The rise of Perplexity AI, the buzzy new web search engine

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Perplexity’s answer engine is altering the way we interact with the internet and might even one day challenge Google’s search dominance.

Perplexity calls itself a “Swiss Army Knife for information discovery and curiosity,” but it’s essentially an AI-powered search engine. Think of it as a mashup of ChatGPT and Google Search—though it’s not a direct replacement for either. Really, it’s the direction Google is trying to go with Gemini—but less chaotically implemented. 

It works like a chatbot: you ask questions, and it answers them. But it’s also able to seamlessly pull in information from recent articles. It indexes the web every day, so you can ask it about recent news, game scores, and other typical search queries. 

But Perplexity is also a kind of search engine. Instead of presenting you with a list of websites that match your query, Perplexity gives you a short summary answer along with the references it used to create it. In some cases, the summary will be all you need. In others, you’ll want to dive into the different sources.

While Perplexity can’t yet replace a traditional search engine, it’s surprisingly functional and effective if you work within its limits. Here’s what you need to know about it. Continue reading “The rise of Perplexity AI”

AI’s new power: Persuasion

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AI startup Anthropic says its language models have steadily and rapidly improved their “persuasiveness,” Axios’ Ryan Heath writes.

  • Why it matters: Persuasion can foster disinformation and push people to act against their own interests, according to new research the company posted yesterday.

There’s relatively little research on how the latest models compare to humans when it comes to their persuasiveness — a skill with widespread social, commercial and political applications.

  • The researchers found that the most capable Anthropic model, Claude 3 Opus, “produces arguments that don’t statistically differ” from arguments written by humans.



Measuring the Persuasiveness of Language Models

While people have long questioned whether AI models may, at some point, become as persuasive as humans in changing people’s minds, there has been limited empirical research into the relationship between model scale and the degree of persuasiveness across model outputs. To address this, we developed a basic method to measure persuasiveness, and used it to compare a variety of Anthropic models across three different generations (Claude 1, 2, and 3), and two classes of models (compact models that are smaller, faster, and more cost-effective, and frontier models that are larger and more capable). Continue reading “AI’s new power: Persuasion”

Is the ‘Dead Internet’ theory suddenly coming true?

This could be a sign

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No, not shrimp Jesus—though that’s noteworthy, too. We’re talking about what TikTok could be planning with AI influencers.


There’s been a popular theory floating around conspiracy circles for about seven or eight years now. It’s called the “Dead Internet” theory, and its main argument is that the organic, human-created content that powered the early web in the 1990s and 2000s has been usurped by artificially created content, which now dominates what people see online. Hence, the internet is “dead” because the content most of us consume is no longer created by living beings (humans).

But there’s another component to the theory—and this is where the conspiracy part comes into play. The Dead Internet theory states that this move from human-created content to artificially generated content was purposeful, spearheaded by governments and corporations in order to exploit control over the public’s perception. 

Continue reading “Is the ‘Dead Internet’ theory suddenly coming true?”

AI could be as consequential to the economy as electricity

source: (contributed by FAN, Bill Amshey)  |  image:


Jamie Dimon believes artificial intelligence will have a huge impact on global business this year.

Dimon, one of the world’s most influential business leaders, said in his annual shareholder letter Monday that while he doesn’t yet know the full effect AI will have on business, the economy or society, he knows its influence will be significant.

“We are completely convinced the consequences will be extraordinary and possibly as transformational as some of the major technological inventions of the past several hundred years: Think the printing press, the steam engine, electricity, computing and the Internet, among others,” the JPMorgan Chase (JPM) CEO wrote in the letter.

The AI explosion has already transformed workplaces across the world and nearly 40% of global employment could be disrupted by AI, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Continue reading “AI could be as consequential to the economy as electricity”

How to Protect Yourself (and Your Loved Ones) From AI Scam Calls


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AI tools are getting better at cloning people’s voices, and scammers are using these new capabilities to commit fraud. Avoid getting swindled by following these expert tips.

YOU ANSWER A random call from a family member, and they breathlessly explain how there’s been a horrible car accident. They need you to send money right now, or they’ll go to jail. You can hear the desperation in their voice as they plead for an immediate cash transfer. While it sure sounds like them, and the call came from their number, you feel like something’s off. So, you decide to hang up and call them right back. When your family member picks up your call, they say there hasn’t been a car crash, and that they have no idea what you’re talking about.

