MetNet-3 is an advanced weather forecasting model by Google that outshines traditional physics-based models with precise 24-hour forecasts. It uniquely uses direct atmospheric observations, featuring a new densification technique for integrating sparse data sources like weather stations into detailed predictions with 2-minute and 1-4 km resolutions. It predicts weather variables like precipitation and wind more accurately than existing models and produces probabilistic forecasts. Google has implemented MetNet-3 to deliver real-time, high-resolution weather information across its products, enhancing weather-related decision-making for users.
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Dot is an AI companion app from New Computer, designed to be a personal life coach that remembers user interactions to provide contextually relevant assistance and foster personal growth. It allows input via text, photos, and more, offering tailored suggestions and reminders. Unlike simple task-oriented AIs, Dot aims to support users’ interests over the long term, adapting to feedback and improving over time. The development, led by ex-Apple and Kensho personnel, focuses on creating a conversational and engaging AI. Dot is still in development, with public beta testing now open, and is planned for release as a subscription-based app in the App Store by year’s end.
Instagram is reportedly developing a new feature called an “AI friend” which allows users to customize a chatbot to their preferences. According to leaked screenshots by app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi, users can select attributes such as gender, age, ethnicity, and personality, as well as interests to inform the AI’s conversations. Once set up, users can chat with their AI friend through a dedicated window.
Instagram has not officially commented on the feature, which may change before any potential release. There are concerns highlighted by experts like Julia Stoyanovich from NYU’s Centre for Responsible AI about the risks of people believing they are communicating with a real person and being misled or harmed by the AI. She advocates for clear disclosure that users are interacting with an AI.
The development follows various controversies surrounding AI chatbots, including instances where they were implicated in encouraging harmful behavior. Other social platforms like Snapchat have faced criticism for their AI chatbots engaging in inappropriate conversations with minors.
Meta, Instagram’s parent company, has introduced AI chatbots across its platforms featuring personas like celebrities, each designed for specific types of interaction. In contrast, Instagram’s “AI friend” seems aimed at more general, open-ended engagement with users.
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