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OpenAI upgrades GPT-3, stunning with rhyming poetry and lyrics


An AI-generated image inspired by Leonardo da Vinci.
Enlarge / An AI-generated image inspired by Leonardo da Vinci.

Ars Technica

On Monday, OpenAI announced a new model in the GPT-3 family of AI-powered large language models, text-davinci-003, that reportedly improves on its predecessors by handling more complex instructions and producing longer-form content. Almost immediately, people discovered that it could also generate rhyming songs, limericks, and poetry at a level GPT-3 could not previously produce.

On Hacker News, commenters expressed amazement after convincing GPT-3 to write a short rhyming poem explaining Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity. Another commenter asked GPT-3 to re-write the poem in the style of John Keats, and it obliged, dropping lines like “Mass doth affect the shape of time.”

Prompt: “Write a short rhyming poem explaining Einstein’s theory of general relativity in easy but accurate terms”

If you want to understand Einstein’s thought
It’s not that hard if you give it a shot
General Relativity is the name of the game
Where space and time cannot remain the same
Mass affects the curvature of space
Which affects the flow of time’s race
An object’s motion will be affected
By the distortion that is detected
The closer you are to a large mass
The slower time will seem to pass
The farther away you may be
Time will speed up for you to see

OpenAI makes GPT-3 available as a commercial product with an API, but for a fee ($0.02 per 1,000 tokens), anyone with an OpenAI account can experiment with the AI through a special “Playground” website that requires no coding skill.

On the Playground page, visitors can type instructions such as “write a poem about Ars Technica” or “write rhyming instructions about how to brew tea in the form of a poem,” and watch GPT-3 generate results just below the prompt.

Introduced in 2020, GPT-3 gained renown for its ability to compose text in various styles at a similar level to a human, thanks to extensive training on text scraped from the Internet and data pulled from books. It uses statistical associations between learned word positions to predict the next best word in the sequence while reading from the prompt.

Of course, generating poetry with a machine is hardly a new pastime. Even as far back as 1845, inventors have been crafting ways to write expressive verse through automation. But in particular, experts note that GPT-3’s latest update feels like a step forward in complexity that comes from integrating knowledge about a wide variety of subjects and styles into one model that writes coherent text.

Beyond poetry, GPT-3 still has its flaws, as some have examined in detail. While its factual accuracy has reportedly increased over time, it can still easily generate false information, limiting its applications. And GPT-3’s short-term memory is generally limited to what you’ve recently fed it within a prompt. But when it comes to purely creative fictional output, GPT-3 hits the mark fairly well.

According to industry sources, OpenAI quietly improved GPT-3 over time, making text-davinci-003 a notable public upgrade. Recently, rumors of a powerful successor called GPT-4 have emerged, although OpenAI has not officially announced an upcoming release.





Amazon’s Black Friday $1,599 MacBook Pro 14-inch deal is back


Apple’s MacBook Pro 14-inch is up to $500 off.



Amazon’s best MacBook Pro 14-inch deals have returned for Cyber Week, with prices as low as $1,599.99 and savings up to $500 off.

After selling out due to high demand over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend, Amazon has replenished inventory on two of its top MacBook Pro deals, offering the standard MacBook Pro 14-inch in Space Gray for just $1,599.99, a discount of $400 off MSRP. The retail configuration is equipped with Apple’s M1 Pro chip with an 8-core CPU and 14-core GPU. The laptop also has 16GB of memory and a 512GB SSD.

Those looking for additional storage space can save even more money, with the 1TB model discounted to $1,999.99 in the Silver finish — $500 off Apple’s retail price. At press time, delivery dates fall between early and mid-December, so be sure to place your order now for holiday gift-giving.



Vodafone opens UK’s first Edge innovation lab at HOST, MediaCity, Edge


The lab is an opportunity to support the growth of digital industries in the Greater Manchester area and create a global centre of excellence for real-time mobile applications.

