Copilot is Microsoft's big answer to the ongoing AI chatbot hype, and with over a year behind its efforts, the widely available chatbot is set to receive some really exciting updates in the next few months. Here are a few new Copilot features I'm personally excited to try out when they hit Copilot.
It goes without saying that Bing, Microsoft's online search tool, has only become better since its original debut. It's still nowhere near as good at Google, but Microsoft hasn't given up on making it useful just yet. One of Copilot's most exciting upcoming updates will allow you to take advantage of multi-modal search.
This basically means you'll be able to use the AI chatbot to conduct online searches, and it'll combine the vision of Bing image search and the data from web search to provide more accurate results.
Another big new feature coming to Copilot will help improve the chatbot's responses. Microsoft's chatbot is built off of GPT-4, the same large language model (LLM) that powers the premium version of OpenAI's ChatGPT. In fact, Copilot is one of the only ways you can access GPT-4 for free, and soon it'll get an update to GPT-4 Turbo, which is the latest model OpenAI has developed.
Once the update to GPT-4 Turbo arrives, Copilot users will be able to tackle even more complex and longer tasks. It'll put the Microsoft-built chatbot more on par with ChatGPT, which will be especially useful if you weren't able to upgrade to ChatGPT Plus before OpenAI suspended new subscriptions earlier this year.
You can already try out DALL-E 3 using Bing's image creator, but soon, Microsoft will bring the full capabilities of DALL-E 3 to Copilot as part of one of the upcoming updates. This will let you generate high-quality images directly without the chatbot, allowing you to create more in-depth queries. This new feature has been making strides lately thanks to a social media trend, and it'll get even more widespread use once it hits Copilot.
DALL-E 3 introduces a slew of additional options for image generation, and it'll be nice to be able to take full advantage of it in Copilot, too. This is another GPT feature that is typically only available widely to ChatGPT Plus users, so this will be a great way to test it out for free.
ChatGPT doesn't track my workouts. I use the Apple Watch and the iPhone for that. Between the Health and Fitness apps on my iPhone, I have a pretty good idea of what I do every day, week, and month. But Apple lacks more detailed stats that could help me adjust my training and set goals for the coming year.
Thankfully, there's (another) app for that. You can get a detailed year-in-review report from third-party apps, and it's incredibly easy. These apps pull the data that's already available on your iPhone, and they do it without obtaining your data in the process. Considering how easy it is to look at your Fitness year-in-review on iPhone, I think Apple will eventually Sherlock these apps.
With 2023 wrapping up, I'm already excited about all the products Apple is planning to launch in 2024. Fortunately, we already know many future gadgets the company should release next year. With that in mind, I'm already preparing myself for the amount of money I might have to spend to try the latest and greatest technologies from the Cupertino company.
Below are the 5 Apple products I can't wait to buy in 2024.
Apple Vision Pro
First things first: I can't wait for Apple Vision Pro to launch. I know it's going to be very tough (and expensive) to get one. I'm still working on the logistics to get this mixed reality headset in Brazil – but I just know it will be worth it.
At first, I thought about waiting for a second generation, but rumors so far say it's going to take so long for it to happen that I can't miss up to three years of Apple's advancements in spatial computing to try this gadget. It might not be as big as the iPhone was back in the day, but I'm sure this product will help shape Apple's future. And it's just around the corner.
OLED iPad Pro
To this day, I still own a second-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro with a Smart Folio Keyboard. It's a great product, and it's impressive that it has been updated to iPadOS 17, but I'm missing so many experiences from the M-series models.
Although miniLED technology seems better than OLED, what I'm excited the most about this launch is the revamped Magic Keyboard, rumored to make this tablet more of a laptop, and the new Apple Pencil 3. Count me in if Apple can solve the draining battery issues from both accessories while making the iPad lighter. Of course, I'm in the game for the 13-inch option.
Apple released AirPods 3 in October 2022; an update could come in 2024. Although I love my third-generation AirPods, I will surely buy the newest models. Not only might they come with the H2 chip and improved battery life, but it's possible that they could add hearing-aid-like features, such as Conversation Boost and Live Listen. Bloomberg reports that Apple is aiming at the hearing aid market with AirPods.