Congratulations, you just successfully avoided an artificial intelligence scam call. Continue reading “How to Protect Yourself (and Your Loved Ones) From AI Scam Calls”

AI robot wars heat up

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Walking, dexterous robots are gradually making the leap from the science lab to the workplace with more sophisticated AI-driven software, Axios’ Jennifer A. Kingson writes.

  • Why it matters: There’s intense competition among humanoid robot manufacturers to get their products into the production lines of companies like Amazon and BMW.

Zoom in: An OpenAI-powered robot from a company called Figure was filmed using “common sense” to pick up an apple and hand it to a person who asked: “Can I have something to eat?”

  • The wild demonstration video for Figure 01, released yesterday, also showed the robot explaining in plain English why it acted in the way it did: “So I gave you the apple because it’s the only uh edible item I could provide you with from the table.”

Figure garnered a massive investment from Jeff Bezos and OpenAI. It’s currently staffing a BMW production line.

  • A robot from Agility — a Figure competitor — is being tested by Amazon and GXO Logistics, which recently deployed it at a Spanx warehouse in Georgia.

Humanizing a popular holiday with AI

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In his submission, Steve writes “This video is rather interesting from the technology point of view as well as how people are viewed from their image.    I think the impact of a first impression , body language, and  eye contact are more important now-a-days than a handshake.    Similarly the smile gesture and body language is just as important as appearance.”

This short video will undoubtedly “wow!” you…and probably make you want to view it at least a couple of times.  It’s AI at its finest and worthy of a look-see!  Click on the image below.  It’ll take you to the source site where the video resides!


Welcome to the generative AI election era

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Around one billion voters will head to polls all over the world this year, while wily campaigns and underfunded election officials will face pressure to use AI for efficiencies.

Why it matters: Conditions are ripe for bad actors to use generative AI to amplify efforts to suppress votes, libel candidates and incite violence.

The big picture: This year, more people will vote than any other year between 2004 and 2048.

  • It’s the first time in 60 years that the U.S. and U.K. are voting for new administrations in the same year and the first time since 2004 that the U.S. and EU are.
  • AI is just one category in a growing list of problems for election officials from poll worker shortage to violent threats and cybersecurity attacks.

Continue reading “Welcome to the generative AI election era”

The new, sci-fi ways AI will radically redesign airports

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Someday you might be able to check into your flight from your car.

Airports today are shaped like dumbbells. One end of the dumbbell is for ticketing and checked bags. The opposite end is where the gates are located along with restaurants and shops. The thin middle between the two ends is for security screening, which separates the “landside” of the airport from its “airside.”

This airport shape has become more pronounced in the past two decades, mainly because of security screening apparatuses. But artificial intelligence is poised to subvert that shape, first by creating new ways for people to interact with existing airport infrastructure, then by challenging the traditional landside-airside barrier, and, finally, enabling all-new design approaches to the physical and digital footprints of airports. Here’s how those changes will unfold in the next five, 10, and 20 years.


Airports have historically told you what they are doing: a giant flight information display system or series of gate announcements is the airport broadcasting its operations. What you are doing as a passenger is extracting relevant information and maneuvering those operations. This power dynamic between what an airport is doing and what a passenger is doing is changing, though, and becoming far more collaborative. At Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), passengers can make “spot saver” appointments for security screenings, skipping the lines and avoiding any anxiety about getting through checkpoints ahead of flight times. Also at SEA, passengers parking their vehicles can use anautomated parking guidance system to find open spots faster. In each instance, the airport is improving its efficiency by allowing passengers to interact with infrastructure more directly.

Continue reading “The new, sci-fi ways AI will radically redesign airports”

Behind the Curtain: U.S. not ready for robotic, AI world wars


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America’s ability to remain the world’s most lethal military hinges on two interrelated — and vexing — mysteries, Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen write.

  • Can soon-to-retire four-star generals truly foresee the awesome power of artificial intelligence in time to break generation-old habits and shift warfare theories?
  • If they do, can they convince the brightest coding minds to chuck lucrative gigs at Google to build AI-powered systems for America faster or better than their rivals in China?

Why it matters: Future wars will be won with Stanford nerds, faster chips, superior computing power and precision robotics on land, sea and air. Experts tell us that because of a lethal combination of congressional myopia and constipated Pentagon buying rules, America isn’t mobilizing fast enough to prevail on future battlefields. Continue reading “Behind the Curtain: U.S. not ready for robotic, AI world wars”