  • Edge Innovation Lab to showcase Multi-access Edge Compute capabilities, and offer organisations the chance to trial new ideas with support from Vodafone experts.
  • Lab is an opportunity to support the growth of digital industries in the Greater Manchester area and create a global centre of excellence for real-time mobile applications.
  • Digital innovation will promote greater economic diversity in the region, supporting the Government’s Levelling Up agenda.

Vodafone has opened a new Edge Innovation Lab in MediaCity, Salford – the first of its kind in the UK. The lab will support the development of Manchester, and the surrounding region, into a Northern digital powerhouse.

The Edge Innovation Lab at HOST, the Home of Skills & Technology, will offer the opportunity for companies, academics, software developers and public sector organisations to see and test the possibilities of the next generation in network technology – Multi-access Edge Compute (MEC).

Software developers and innovators in the Greater Manchester region will have access to these technologies in the earliest stages of development. This head start will create a global centre of excellence for real-time mobile applications in the region, supporting the growth of digitally led businesses and industries in the area, as well as in the rest of the UK.

Nick Gliddon, UK Business Director, Vodafone, said: “MEC enables the creation of digital services and platforms that would otherwise be impossible to deliver. The lab offers innovators the opportunity to experiment with next-generation technologies and bring to life ideas that could revolutionise the way we do business and deliver public services.

“It will place Manchester and the surrounding region at the centre of the next stage of digital revolution.”

MEC technology enables real-time data processing at the network edge, allowing for the creation of low-latency services that would not be possible on today’s traditional network infrastructure. This offers innovators in the Greater Manchester area an opportunity to be at the forefront of next-generation digital services.

By installing specialist servers either with Vodafone or in customer facilities, applications are able to respond to commands significantly faster. The time applications take to respond, known as latency, is a barrier for next generation innovations that require almost instantaneous reactions, or are powered by artificial intelligence. When combined with 5G, latency could be reduced to speeds faster than the human brain processes information.

Use cases enabled by MEC include autonomous vehicles, autonomous operations in factories, immersive augmented and virtual reality, remote medicine, cloud gaming and drone transport.

Vodafone has deployed Dedicated MEC servers at the Edge Innovation Hub and has launched a Distributed MEC zone in the Manchester area in partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS). Vodafone will also showcase Mixed Reality and Visual Inspection services at the lab.

Vodafone has partnered with Kyndryl to offer customers professional and managed services for dedicated MEC as well as wider cloud-managed services.

Tosca Colangeli, President, Kyndryl UK&I, said: “We are excited, as part of our strategic partnership with Vodafone, to be supporting the Edge Innovation Lab in Salford and to use the facility as inspiration and co-creation for our joint customer engagements.

“We expect edge technologies to increasingly become an enabler of business outcomes; allowing end users (and machines) and industries including manufacturing and energy, to reap the benefits of traditional cloud computing while gaining advantages such as reduced data latency, better data autonomy and enhanced security.”

This builds on Vodafone’s four-year partnership with HOST in MediaCity, where the lab will be located. HOST combines skills, innovation and start-up growth services all under one roof, with an inclusive community that supports businesses to learn, grow and succeed. It focuses on key sectors including data science, AI, cyber and immersive technologies so individuals and businesses can explore the pioneering opportunities available in these areas. HOST is also home to the UK’s Unity Centre of Excellence and Skills City’s digital Skills Bootcamps.

Mo Isap, CEO of IN4 Group, operator of HOST, said: “We are excited to extend our partnership with Vodafone as they bring their Edge Innovation Lab to HOST in MediaCity, Salford.

“Our mission is to support and develop use cases in innovation with start-ups, scale-ups and established businesses, and this is the missing piece of our jigsaw, which connects with our Unity immersive and AWS cloud infrastructures, our Cyber Security Operations Centre, and now we have Edge computing capabilities.

“This becomes a unique environment for any company looking to progress and accelerate its innovation in the region.”

Alongside the launch of the lab, Vodafone is also running the Edge Innovation Programme 2.0.

Using both dedicated and distributed MEC technologies, the Edge Innovation Programme 2.0 will inspire the creation of innovative and futuristic services, products and applications. Participants of the trial will be able to ‘try before you buy’ MEC services and will also receive a voucher for further discounts on additional services following trials and proof-of-concepts, as well as work alongside Vodafone network and technology experts to bring ideas to life.