In addition, a change to USB-C would make my life easier now that Apple is transitioning most of its products to this new port. Proper Find My feature with a UWB chip would also be a must-have feature.
AirPods Max 2
It's been two years since I first bought AirPods Max. Although I love these headphones, I can't wait for a second generation. Recently, Mark Gurman said Apple might launch new models by late 2023. The journalist believes we'll get new colors and USB-C, but other features aren't expected at the moment.
Since people complained about the first model, these new headphones should feature the new H2 processor, Bluetooth 5.3 support, the find precision chip, USB-C port, and a better smart case. But if what Gurman is reporting is accurate, we might not get any of that. Let's hope that this changes from now until the release.
OK. I'll stop here. But upgrading my iPhone early is already a tradition. It's not that I'm super excited about this release, but the possibility of better cameras, better battery life, and possibly generative AI features... how can I say no?
Fortunately, we already got several rumors about the 2024 lineup.
I'm sure 2024 will be a packed year for Apple, with many products to update. I'm not even considering any new Macs, as I'm currently rocking an M2 Max Mac Studio and an M1 Pro MacBook Pro. Still, I'm sure the new MacBook Air, Mac mini, and Mac Studio will be solid updates for those looking for graphic improvements.
Next year also marks the tenth anniversary of the Apple Watch. Imagine what Apple is holding for this device. One thing is for sure: I might need a raise to keep up with the latest techs.
Which Apple product are you looking forward to buying the most? Send me a message at email@example.com.
We've all been bitten by a mosquito at one point or another. And, if you have, then that mosquito was a female, as male mosquitos don't have strong enough mouth parts to pierce the skin and suck our blood. Instead, they survive off plant nectar. However, newly discovered amber fragments have revealed that mosquito evolution may have changed how these insects survive and what they eat.
Mosquitos have survived for millions of years. We've discovered several of these little blood-sucking insects inside fossilized amber, where they were trapped millions of years ago. It's this kind of discovery that drove the plot for the acclaimed book and movie Jurassic Park, and it continues to teach us more about the creatures that lived all those years ago.
According to a new paper published in the journal Current Biology, researchers recently discovered two male mosquito fossils that could teach us more about mosquito evolution as a whole. While modern male mosquitos don't have strong enough mouth parts to pierce skin, the males found in the amber fossils had intact piercing proboscis and sharp mandibles.
This suggests that at one point in the past, several million years ago, male mosquitos also survived off the blood of animals and living creatures. Further, the researchers say that this discovery helps to narrow a "ghost-lineage gap" that we have for mosquitos right now.
The fossils were retrieved from amber deposits believed to date back to around 130 to 125 million years ago. The deposits were discovered in Lebanon, and the researchers believe these specimens can teach us more about mosquito evolution and other insects.
There are believed to be around 3,500 species of mosquito on Earth, and they are found everywhere except in Antarctica. Many species can carry pathogens that cause human disease, which has led some researchers to create genetically modified mosquitos that help cull the blood-sucking female mosquito that bite and suck blood.
Finding out that male mosquitos used to suck blood is intriguing, and could very well help us understand the way that these insects have evolved over the years, and how they came to be the way that they are now.
WhatsApp just added a new security feature called Secret Code. An evolution of the Chat Lock feature that lets you password-protect sensitive WhatsApp Chats, Secret Code will hide your locked chats from view in a secret folder. This one becomes available only when you enter your Secret Code. That's a great privacy feature to have on messaging apps, especially on end-to-end encrypted apps like WhatsApp.
That's not the feature I want Apple to steal for the iPhone's iMessage app. WhatsApp also has another layer of security that lets you lock the entire app. You can protect it with Face ID (or the phone's PIN), which is an extra layer of security that iMessage doesn't have. I wouldn't mind if iMessage allowed me to lock down the entire app behind Face ID.
