. Whether they suck at all the other problems tech companies are throwing them at remains to be seen. How else have AI chatbots failed you? Email me at pranav.dixit@engadget.com and let me know! This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/if-ai-is-going-to-take-over-the-world-why-cant-it-solve-the-spelling-bee-170034469.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2024-06-13 18:36:59| Engadget

Im sure some of you have looked at robo mowers as Roombas for your yard but, sadly, many of them require you to install a boundary wire around the perimeter of your lawn. And any product that requires you to dig a trench is the opposite of what low effort means to me. Thats why I was interested in trying Segways Navimow i105, its 945 (around $1,200) GPS-equipped mower which eliminates that busywork. And keeping your lawn neat and tidy is a job thats all busywork. Ask a gardener and theyll tell you the secret to a great lawn is to seed a piece of flat land and then mow it into submission. Regular, militant mowing kills off all the other flora, ensuring only grass can grow until everything looks well-manicured. But that relentless mowing requires a lot of time, a luxury Ive never had. Its the sort of job a robot mower was born to do, given it can scuttle around and trim grass without you there. Segways i Series is the companys latest, more affordable offering compared to its pricier S Series. The new units have a smaller battery and range, with the i105 able to handle areas up to 500 square meters. Unlike some GPS mowers, the i105 is equipped with a forward facing HD camera with a 180-degree field of vision. So while it relies on satellites for positioning, itll have enough sense to stop before it clatters into an obstacle. Its not packing sophisticated computer vision smarts, but itll play safe lest it charge into a pet, inattentive family member or prized flower. I wanted to test the Navimow because I have whatever youd call the opposite of the platonic ideal of a Good Garden(). My house sits at the base of a hill, with the garden built into tiers along its height, and the lawn 1.5 meters above ground level. Theres a sheer drop down its nearest edge and a foot-long drop along the side where the pathway has been cut into the ground. Its a high-stakes test to see how accurate the units positioning is, given what would happen if things went wrong. Plus, Im not green-fingered and my lawn is usually overrun with an orgy of Borage that grows faster than I can cut it down. Setup requires you to plant the Navimow i105s docking station and connect it to a mains power and standalone GPS antenna. Once the unit is paired with the app, youll use your phone as a remote control to drive it around the perimeter of your lawn. Youll also quickly learn that what you thought was a flat lawn has plenty of hidden bumps and dips. Which meant my first few mapping runs left with me a very wonky edge that I had to keep tweaking. Photo by Daniel Cooper / Engadget Youll also need to give your lawn a good mowing before you run the Navimow, because its obviously not built to clear masses of unkempt grass. Spare a thought for me, as I was testing this during a typical British April, where we get torrential rain and bright sunshine in equal measure. And that will give your lawn and the weeds lurking therein time and opportunity to spring back. The units obstacle avoidance made it skirt even just a sprightly patch of grass and weeds, leaving me with a patchy cut that meant I had to get the lawnmower out again. Setup took about half an hour, which didnt feel too onerous given theres a fair chunk of stuff to do. Staking the GPS antenna into the ground, running the cables and locking down the charging station are all easy enough. Im fortunate enough to have no tall buildings or obstacles blocking my GPS signals, either. Once it was all working, all I had to do after the initial run-around was let it work its magic without supervision. And, on flat ground in fair weather, Navimow does all you could ask it to do. Bear in mind that the Navimow will have the same limitations as any other robotic domestic aid (like a robovac). The cutting blades sit underneath the center of its body so it cant do edges unless you opt to have the machine ride beyond its boundary. If you cant do that, then youll need to get a weed wacker to trim the unreachable edges of your turf. But Ill admit, Im very much an edge case compared to most folks. I was deeply concerned about leaving the Navimow out in the weather, but the company said its IP66 rating for water- and dust-resistance meant I shouldnt worry. The company will sell you a canopy that can sit on top of the charging station to protect it from the elements. Youll have to bring the unit indoors from the end of fall to the start of spring each year, but thats hardly a shock. Thats a relatively minor gripe, however, and Ive enjoyed the ability to set this thing to run out on a regular basis. Once the inclement weather and weed growth subsided, the unit showed its worth eliminating around 90 percent of the busywork I would otherwise have to do. The fact I have a neat lawn that only needs a quick trim around the edges has been a delight. And Ive spent more time in the garden now than I would otherwise given that its nice by default, rather than needing a mow. Fundamentally, if you have a patch of ground youd like to see become a lawn and dont have time to do it yourself, take a look at this. It may not be the set-and-forget solution you could hope for, but itll reduce the amount of effort to almost nothing. And, while it costs a grand, if it lasts more than a couple of years, itll work out cheaper than hiring a gardener to do the same job. This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/segways-robot-mower-spared-me-from-my-least-favorite-chore-163659951.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2024-06-13 18:13:59| Engadget

Roomba Essential robot vacuums are on sale via Amazon right now and there are some great deals. The iRobot Roomba Vac Essential Q0120 is on sale for just $180, which is a discount of nearly 30 percent. The Vac Essential line is a slightly-upgraded rebrand of the fantastic Roomba 694, which topped our list of the best budget robot vacuums. The Q0120 boasts three different levels of suction to handle different types of messes and excels on both carpets and hard floors. It also features the same smart navigation algorithms as other iRoomba products, with sensors to help it avoid furniture and stairs. Just like its pricier cousins, itll even return to the dock for juice on its own when running low on power. It can spot clean, handle corners and slide into tight spots like underneath beds and sofas. As a bonus, your cats will be absolutely terrified of or entranced with the thing. One task the Q0120 cant do, however, is mop. Thats where the iRobot Roomba Essential Y0140 comes into play, which is on sale for $200 instead of $275. This model can do everything outlined above, but it vacuums and mops in a single pass. Youll never have to lift a finger ever again, except to empty debris from the robot. These models dont come with self-emptying bins. Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter and subscribe to the Engadget Deals newsletter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/roomba-essential-robot-vacuums-are-on-sale-for-as-low-as-180-right-now-161359265.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


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