Wednesday Newsbytes: Windows 12 or Windows Utopia?; AI a Glorified Tape Recorder Says Physicist; Owner Calls Cops When Cat Opens Freezer: Chrome to Summarize Articles for You… and more!

By | August 16, 2023
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Wednesday Newsbytes: Windows 12 or Windows Utopia?; AI a Glorified Tape Recorder Says Physicist; Owner Calls Cops When Cat Opens Freezer: Chrome to Summarize Articles for You… and more!

Every day we scan the tech world for interesting news in the world of technology and sometimes from outside the world of technology. Every Wednesday, we feature news articles that grabbed our attention over the past week. We hope you find this week’s  ‘Wednesday Newsbytes’ informative and interesting!

Forget Windows 12, Windows Utopia is the ideal Microsoft operating system

Microsoft is steadily working to improve Windows 11 and, if the rumors are true, it’s already developing the successor to that operating system, Windows 12.

Although we don’t know too much about that forthcoming OS yet — Microsoft hasn’t even officially announced it — it’s widely expected to be built around the AI-powered Windows Copilot.

Three months ago, concept designer AR 4789 put together his take on Windows 12, and followed that up a month later with a second video showcasing the sort of features it would offer.

Today, he unleashes his creativity with a brand new vision for an operating system he’s calling Windows Utopia.

As with previous concepts, AR 4789’s video takes us through the installation process before showing off the features he imagines it having.

Appreciating that installing a new OS can take quite some time, he’s introduced the ability to run tasks — such as web browsing — and play games (like Minesweeper and even Minecraft) while the operating system installs and configures itself in the background.

Because one version of Windows isn’t enough these days, AR 4789 has suggested Utopia should come in no fewer than 8 flavors — Windows Utopia Pro, Home, Enterprise, Gaming, Education, Home Lite, Lite, and SE…

Read more at BetaNews.

A.I. Today Is a ‘Glorified Tape Recorder,’ Says Theoretical Physicist Michio Kaku

Kaku represents a growing counter voice to the alarmism of A.I. posing an existential threat to humanity.

Recent advancements in artificial intelligence have induced as much excitement as anxiety. Many, including some industry leaders, fear A.I. could soon outsmart humans if not managed properly. But that worry is overblown, according to physicist and pop science writer Michio Kaku. In an interview with CNN anchor Fareed Zakaria yesterday (August 14), Kaku said A.I. applications like chatbots can benefit society and increase productivity, but fear of the technology has driven people to focus on the negative implications.

Kaku, a theoretical physics professor at the City College of New York, said tools like OpenAI’s ChatGPT are nothing more than “glorified tape recorders.” ChatGPT is powered by large language models (LLMs), a subset of A.I. that trains algorithms with a large amount of human-generated text with the goal of producing text in a human-like way.

“It takes snippets of what’s on the web created by a human, splices them together and passes it off as if it created these things,” Kaku said. “And people are saying, ‘Oh my God, it’s a human, it’s humanlike.’”

Kaku represents a growing counter-voice to the alarmism of A.I. posing an existential threat to humanity…

Read more at Observer.

Google Chrome will summarize entire articles for you with built-in generative AI

Google’s AI-powered article summaries are rolling out for iOS and Android first, before coming to Chrome on the desktop.

Google’s AI-powered Search Generative Experience (SGE) is getting a major new feature: it will be able to summarize articles you’re reading on the web, according to a Google blog post. SGE can already summarize search results for you so that you don’t have to scroll forever to find what you’re looking for, and this new feature is designed to take that further by helping you out after you’ve actually clicked a link.

You probably won’t see this feature, which Google is calling “SGE while browsing,” right away.

Google says it’s a new feature that’s starting to roll out Tuesday as “an early experiment” in its opt-in Search Labs program. (You’ll get access to it if you already opted into SGE, but if you haven’t, you can opt into the feature on its own.) It will be available first in the Google app on Android and iOS, and the company is bringing it to the Chrome browser on desktop “in the days ahead.”