The origin of life on Earth has always been a mystery. For many years, scientists have looked to the stars, believing that the building blocks of life that set forth evolution here on our planet came from an asteroid, comet, or meteorite. But now, some scientists say that the true origins of life on Earth might have been here on Earth the entire time.
A new paper shared in Science Advances, as well as a new article published on The Conversation, asks the question: "What if the origin of life on our planet was actually here the entire time?" It's an intriguing approach to finding where life began on our planet, and the researchers involved say that the elements that made life possible - called volatiles - could have existed on Earth from the beginning.
Several elements are considered volatiles, including carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and a group of elements that researchers call chalcogens. All of these volatiles, which also include sulfur, selenium, and tellurium, evaporate more readily than other elements. And understanding how they made their way into the Earth can help us understand the origin of life on Earth, too.
One of the most prevailing theories, known as the late veneer theory, says that Earth first formed from materials low in volatiles. However, higher concentrations of volatiles began to appear after volatile-rich bodies (meteorites, comets, asteroids) began to hit the planet's surface, allowing it to form completely.
The problem with this theory, though, is that these volatile-rich objects only brought around half a percent of the Earth's mass. As such, most of these elements would not have arrived until sometime after Earth's core had formed. The new research, on the other hand, says that Earth had these volatiles all alone, and that the life-essential elements were here from the beginning, during the planet's earliest formation.
The study also seems to be consistent with a study tracing the origin of water on Earth, according to the researchers. It's certainly an interesting idea and one that could provide more understanding of the origin of life on Earth as scientists continue to study it.
At one point during next week's six-episode final installment of The Crown, a newly elected Tony Blair declares during a speech: "We must change not just the politics of this country, but the soul of this country." It's a clear shot across the bow, intentional or not, at the traditionalist, hidebound monarchy at the heart of Netflix's critically acclaimed series, which takes its final bow come Dec. 14 with the introduction of a new era of Royals -- and which is also just one of a jam-packed slate of Netflix releases coming over the next seven days.
Regarding The Crown, specifically, what's coming next week is part two of the sixth and final season of creator Peter Morgan's addictive drama about the UK's Royal Family. Among the many highlights of the new season, viewers watch the romance blossom between Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed (leading up to that fateful car journey); the monarch rides a wave of public disapproval; the Queen reflects on her life in the lead-up to the Golden Jubilee; Charles and Camilla finally wed; and, via Prince William and Kate Middleton, a new royal fairy tale begins.
Imelda Staunton, of course, has returned a final time to reprise her iconic turn as Queen Elizabeth, England's longest-serving monarch who died in September at age 96. “I felt like everyone, her whole life, was sitting on her shoulders, and I think that’s what people feel when they met her -- that you’re looking at history,” Staunton said about the queen in a Netflix promotional interview. “The monarch is a thing. Royalty is a thing, and to remain as dignified as she was was an extraordinary feat.”
Following its debut on the streamer in 2016, The Crown would go on to launch the careers of actors like Claire Foy and Emma Corrin (who's currently wowing critics and viewers in FX's A Murder at the End of the World). “I feel relieved that we’ve got here,” executive producer Suzanne Mackie tells Netflix's Tudum site. “It’s like climbing a mountain. You get to the summit and then you go, ‘Oh my god, that’s it. What am I going to do next?’
Continues Mackie: "Working on a show of this scale and this prominence with a team that’s worked together very closely for 10 years, you become very close to each other. The thought of that ending is very sad, but at the same time, I’m so pleased we got here.”
As for the other big new Netflix releases that will be worth your time over the next seven days, here’s a rundown of some of the other notable worth checking out:
Under Pressure: The US Women's World Cup Team: Among the upcoming week's other Netflix releases, the streamer is releasing a four-episode docuseries about the US Women's World Cup soccer team that became an avatar for the culture wars roiling the country.
The team's biggest star, Megan Rapinoe, for example, is known as much and perhaps more for being a progressive activist than a professional soccer player. When she missed a penalty shot that caused the team to fall short in the recent World Cup, President Trump used his Truth Social platform to dog her: "WOKE EQUALS FAILURE. Nice shot Megan, the USA is going to Hell!!!"
