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Smartphone with Google search

IMAGO/Filippo Carlot via Reuters Connect

Google Search is making things up

Google has begun adding artificial intelligence-generated answers when users type questions into its search engine. Many people have found the AI-generated answers ranging from simply bizarre to flat-out wrong. The search engine’s AI Overviews feature has told users to put glue on pizza to keep the cheese from falling off, that elephants only have two feet, and that you should eat one rock per day for nutritional value. It even told me that, in fact, dogs have played in the National Football League.
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A smartphone is displaying GPT-4o with the OpenAI logo visible in the background in this photo illustration, taken in Brussels, Belgium, on May 13, 2024.

Google and OpenAI’s competition heats up

Both Google and OpenAI held big AI-focused events last week to remind the world why they should each be leaders in artificial intelligence.

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American Airlines planes parked at the terminal gates at the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.

Sport/Sipa USA via Reuters

Hard Numbers: Deplaning quicker, AI is working at work, Searching for answers, Microsoft chooses France

17: Since implementing an AI-powered system that directs airplanes to the nearest gate with the shortest taxiing time in 2021, American Airlines says it saves 17 hours a day in taxi time and 1.4 million gallons of jet fuel each year. The Smart Gating system started at Dallas Ft. Worth and is now in place at six major airports.

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This artist s conception symbolically represents complex organic molecules, known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, seen in the early universe. These large molecules, comprised of carbon and hydrogen, are considered among the building blocks of life.

IMAGO/piemags via Reuters Connect

AI is helping scientists model molecules

Google updated one of its most potent artificial intelligence applications, an AI model called AlphaFold — and the latest version can model “all of life’s molecules,” the company said last week. Yeah, all of them.

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FILE PHOTO: A flare burns excess natural gas in the Permian Basin in Loving County, Texas, U.S. November 23, 2019. Picture taken November 23, 2019.

REUTERS/Angus Mordant/File Photo

Hard Numbers: Unnatural gas needs, Google’s data centers, Homeland Security’s new board, Japan’s new LLM

8.5 billion: Rising energy usage from AI data centers could lead to additional demand for natural gas of up to 8.5 billion cubic feet per day, according to an investment bank estimate. Generative AI requires high energy and water demands to power and cool expansive data centers, which climate advocates have warned could exacerbate climate change.

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Demis Hassabis, CEO of DeepMind Technologies and developer of AlphaGO, attends the AI Safety Summit in Bletchley Park, near Milton Keynes, Britain, November 2, 2023.

REUTERS/Toby Melville/Pool

Hard Numbers: Google’s spending spree, Going corporate, Let’s see a movie, Court-ordered AI ban, Energy demands

100 billion: AI is a priority for many of Silicon Valley’s top companies — and it’s a costly one. Google DeepMind chief Demis Hassabis said that the tech giant plans to spend more than $100 billion developing artificial intelligence. That’s the same amount that rival Microsoft is expected to spend in building an AI-powered supercomputer, nicknamed Stargate.

72.5: The free market is dominating the AI game: Of the foundation models released between 2019 and 2023, 72.5% of them originated from private industry, according to a new Staford report. 108 models were released by companies, as opposed to 28 from academia, nine from an industry-academia collaboration, and four from government. None at all were released through a collaboration between government and industry.

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Google's Gemini home page displayed on a smartphone in a photo illustration.

Jonathan Raa/Sipa USA via Reuters

Hard Numbers: Pay for Google?, Indonesian investment, Amazon walks out on AI, Scraping YouTube

175 billion: Google said it made $175 billion in revenue from its search engine and related advertising last year, but is it ready to risk the golden goose? The company is reportedly considering charging for premium features on its search engine, including AI-assisted search (its traditional search engine would remain free). We’ve previously tested Perplexity, one of the companies trying to uproot Google’s search dominance with artificial intelligence, and you can read our review here.

200 million: The chipmaker Nvidia is teaming up with Indonesian telecom company Indosat to build a $200 million data center for artificial intelligence in the city of Surakarta, according to Indonesia’s communications minister. This news comes weeks after AI played a central role in the country’s presidential election, and it represents a major investment from one of the world’s richest tech companies in a key emerging market as Indonesia seeks to modernize its economy.

1,000: Amazon’s Just Walk Out in-store AI system for cashier-less grocery store checkout relied heavily on more than 1,000 contractors in India manually checking that the checkout transactions were accurate. Now, Amazon has announced it’s ditching the technology, which was being used in 60 Amazon-branded grocery stores and two Whole Foods stores.

1 million: One OpenAI team reportedly transcribed more than 1 million hours of YouTube videos to train its GPT-4 large language model. The company built a speech recognition tool called Whisper to handle the massive load, a move that may have violated YouTube's terms of use. YouTube parent company Google is a major rival to OpenAI in developing generative AI. Google hasn’t filed suit yet, but legal action could eventually come.

FILE PHOTO: Vasiliki Kostoula, a Greek breast cancer patient, listens to her doctor after a radiological medical examination in an Athens hospital October 29, 2008.

REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

Hard Numbers: Tax hacks, Breast cancer, Google dinged, AI job risk

81.6: A new artificial intelligence tool can provide some relief to breast cancer patients experiencing lymphoedema, a painful swelling of the arm that’s a common side effect. It correctly predicted patients that would develop it in 81.6 percent of cases and correctly predicted which patients would not develop it in 72.9%.
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