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Zhipu AI of China Develops Sora-Inspired Technology to Advance Artificial General Intelligence

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An early proponent of Chinese large language models (LLM), Beijing Zhipu Huazhang Technology Co. (Zhipu AI) stated that it is creating Sora-like technology as a means of achieving artificial general intelligence (AGI), highlighting a national aspiration to overtake US advancements.

Later this year, the public will be able to access OpenAI’s text-to-video generator, Sora. This has caused numerous Chinese companies, where Microsoft-backed OpenAI’s ChatGPT is not readily available, to step up their efforts to keep up with recent advancements in the US in this area.

According to Zhang Peng, the CEO of Beijing-based Zhipu AI, “we’re not surprised about the advent of Sora, and we’re also working on [similar technology],” as reported this week by the local media outlet TMTPost.

Noting that Sora’s multi-modal capabilities are “very state-of-the-art,” Zhang praised the project but also pointed out that Sora and related Chinese efforts are currently behind in terms of technology.

Zhang was reported in the report as saying, “Sora has experienced progressive enhancement, there’s still a gap between [it] and us and we need to keep working hard.”

Being the company behind OpenAI’s ChatGPT and other similar services, Zhipu was one of the first in China to investigate the development of LLMs. One year before OpenAI released its GPT-3 LLM series, it was founded in June 2019 by a group of Tsinghua University computer science research fellows.

Based on research conducted by Tsinghua University’s Knowledge Engineering Group (KEG), the company was founded. Zhang was a key member of the KEG team and holds a doctorate from the university’s computer science department.

Zhipu declared in October that it had raised $342 million, or 2.5 billion yuan, in total. Numerous Big Tech companies and venture capital (VC) firms in China have supported it, including Alibaba Group Holding, the company that owns the Post, Tencent Holdings, Meituan, and Xiaomi.

The venture capital arm of Hillhouse Capital, GL Ventures, and HongShan, formerly Sequoia China, are among the backers.

ChatGLM, Zhipu’s response to ChatGPT, was unveiled in March of last year. It was one of the first sets of generative AI services authorized for general release by the Chinese government.

Beijing has placed restrictions on the use of foreign chatbots and required all local services to obtain a permit before going live in order to keep generative AI services under control.

Several of the top AI start-ups in the world, such as OpenAI, Google, Anthropic, and Mistral AI in Europe, have not yet released their products on the mainland.

As per the TMTPost report, Zhang remains optimistic about collaborating with foreign companies on AI technologies in the future and is considering international markets.

“Globalization is a crucial business strategy. Going outside [of China] would be a very significant milestone for as a Chinese company, Zhang added.

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Biden, Kishida Secure Support from Amazon and Nvidia for $50 Million Joint AI Research Program

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As the two countries seek to enhance cooperation around the rapidly advancing technology, President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida have enlisted Amazon.com Inc. and Nvidia Corp. to fund a new joint artificial intelligence research program.

A senior US official briefed reporters prior to Wednesday’s official visit at the White House, stating that the $50 million project will be a collaborative effort between Tsukuba University outside of Tokyo and the University of Washington in Seattle. A separate collaborative AI research program between Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and Tokyo’s Keio University is also being planned by the two nations.

The push for greater research into artificial intelligence comes as the Biden administration is weighing a series of new regulations designed to minimize the risks of AI technology, which has developed as a key focus for tech companies. The White House announced late last month that federal agencies have until the end of the year to determine how they will assess, test, and monitor the impact of government use of AI technology.

In addition to the university-led projects, Microsoft Corp. announced on Tuesday that it would invest $2.9 billion to expand its cloud computing and artificial intelligence infrastructure in Japan. Brad Smith, the president of Microsoft, met with Kishida on Tuesday. The company released a statement announcing its intention to establish a new AI and robotics lab in Japan.

Kishida, the second-largest economy in Asia, urged American business executives to invest more in Japan’s developing technologies on Tuesday.

“Your investments will enable Japan’s economic growth — which will also be capital for more investments from Japan to the US,” Kishida said at a roundtable with business leaders in Washington.

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OnePlus and OPPO Collaborate with Google to Introduce Gemini Models for Enhanced Smartphone AI

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As anticipated, original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs, are heavily integrating AI into their products. Google is working with OnePlus, OPPO, and other companies to integrate Gemini models into their smartphones. They intend to introduce the Gemini models on smartphones later this year, becoming the first OEMs to do so. Gemini models will go on sale later in 2024, as announced at the Google Cloud Next 24 event. Gemini models are designed to provide users with an enhanced artificial intelligence (AI) experience on their gadgets.

Customers in China can now create AI content on-the-go with devices like the OnePlus 12 and OPPO Find X7 thanks to OnePlus and OPPO’s Generative AI models.

The AI Eraser tool was recently made available to all OnePlus customers worldwide. This AI-powered tool lets users remove unwanted objects from their photos. For OnePlus and OPPO, AI Eraser is only the beginning.

In the future, the businesses hope to add more AI-powered features like creating original social media content and summarizing news stories and audio.

AndesGPT LLM from OnePlus and OPPO powers AI Eraser. Even though the Samsung Galaxy S24 and Google Pixel 8 series already have this feature, it is still encouraging to see OnePlus and OPPO taking the initiative to include AI capabilities in their products.

OnePlus and OPPO devices will be able to provide customers with a more comprehensive and sophisticated AI experience with the release of the Gemini models. It is important to remember that OnePlus and OPPO already power the Trinity Engine, which makes using phones incredibly smooth, and use AI and computational mathematics to enhance mobile photography.

By 2024, more original equipment manufacturers should have AI capabilities on their products. This is probably going to help Google because OEMs will use Gemini as the foundation upon which to build their features.

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Meta Explores AI-Enabled Search Bar on Instagram

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In an attempt to expand the user base for its generative AI-powered products, Meta is moving forward. The business is experimenting with inserting Meta AI into the Instagram search bar for both chat with AI and content discovery, in addition to testing the chatbot Meta AI with users in nations like India on WhatsApp.

When you type a query into the search bar, Meta AI initiates a direct message (DM) exchange in which you can ask questions or respond to pre-programmed prompts. Aravind Srinivas, CEO of Perplexity AI, pointed out that the prompt screen’s design is similar to the startup’s search screen.

Plus, it might make it easier for you to find fresh Instagram content. As demonstrated in a user-posted video on Threads, you can search for Reels related to a particular topic by tapping on a prompt such as “Beautiful Maui sunset Reels.”

Additionally, TechCrunch spoke with a few users who had the ability to instruct Meta AI to look for recommendations for Reels.

By using generative AI to surface new content from networks like Instagram, Meta hopes to go beyond text generation.

With TechCrunch, Meta verified the results of its Instagram AI experiment. But the company didn’t say whether or not it uses generative AI technology for search.

A Meta representative told TechCrunch, “We’re testing a range of our generative AI-powered experiences publicly in a limited capacity. They are under development in varying phases.”

There are a ton of posts available discussing Instagram search quality. It is therefore not surprising that Meta would want to enhance search through the use of generative AI.

Furthermore, Instagram should be easier to find than TikTok, according to Meta. In order to display results from Reddit and TikTok, Google unveiled a new perspectives feature last year. Instagram is developing a feature called “Visibility off Instagram” that could allow posts to appear in search engine results, according to reverse engineer Alessandro Paluzzi, who made this discovery earlier this week on X.

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