Netflix, meanwhile, promises a first-hand look at the joys and hardships of the women's team as they made a run for their third World Cup title. "Issues ranging from injury, criticism and doubt, equal pay, and upholding legacies are all brought to light as the narrative unfolds," Netflix's summary explains. Release date: Dec. 12.
Kevin Hart & Chris Rock: Headliners Only: It's been another big year on the standup comedy front for Netflix (and it looks like it's going to end with a bang, thanks to Dave Chappelle's upcoming new special). Coming on Tuesday, meanwhile, is a Netflix documentary film about two all-time comedic greats who also happen to be longtime friends -- Kevin Hart and Chris Rock. The movie promises an "unparalleled, behind-the-scenes look at their friendship and careers." Release date: Dec. 12.
Single’s Inferno(Season 3): The hit Korean reality dating show is back for a third season. All of the contestants in this (admittedly addictive) show start off living together on an island called “inferno.” That basically just means they’re living close to the elements, minus the creature comforts we’re all used to. After a series of games and challenges each day, contestants then get the chance to pair up and ask someone out on a date -- to a separate island called “paradise,” where there’s a sumptuous, amenity-laden resort. Release date: Dec. 12.
Carol & the End of the World: From Netflix's official logline for this 10-episode animated limited series, "With a mysterious planet hurtling towards Earth, extinction is imminent for the people of the world. While most feel liberated to pursue their wildest dreams, one quiet and always uncomfortable woman stands alone -- lost among the hedonistic masses." Release date: Dec. 15.
Leave the World Behind: Finally, we alluded last week to Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail's chilling new apocalyptic movie (backed by the Obamas' production company Higher Ground), and we'll wrap up this rundown of the latest Netflix releases by noting that Leave the World Behind is now available to stream. The film, based on the 2021 National Book Award-nominated novel of the same name by Rumaan Alam, tells the story of a family’s vacation that gets interrupted when two strangers arrive at night, fleeing the devastation of a cyberattack. Now streaming.
A Russian cargo ship carrying 5,600 pounds of fresh supplies for the International Space Station suffered a terrible glitch, forcing cosmonauts aboard the ISS to remotely dock it. The Progress 86 spent two days in flight after an autopilot glitch forced the spacecraft off its planned route. Luckily, cosmonauts aboard the station were able to take over controls remotely and dock it safely, and NASA streamed the entire thing live on NASA TV.
Progress 86 is just the latest of Russia's spacecraft to suffer from some kind of issue or breakdown. Previously, we saw one spacecraft spring a leak, leaving astronauts stranded on the ISS for longer than originally intended. Later, we saw Russia's Nauka science module spring a leak, too. Fortunately, none of these leaks have been dangerous for the crew aboard the station.
Now, with this autopilot glitch, a massive store of supplies bound for the ISS was put at risk. Unfortunately, there's no current known reasoning for the glitch, so it's unclear if it was caused by faulty hardware, software, or just another unforeseen issue. Obviously, pointing the blame directly at Russia isn't going to make any difference here, and there is a lot of red tape to jump through for any kind of investigations moving forward.
However, to say that this list of issues hasn't shaken up some concerns about Russia's ongoing efforts involving the ISS would be an understatement. There are definitely some concerns about the age of the hardware and software that Russia is using in its spacecraft, and thankfully, we have other spacecraft from companies like SpaceX to help with resupplies as well.
The important thing here, of course, is that the Progress 86 autopilot glitch didn't cause the loss of the supplies aboard the spacecraft. With over two tons of supplies onboard, the loss would have definitely stirred up trouble aboard the ISS, as space agencies involved would have had to scurry to get another resupply up to the station.
The concern, of course, is that the next issue could pose more danger to the astronauts who currently call the ISS home for the next several months. It remains to be seen if Russia will share any info about what caused the issue, or whether the nation can even nail down a cause.
Mystery of the Missing ISS Tomato Finally Solved "A tomato lost for eight months on the orbiting lab has been located, " reports Gizmodo, "absolving astronaut Frank Rubio of playful allegations that he ate it."