Vodafone has already worked with more than 20 companies to trial new MEC services, including:

  • Aurrigo: Cambridge-based SME Aurrigo used MEC and Vodafone’s 4G/5G network to improve the safety and performance of its driverless vehicles, as well as enhancing security as data is not exposed to the public internet.
  • Sportable: The company’s ball embedded and wearable IOT technology captures every movement on the pitch, delivering real-time insights to fans, coaches, officials and broadcasters.
  • InterDigital: MEC can better support applications like ‘zero-defect’ manufacturing, to unlock huge benefits for the Industry 4.0 and smart factories.
  • Keyless: Keyless is a privacy-first biometric authentication solution that makes the authentication processes for digital payments faster. MEC makes real-time multi-factor authentication a reality for all end-users, so businesses and consumers can embrace seamless biometric technology.

Stay up-to-date with the latest news from Vodafone by following us on Twitter and signing up for News Centre website notifications.





App Store Awards 2022 – Discover


For over a decade, the App Store editorial team has taken a moment at the end of the year to celebrate the very best apps and games. We’ve heralded the work of individual self-taught developers and huge international teams.

With so many wonderful apps on the App Store all over the world, selecting just a few award winners is no easy task. As always, we focus on technical innovation, user experience, and design. Then we consider the impact these apps have had on our lives.

It’s our honor to celebrate this year’s winners. Enjoy!

iPhone App of the Year: BeReal

A social media sensation that gave us an authentic look into the lives of our friends and family.

Download BeReal from the App Store

iPhone Game of the Year: Apex Legends Mobile

This thoughtfully reengineered groundbreaking battle royale is its best version to date.

Download Apex Legends Mobile from the App Store

iPad App of the Year: GoodNotes 5

With best-in-class Apple Pencil support and powerful collaboration tools, the gold standard of digital notetaking got even better.

Download GoodNotes 5 from the App Store

iPad Game of the Year: Moncage

A stunningly fresh spin on mobile puzzling that expanded our minds and got us thinking in thrilling new ways.

Download Moncage from the App Store

Mac App of the Year: MacFamilyTree

We loved documenting and visualizing our family history with this comprehensive genealogy app.

Download MacFamilyTree from the Mac App Store

Mac Game of the Year: Inscryption

The surprises never stop in this deep deck-building adventure.

Download Inscryption from the Mac App Store

Apple Watch App of the Year: Gentler Streak

A fitness tracker that encouraged us to tune in to our bodies—and take a rest when we needed.

Download Gentler Streak from the App Store

Apple TV App of the Year: ViX

A Spanish-language streamer that brought together the drama we love and the sports that get our heart pumping.

Download ViX from the App Store

Apple TV Game of the Year: El Hijo

We loved how this spirited stealth adventure values brains over brawn—and looks stunning on the big screen.

Download El Hijo from the App Store

Arcade Game of the Year: Wylde Flowers

With remarkably authentic diversity, this life sim’s idyllic world makes free expression (and casting spells) incredibly fun.

Download Wylde Flowers from Apple Arcade

Cultural Impact Winners:

Dot’s Home

Shining a spotlight on historical injustices through a compelling time-travel tale.

Download Dot’s Home

How We Feel

Helping us engage more deeply with our emotions—and providing strategies for addressing them in the moment.

Download How We Feel from the App Store

Inua

Honoring the heritage of the Inuit, whose folklore gives a breathtaking tale its beating heart.

Download Inua from the App Store

Locket Widget

Bringing friends and family closer by helping us see the small moments we otherwise might miss.

Download Locket Widget from the App Store

Waterllama

Encouraging everyone to stay hydrated through a winning combination of gentle guidance and adorable characters.

Download Waterllama from the App Store

Originally published on November 28, 2022 on the App Store Today tab.



Nvidia AI plays Minecraft, wins machine-learning conference award


MineDojo's AI can perform complex tasks in Minecraft.
Enlarge / MineDojo’s AI can perform complex tasks in Minecraft.