If you do have access in the Google app on mobile, Google will pull up a set of AI-generated “key points” from an article after you tap an icon at the bottom of the screen. The feature is designed to work “only on articles that are freely available to the public on the web”; Google says it won’t work with websites that publishers mark as paywalled…

Read more at The Verge.

Owner Calls Cops After Cat Opens the Freezer

A cat owner was forced to call the cops after spotting their pet opening the freezer door on a pet cam—while they were hours away on vacation.

TikTok user @allthewhilekyle left his cat home alone while on a trip but used a pet cam to monitor her behavior.

The mischievous feline spent her free time climbing all over the kitchen counters. In the funny footage posted to the video-sharing platform, the cat climbs on top of the fridge to sniff around some containers, before leaping up onto a shelf.

Unfortunately, she accidentally kicks open the freezer in the process, allowing the food to thaw. She has a guilty expression on her face while staring back at the swinging door, seemingly aware of the trouble she has caused.

Not knowing what else to do, @allthewhilekyle called the police to see if they’d close the door…

Read more at Newsweek.

YouTube to remove content promoting harmful, ineffective cancer treatments

YouTube is set to begin cracking down on cancer treatment misinformation Tuesday, the video streaming platform’s latest in its efforts against medical misinformation.

After announcing in 2021 that it would remove videos with misinformation related to vaccines, YouTube plans to remove content that promotes cancer treatments proven to be harmful and ineffective, along with videos that discourage viewers from seeking professional medical treatments.

The efforts begin Tuesday and are set to ramp up in the weeks to come, according to a Tuesday blog post.

“Our mission is to make sure that when (cancer patients and their loved ones) turn to YouTube, they can easily find high-quality content from credible health sources,” Dr. Garth Graham, global head of YouTube health, said in the post.

What types of videos are not allowed on YouTube?

YouTube ‒ owned by Google parent company Alphabet ‒ will be streamlining dozens of its existing medical misinformation guidelines into three categories: prevention, treatment and denial. The policies will apply to content that contradicts local health authorities or the World Health Organization, according to the blog post.

Under the new guidelines, YouTube will remove YouTube videos that promote harmful or unproven cancer treatments in place of approved care, such as claims that garlic cures cancer or videos that advise viewers to take vitamin C instead of radiation therapy…

Read more at USA Today.

Netflix Wants to Stream Video Games Too

Digital media giant Netflix (NFLX -0.95%) is building an impressive portfolio of video games, but the gaming has been restricted to Android and iOS smartphones so far. That is changing now, as Netflix is testing a couple of game titles on a wider selection of devices.

The initial test run is limited to a handpicked list of users in Canada and the U.K., so this isn’t a game-changing move quite yet. However, the details of this experiment tell me a lot about Netflix’s long-term gaming ambitions — and I’m getting excited about it.

I think we’re looking at the early days of a real business here.

What is Netflix testing in the video game service?

Mike Verdu, the VP of Netflix’s video game department, announced a “limited beta test” of games running on a wider selection of devices.

*This experiment starts with “a small number of members” in the American and Canadian markets who access Netflix through an undisclosed list of smart TV models.

*The same markets, and perhaps the same beta testers, will be able to play the games on PC and Mac computers over the next couple of weeks.

*There are only two game titles in this initial test: the Oxenfree supernatural thriller adventure from Night School Studios and Molehew’s Mining Adventure, which is an in-house development and presumably similar to the popular Bejeweled or Candy Crush experiences. Oxenfree is an established classic while the gem-mining game only has a copyright registration to its name — no separate announcement, no reviews, no video trailers.

*Beta testers won’t control these games with their remote controls. Instead, the smart TV versions will require an app named “Netflix Game Controller,” available in Apple’s (AAPL -1.12%) App Store and Android’s Play Store.

Netflix listed several brands of compatible hardware platforms, including several Android-powered systems, Amazon’s Fire TV players, and Roku devices…

Read more at The Motley Fool.

Thanks for reading this week’s Wednesday Newbytes. We hope these articles were informative, interesting, fun, and helpful. Darcy & TC

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