Wednesday, May 22

Technology

If You’re Going to San Francisco, Be Sure to Ride In a Driverless Car
Technology

If You’re Going to San Francisco, Be Sure to Ride In a Driverless Car

When David De Clercq traveled to San Francisco last year, he had a few musts on his itinerary: Go to Alcatraz. Try new restaurants. And ride in a self-driving car.Self-driving cars, also known as autonomous vehicles or, colloquially, robotaxis, have been driving the streets of San Francisco in some form since 2009 and have been operating commercially since last August. The cars are also shaping up as the city’s latest tourist attraction.Mr. De Clercq, 42, who splits his time between New Jersey and Sardinia, where he owns restaurants and bars and rents villas, is an avid traveler.“I love exploring and doing new things,” he said. “I knew that I definitely wanted to get a ride while I was in town.”What, where and how to rideConversations abound on Reddit and X, with visitors seeking advice on...
Can AI Make the PC Cool Again? Microsoft Thinks So.
Technology

Can AI Make the PC Cool Again? Microsoft Thinks So.

The race to put artificial intelligence everywhere is taking a detour through the good old laptop computer.Microsoft on Monday introduced a new kind of computer designed for artificial intelligence. The machines, Microsoft says, will run A.I. systems on chips and other gear inside the computers so they are faster, more personal and more private.The new computers, called Copilot+ PC, will allow people to use A.I. to make it easier to find documents and files they have worked on, emails they have read, or websites they have browsed. Their A.I. systems will also automate tasks like photo editing and language translation.The new design will be included in Microsoft’s Surface laptops and high-end products that run on the Windows operating system offered by Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo and Samsu...
Why TikTok Users Are Blocking Celebrities
Technology

Why TikTok Users Are Blocking Celebrities

As protests over the war in Gaza unfolded blocks away, last week’s Met Gala was largely devoid of political statements on the red carpet. That the organizers of fashion’s most powerful annual spectacle (one for which tickets cost $75,000 this year) achieved this feat proved surprising to many observers. Less than two weeks later, though, a fast-growing online protest movement is taking shape. At least, it is on TikTok, the social media platform that was a sponsor of the Met event.Blockout 2024, also referred to as Operation Blockout or Celebrity Block Party, targets high-profile figures who participants feel are not using their profiles and platforms to speak out about the Israel-Hamas war and wider humanitarian crises. Here’s what has happened so far, what supporters hope to achieve and w...
OpenAI’s Flirty New Assistant, Google Guts the Web and We Play HatGPT
Technology

OpenAI’s Flirty New Assistant, Google Guts the Web and We Play HatGPT

Listen to and follow ‘Hard Fork’Apple | Spotify | Amazon | YouTubeThis week, OpenAI unveiled GPT-4o, its newest A.I. model. It has an uncannily emotive voice that everybody is talking about. Then, we break down the biggest announcements from Google IO, including the launch of A.I. overviews, a major change to search that threatens the way the entire web functions. And finally, Kevin and Casey discuss the weirdest headlines from the week in another round of HatGPT.Additional Reading:Credits“Hard Fork” is hosted by Kevin Roose and Casey Newton and produced by Whitney Jones and Rachel Cohn. The show is edited by Jen Poyant. Engineering by Isaac Jones and original music by Dan Powell, Elisheba Ittoop and Rowan Niemisto. Fact-checking by Caitlin Love.Special thanks to Paula Szuchman, Pui-Wing T...
An A.I. Robot Named Sophia Tells Graduates to Believe in Themselves
Technology

An A.I. Robot Named Sophia Tells Graduates to Believe in Themselves

When it comes to choosing a commencement speaker, colleges and universities take different approaches. Some go local, selecting well-known figures in the area. Others take a stately route, opting for a former or current politician. Actors or comedians are often asked to speak.But in a world where artificial intelligence is everywhere, one university in New York opted for a robot using artificial intelligence to speak to graduates over the weekend.For its spring commencement on Saturday, D’Youville University, a private institution in Buffalo, N.Y., had an A.I. robot named Sophia address a crowd of more than 2,000 students, faculty members and their families in a bold decision that drew mixed reactions.Dr. Lorrie Clemo, the president of D’Youville University, said in an interview on Wednesd...
OpenAI Unveils New ChatGPT That Listens, Looks and Talks
Technology

OpenAI Unveils New ChatGPT That Listens, Looks and Talks

As Apple and Google transform their voice assistants into chatbots, OpenAI is transforming its chatbot into a voice assistant.On Monday, the San Francisco artificial intelligence start-up unveiled a new version of its ChatGPT chatbot that can receive and respond to voice commands, images and videos.The company said the new app — based on an A.I. system called GPT-4o — juggles audio, images and video significantly faster than previous versions of the technology. The app will be available starting on Monday, free of charge, for both smartphones and desktop computers.“We are looking at the future of the interaction between ourselves and machines,” said Mira Murati, the company’s chief technology officer.The new app is part of a wider effort to combine conversational chatbots like ChatGPT with...