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News, Tech Roundup

Tech Beat by Namecheap – 29 September 2023

Chatbots at McDonald’s and Wendy’s promise speedy, personalized ordering but face challenges such as accuracy issues. Despite hiccups, the blend of AI and human interaction is shaping future dining experiences. Are chatbots in restaurants efficient or a recipe for disaster? Dive in for a full serving of insights in this week’s delicious article about fast food bots. 

In tech news:

  • 95% of NFTs are now completely worthless. The popularity of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) has sharply declined, with many websites, including cryptocurrency gambling site dappGambl, warning against investing in them. NFTs are blockchain entries that represent ownership of digital or physical assets. According to The Register, dappGambl’s analysis of over 73,000 NFT collections revealed that 95% of people holding NFTs currently have worthless investments, totaling over 23 million individuals. Furthermore, only 21% of the examined collections were fully sold, indicating a shrinking demand for NFTs. 
  • Google sued after Maps allegedly led a man off a collapsed bridge. A family in North Carolina has filed a lawsuit against Google, claiming that the company’s Maps application led their loved one to drive off a collapsed bridge, resulting in his death. The bridge had not been repaired and lacked barriers or warning signs. Gizmodo states the lawsuit alleges that Google Maps provided misleading directions that ultimately caused the man’s death. It argues that Google failed to provide timely updates to its Maps application, leading to the tragedy. Google expressed its sympathy for the family and stated that it aims to provide accurate routing information.
  • AI soundtrack experiment hits a sour chord. In an ambitious experiment, Disney director Gareth Edwards used AI to compose a soundtrack for his new film, “The Creator,” in the style of the renowned composer Hans Zimmer. While the unnamed AI produced a composition that Edwards rated as a “7 out of 10,” he remarked that one seeks out Hans Zimmer for a perfect “10 out of 10” score. Ultimately, Edwards opted for the genuine talent of Hans Zimmer for his movie’s soundtrack. Why did he do it? As Edwards explains in a LinkedIn Live interview with the MIT Technology Review, AI is a tool, and noted that “the people that are going to be okay are the people who don’t deny this breakthrough is happening, and embrace it and learn it, and try to use it as a tool.” However, his experiment also highlights the real fear among creatives that studios will soon turn to AI to replace their efforts.
  • Google will discontinue the basic HTML version of Gmail. From January 2024, it will no longer be possible to use the no-frills version of Gmail. The Register reached out to Google and asked why this decision was reached. A spokesperson explained that the basic HTML versions of Gmail are previous versions of Gmail that were replaced ten years ago and don’t feature the current full functionality. Accessibility advocates have criticized the move. Pratik Patel, a blind technologist, wrote on Mastodon that many blind people will be unhappy with the change.
  • Microsoft will use nuclear reactors to power AI data centers. A recent job listing suggests that Microsoft will begin employing nuclear power to lessen its carbon footprint. According to The Register, the tech giant seeks a “Principal Program Manager Nuclear Technology” to oversee a global Small Modular Reactor (SMR) and microreactor energy strategy. An SMR is a small, portable nuclear fission power plant that can be implemented in many environments. They are cheaper, less complex, and less risky than conventional nuclear power plants. However, SMRs are not yet permitted to operate in the US and Europe, so it may be a few years before we see any more developments.

Previously in Tech Beat: Exploring ChatGPT’s limitations

ChatGPT, while a prominent tool in 2023, comes with its own set of challenges. The CEO of OpenAI, the chatbot’s parent company, called it “extremely limited” with a need for improvements in robustness and truthfulness. Some of the challenges users might encounter include a character limit for prompts, usage restrictions, and incomplete or inaccurate responses. Furthermore, ChatGPT’s training data only extends up to September 2021, making it outdated for current events. It also has inherent biases due to its training data, potentially leading to problematic outputs. Accuracy is not always guaranteed, with issues in factual data, spelling, punctuation, and mathematical responses. Despite these challenges, ChatGPT remains a powerful tool, but as we noted in our June article, users should be aware of its limitations and verify its outputs. 

Tip of the week: Use ChatGPT to craft your own recipe

Are you tired of the same old restaurant dishes and eager to create something extraordinary in your own kitchen? Look no further than ChatGPT for a burst of culinary inspiration. 

  • Set the stage. Begin by telling ChatGPT what you’re in the mood for. Share your favorite ingredients, cuisines, or specific flavors you’re craving. Whether it’s a rich, creamy pasta or a spicy, exotic curry, ChatGPT is ready to assist.
  • Customize to perfection. ChatGPT will generate a basic recipe for you. But don’t stop there! Use its suggestions as a foundation and add your own unique twists. Think about ingredients you love or have on hand, and incorporate them into the recipe to make it truly yours.
  • Adjust complexity. Remember, you can choose the complexity of your recipe to match your skill level. If you’re a beginner, ChatGPT can provide simplified steps and straightforward techniques. For experienced cooks, challenge yourself with intricate methods and presentation.
  • Fine-tune your creation. Don’t hesitate to ask ChatGPT for advice on specific cooking techniques, flavor combinations, or plating ideas. It can provide tips and tricks to elevate your dish to gourmet status.

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Richard King avatar

Richard King

Richard is a technology copywriter who aims to simplify the complex world around us using words. As well as an interest in all things tech, he enjoys learning about usability and the overall customer journey. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, skiing, video gaming, and playing the piano and drums. More articles written by Richard.

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