NASA's Veg-05 experiment, a project focusing on growing fruits and
'Doom' at 30: What It Means, By the People Who Made It UPDATE: John Romero released a new 9-map episode of Doom.
But it was 30 years ago today that Doom "invented the modern PC games industry, as a place dominated by technologically advanced action shooters," remembers the Guardian:
The internet is filled with sites and services we loathe yet it seems, to paraphrase Brokeback Mountain, we just don’t know how to quit them. Consider the evidence: Facebook was widely reviled after its role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, yet it still has over 3 billion monthly active users. Since Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter there has been huge public outcry about his actions and decisions, but the platform remains relevant. And, most recently, Bandcamp was bought by Songtradr which swiftly laid off 50% of its staff. But guess what? It’s still by far-and-away the leader in its category.…
Q-day (the day when quantum computers will successfully actually break the internet) may be some time away yet. However, that does not mean that companies — and states — shouldn’t hop on the qubit bandwagon now so as not to be left behind in the race for a technology that could potentially alter how we think about life, the Universe, and well… everything. Spurred on by a discourse that more and more revolves around the concept of “digital sovereignty,” 11 EU member states this week signed the European Declaration on Quantum Technologies. The signatories have agreed to align, coordinate, engage,…
Yesterday, Google launched its much anticipated response to OpenAI’s ChatGPT (the first release of Bard didn’t really count, did it?). However, the new set of generative AI models that Google is dubbing “the start of the Gemini era” will not yet be available in Europe — due to regulatory hurdles. The tech giant is calling Gemini the “most capable model ever” and says it has been trained to recognise, understand, and combine different types of information including text, images, audio, video, and code. According to Demis Hassabis, CEO of Google DeepMind, it is as good as the best human experts…
The tech world is waiting with bated breath for the results from the final negotiations in Brussels regarding the EU’s landmark AI Act. The discussions that commenced at 14:00 CET on Wednesday failed to reach a conclusion before the end of the day. However, negotiators did reportedly reach a compromise for the control of generative AI systems, such as ChatGPT. According to sources familiar with the talks, they will now continue on the topic of the controversial use of AI for biometric surveillance — which lawmakers want to ban. As reported by Reuters, governments may have made concessions on other…
With under 2 million people, a landmass that’s half the xxxx of Greece, and a recent history of communist rule, Latvia doesn’t have textbook foundations for building world-leading businesses. But building a world-leading business is exactly what Latvia’s Printful did. In 2021, the on-demand printing startup was valued at over $1 billion, making it the country’s first-ever unicorn. To reach the local landmark, Printful took an international route. But rather than focus on its home continent of Europe, the company set its sights on the US. “We wanted to make something big — and to this day, there is no bigger…
Human intelligence heavily depends on acquiring knowledge from other humans — accumulated through time as part of our cultural evolution. This type of social learning, known in literature as cultural transmission, enables us to imitate actions and behaviours in real time. But can AI also develop social learning skills the same way? Imitation learning has long been a training approach for artificial intelligence, instructing the algorithms to observe humans complete a task and then try to mimic them. But usually AI tools need multiple examples and exposure to vast amounts of data to successfully copy their trainer. Now, a groundbreaking…
As a new year approaches, you might be curious to see whether your programming skills are still in demand or whether you should consider up-skilling for the best opportunities. Hundreds of coding languages have emerged over the years; no matter what you’re hoping to create, there is no doubt a programming language out there for it. So which are standing the test of time and which are worth boning up on? Here are seven that are set to emerge or remain in demand in 2024 and beyond. Python Hailed for its versatility and dev velocity, Python has steadily climbed the…
It’s a question as old as the tech industry itself: can Europe compete with Silicon Valley? This reared up again in my mind for two main reasons. The first is the recent(-ish) shift of Big Tech into being media entities. And the second? That’s Spotify’s struggles as a European stalwart in this field. Let’s consider the first point. Over the past few years, we’ve seen Silicon Valley shift its strategy and start investing heavily in media. You only need to look at Apple’s launch of the Apple TV+ and Apple Music streaming services, or Amazon’s foray into movies and TV…