Nvidia

A paper describing MineDojo, Nvidia’s generalist AI agent that can perform actions from written prompts in Minecraft, won an Outstanding Datasets and Benchmarks Paper Award at the 2022 NeurIPS (Neural Information Processing Systems) conference, Nvidia revealed on Monday.

To train the MineDojo framework to play Minecraft, researchers fed it 730,000 Minecraft YouTube videos (with more than 2.2 billion words transcribed), 7,000 scraped webpages from the Minecraft wiki, and 340,000 Reddit posts and 6.6 million Reddit comments describing Minecraft gameplay.

From this data, the researchers created a custom transformer model called MineCLIP that associates video clips with specific in-game Minecraft activities. As a result, someone can tell a MineDojo agent what to do in the game using high-level natural language, such as “find a desert pyramid” or “build a nether portal and enter it,” and MineDojo will execute the series of steps necessary to make it happen in the game.

Examples of tasks that MineDojo can perform.

Examples of tasks that MineDojo can perform.

Nvidia

MineDojo aims to create a flexible agent that can generalize learned actions and apply them to different behaviors in the game. As Nvidia writes, “While researchers have long trained autonomous AI agents in video-game environments such as StarCraft, Dota, and Go, these agents are usually specialists in only a few tasks. So Nvidia researchers turned to Minecraft, the world’s most popular game, to develop a scalable training framework for a generalist agent—one that can successfully execute a wide variety of open-ended tasks.”

Nvidia

The award-winning paper, “MINEDOJO: Building Open-Ended Embodied Agents with Internet-Scale Knowledge,” debuted in June. Its authors include Linxi Fan of Nvidia and Guanzhi Wang, Yunfan Jiang, Ajay Mandlekar, Yuncong Yang, Haoyi Zhu, Andrew Tang, De-An Huang, Yuke Zhu, and Anima Anandkumar of various academic institutions.

You can see examples of MineDojo in action on its official website, and the code for MineDojo and MineCLIP is available on GitHub.



China’s digital economy: Divided but growing | Article


New areas for growth

One area for growth lies in the digitisation of manufacturing and industry. The consumer-based cyberspace has been developed to a more advanced level compared to that seen in industry. The 14th Five-Year Plan highlights the need for automation, the application of robots, algorithms and blockchain applications for industrial use. And the more recent 20th Party Congress highlighted advanced technology as one of the pillars for future growth. These policies should steer the future of cyberspace in a new direction, giving existing internet companies an opportunity to create growth.

The main benefits will come from an increase in the efficiency of production. Big data will play an important role just as it does in consumer cyberspace. Deficiencies in production and streamlining production operations are the two areas where big data could shorten production time and improve quality.  

In 2019, the digital industrial economy was CNY7.1 trillion, having grown 11.1% year-on-year. That was slower than the 14.8% growth of the tertiary industry (mainly consumer-based). We estimate that the value of the digital industrial economy was CNY11 trillion in 2021. Even with strong growth in the past few years, this value is still small relative to China’s digital economy of CNY45.5 trillion in that year.

But the trend is going to change. China has begun to specialise more in higher value-add production, big data and AI. This implies the internet of things could be widely applied. This trend is also partly forced by the ageing workforce. More importantly, the 20th Party Congress highlights the need to advance technology for the economy’s future development, which should result in a boom in R&D for industrial technology, mainly in 2024-2027. We assume no big breakthroughs in industrial technology from the R&D spending, e.g. breakthroughs in advanced semiconductor chips. But some R&D results could benefit industrial activity, e.g. further robotisation and a more comprehensive internet of things.

We estimate that the value of industrial cyberspace could reach CNY80 trillion in 2030 in real terms, and would contribute 40% to the overall digital economy in China by 2030.

This estimate means the digital industrial economy could grow ninefold over the coming decade. Fast growth in this area could mean that the overall digital economy would be more balanced, with contributions of 60% from the consumer segment and 40% from the industrial segment by 2030, compared to the ratio of 81% to 19% in 2020.



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