Most Read: OpenAI Unveils GPT-4o, New Look ChatGPT

Also inside, Gemini updates from Google I/O, plus the U.K.’s fastest supercomputer comes online

Ben Wodecki, Jr. Editor

May 17, 2024

6 Min Read
A hand holding up a phone displaying ChatGPT's new voice capabilities
Solen Feyissa/Unsplash

Here are this week's most-read stories on AI Business:

OpenAI Unveils New Model, Widens Access to ChatGPT Tools

OpenAI has unveiled a new flagship AI model and is widening access to its AI tools previously reserved for premium users.

The Microsoft-backed company showcased the new offerings during its Spring Update event.

Rumors swirled before the event that OpenAI was teaming with Apple to offer its foundation models in iOS 18.

Instead, the company announced it’s democratizing ChatGPT access. Having recently enabled ChatGPT use without a signup, OpenAI has now given free users the ability to build their own GPTs, as well as access the GPT Store and access to ChatGPT’s vision and voice capabilities.

Powering those now-free capabilities is GPT-4o, OpenAI’s fastest and most powerful to date.

“This is the first time that we are really making a huge step forward when it comes to the ease of use,” said Mira Murti, OpenAI’s chief technology officer. “This is incredibly important because we're looking at the future of interaction between ourselves and the machines.”

There’s more to come as Murti teased: “Soon, we'll be updating you on our progress towards the next big thing.”

Read all the news from OpenAI’s Spring Update

Google Expands Gemini Lineup With Large, Small Model Updates at Google I/O 2024

Related:New Falcon AI Model: A Small Yet Powerful Challenger to Meta’s Llama 3

Google has unveiled a host of powerful new updates to its flagship Gemini model, ranging from new small to large versions.

At last year’s I/O event, Google unveiled Gemini, a foundation model designed to power its applications across its entire range of services. This year, Google announced the current flagship version, Gemini 1.5 Pro, is being made available to all developers globally.

Previously reserved to a select group of developers, businesses can now use the model, which is accessible from Google’s Gemini Advanced platform.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai said Gemini 1.5 Pro received several improvements across translation coding and reasoning based on feedback from its initial rollout.

The model can be used across 35 languages and is multimodal and can comprehend images, text and visuals in prompts.

The current version has a context window of up to 1 million tokens. A context window represents how much text a model can handle in an input, meaning Gemini 1.5 Pro can handle the equivalent of around 1,500 pages of text.

At I/O, however, Google announced it would be raising Gemini’s context window even further.

Gemini 1.5 Pro’s already mammoth context window will be increased to up to 2 million tokens, or around 1.5 million words. In contrast, OpenAI's GPT-4 Turbo can only handle 128,000 tokens.

Related:Google Unveils Next-Gen Video, Image, Music Models at Google I/O 2024

The 2 million token version of Gemini 1.5 is only available to select developers in private preview.

Uncover more news from Google I/O

Fastest AI Supercomputer in the UK Comes Online

The U.K.’s fastest and most powerful supercomputer has come online to power AI training and research workloads.

Located in Bristol, around two and half hours southwest of London, the Isambard-AI supercomputer cost $272 million to develop and is powered by Nvidia and HPE hardware.

Phase one of the supercomputer came online May 13. Researchers, including the country’s AI Safety Institute, can use it to power their research projects starting later this month.

“With the launch of the first stage of the University of Bristol’s supercomputer Isambard-AI, we're witnessing a groundbreaking moment for UK science, innovation and technology,” said Viscount Camrose, the U.K. minister for AI.

“This world-class equipment will revolutionize research possibilities here in the U.K., with our world-first AI Safety Institute among the organizations who are set to benefit by harnessing one of the most powerful computer systems on the planet to drive forward their vital research.”

Isambard-AI phase one produces 647 petaflops per second of eight-bit floating point. To translate its performance into simple terms, if the entire Earth’s population were to perform a calculation in a second, it would take 2.3 billion years to complete — Isambard-AI can do that but in one second.

“That’s a pretty astounding performance, even though we can pack it into a relatively small space,” said Professor Simon McIntosh-Smith, director of the University of Bristol’s Center for Supercomputing.

Learn more about the Isambard-AI supercomputer

California Tests Generative AI to Tackle Traffic, Health Care Challenges

California officials are launching new partnerships with leading technology vendors to harness generative AI to tackle critical state challenges like highway congestion and health care efficiency.

Five new partnerships with technology vendors were announced last week. The state will pay participating companies a symbolic $1 to test their generative AI solutions over six months.

The tech firms will use sandbox testing environments through cloud platforms from AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure, to showcase their projects.

Each vendor is tasked with using publicly available data to build their solutions to simulate a realistic representation of state operations. Officials say using cloud-based sandboxes provides it with time to evaluate each technology before a prospective full rollout.

“We are now at a point where we can begin understanding if GenAI can provide us with viable solutions while supporting the state workforce,” said Amy Tong, secretary of the California Government Operations Agency. “Our job is to learn by testing and we’ll do this by having a human in the loop at every step so that we’re building confidence in this new technology.”

The projects span a wide array of applications.

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), for example, is looking to reduce traffic congestion. Deloitte Consulting and Accenture have been tasked with examining the traffic problem, with plans to develop a system that processes traffic data to enhance traffic pattern analysis and management.

Learn more about California’s generative AI projects

How Chief Financial Officers Can Make the Most of AI

After decades of promise, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies are now seen as tangible tools for businesses of all sizes. With AI’s ability to recognize, interpret and classify data, chief financial officers (CFO) are being touted as possible power users of a technology that has the potential to add $13 trillion to the global economy by 2030.

Meanwhile, in an ever-changing financial landscape, CFOs play a more important role than ever. As organizations struggle with talent shortages and the difficulties of filling key roles, there is an increasing demand for long-term solutions. AI could be the game changer – promising to not only close the talent gap but also expand the capabilities of finance professionals.

But that requires close collaboration and harnessing the power of people and technology in tandem. It’s vital to cultivate the indispensable skills that will ensure CFOs and their teams remain front and center in a world driven by AI.

Read more from Thomas Sutter, Oracle NetSuite’s industry director for finance and global solutions

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ChatGPT / Generative AI

About the Author(s)

Ben Wodecki

Jr. Editor

Ben Wodecki is the Jr. Editor of AI Business, covering a wide range of AI content. Ben joined the team in March 2021 as assistant editor and was promoted to Jr. Editor. He has written for The New Statesman, Intellectual Property Magazine, and The Telegraph India, among others. He holds an MSc in Digital Journalism from Middlesex University.

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