Alphabet Inc’s Google announced on Tuesday that Bard, its generative artificial intelligence, is being equipped with the capability to fact-check responses and analyse users’ personal Google data, CNN reported.
This move is part of Google’s efforts to keep up with the popularity of ChatGPT.
The debut of ChatGPT, a chatbot developed by Microsoft-backed OpenAI, last year triggered a competitive race within the tech industry to provide consumers with access to generative AI technology.
At the time, ChatGPT became the fastest-growing consumer application in history and currently ranks among the top 30 websites globally.
However, Bard hasn’t experienced the same level of success.
In August, it received 183 million visits, which is only 13% of what ChatGPT received, according to Similarweb, a website analytics firm.
To make headway in the rapidly evolving AI landscape, Google is introducing Bard Extensions, allowing users to import their data from other Google products.
For example, users can request Bard to search their files in Google Drive or provide a summary of their Gmail inbox.
For now, Bard users will only be able to pull information in from Google apps, but Google is working with external companies to connect their applications to Bard in the future, Google senior product director Jack Krawczyk said.
Another new feature in Bard seeks to alleviate a nagging problem for generative AI: inaccurate responses known as “hallucinations”.
Bard users will be able to see which parts of Bard’s answers differ from and agree with Google search results.
“We are presenting (Bard) in a way that it admits when it’s not confident,” Krawczyk said, explaining that the intention is to build users’ trust in generative AI by holding Bard accountable.
A third new feature allows users to invite others into Bard conversations.
Zindagi Trust gets featured on Meta website for transforming Pakistan’s education system
KARACHI: In Pakistan, where a staggering number of over 28 million children are out of school and education infrastructure widely suffers, Zindagi Trust which is a non-profit organisation, is dedicated to revolutionising the education system.
Founded in 2003 by famous Pakistani singer Shehzad Roy, the trust works on the mission to provide quality education to underprivileged children and reform government schools in Pakistan, through pilot projects at model schools and advocacy with the government.
For its success in reaching and engaging supporters as an early adopter of WhatsApp Channels, Zindagi Trust has been featured on Meta’s website as a case study for government and charities.
The Trust is notably the first non-profit organisation from Pakistan to receive this recognition.
Capitalising on the popularity of Meta-owned messaging app, WhatsApp, Zindagi Trust set out with the objective of reaching new audiences, raising awareness, and facilitating fundraising.
It launched a WhatsApp Channel, through which emphasis was placed on initiatives extending beyond model schools, impacting government schools nationwide.
Zindagi Trust saw a significant surge in followers, a 7% increase in donations, and increased reach across its social ecosystem.
Speaking to Geo.tv, Zindagi Trust’s Senior Marketing & Resource Development Manager Faiq Ahmed said that WhatsApp channels have significantly contributed to the realisation of Zindagi Trust’s objectives by establishing a direct and interactive platform for communication with education and child protection enthusiasts.
Talking about collaboration with the government sector, Faiq said that their advocacy initiatives with the government’s help have left an indelible mark on Pakistan, catalysing groundbreaking changes nationwide.
“Through collaboration and perseverance, we continue to shape a brighter future for the children of Pakistan, not only in the education sector but also in areas vital to the well-being of our society,” he added.
Facebook and Instagram full of predators for children, alleges lawsuit
Meta’s social media platforms of Facebook and Instagram have become fertile grounds for child predators and paedophiles, revealed New Mexico’s Attorney General, Raul Torrez in a lawsuit.
Torrez’s office used fake accounts to conduct investigations and discovered that these fake accounts of minors were dispatched ‘solicitations’ and explicit content.
The lawsuit seeks court-ordered changes to protect minors, asserting that Meta has neglected voluntary actions to address these issues effectively.
In its response, Meta defended its initiatives in eradicating predators. However, New Mexico’s investigation disclosed a higher prevalence of exploitative material on Facebook and Instagram compared to adult content platforms.
Attorney General Torrez underscored the platforms’ unsafe nature for children, describing them as hotspots for predators to engage in illicit activities.
While US law shields platforms from content liability, the lawsuit argues that Meta’s algorithms actively promote sexually exploitative material, transforming the platforms into a marketplace for child predators.
The lawsuit accuses Meta of misleading users about platform safety, violating laws prohibiting deceptive practices, and creating an unsafe product.
Moreover, the lawsuit targets Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg personally, alleging contradictory actions in enhancing child safety while steering the company in the opposite direction.
In response, Meta reiterated its commitment to combating child exploitation, emphasizing its use of technology and collaborations with law enforcement to address these concerns.
Meta finally launches end-to-end encryption on Messenger
Meta announced Thursday that it is finally implementing end-to-end encryption for one-on-one conversations and calls on Messenger, delivering on a long-standing commitment.
The company states that when end-to-end encryption is enabled, the only people who can view the contents of a message sent through Messenger are the sender and the recipient.
Messenger’s encrypted chat function was initially made available as an opt-in feature in 2016. However, following a protracted legal dispute, end-to-end encrypted messages and calls for two-person discussions will now be considered the norm.
“This has taken years to deliver because we’ve taken our time to get this right,” Loredana Crisan, vice president of Messenger, said in a statement shared with The Verge.
“Our engineers, cryptographers, designers, policy experts and product managers have worked tirelessly to rebuild Messenger features from the ground up.”
Crisan states that encrypted chats will not compromise Messenger features like themes and custom reactions. However, it may “take some time” for all chats to switch to default encryption.
The end-to-end encryption for group chats is still opt-in. Additionally, Instagram messages are still not encrypted by default, but Meta expects this to happen “shortly after” the rollout of default private Messenger chats.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced in 2019 that the company planned to move toward encrypted ephemeral messages across its messaging apps, according to The Verge.
“I believe the future of communication will increasingly shift to private, encrypted services where people can be confident what they say to each other stays secure and their messages and content won’t stick around forever,” he wrote in a Facebook post. “This is the future I hope we will help bring about.”
By enabling encryption by default, most Messenger chats should remain unseen by Meta, and it will also prevent the company from providing the data to law enforcement.
Last year, a 17-year-old from Nebraska and her mother faced criminal charges for illegal abortion after police obtained their Messenger chat history.
Anti-encryption advocates argue that encryption makes it harder to identify bad actors on encrypted messaging apps like WhatsApp.