Hashtag Trending Jul.10-ChatGPT new plug-in could change data analysis; Threads grow to almost 100 million users; Robots hold press conference to tell us that they are not after our jobs

ChatGPT releases a new plug in that could change data analysis, Threads continues to grow to almost 100 million users and Robots hold a press conference to tell us that they are not after our jobs.

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These and more top tech news stories on Hashtag Trending.  

I’m your host Jim Love, CIO of IT World Canada and Tech News Day in the US.

ChatGPT announced the general availability of GPT-4 last week and that in itself is a milestone of interest to users of the free version. Paid users have had access to GTP-4 for a few months along with a list of plug-ins that extend its use, allowing, for example, access to the internet beyond ChatGPT’s previous limit of September 2021. These plug-ins are in beta, but many are quite reliable and robust, adding significant capabilities to the existing model. 

But two announcements made by OpenAI have some real significance. One was about an upcoming “tuning” of GPT-4 which some report will have a significant impact and increase its capabilities by an amazing amount. We’ll pursue this further and have an update later this week. 

A second new feature has arrived in beta called Code Interpreter. On one hand, it does exactly what its name implies. It will offer full support for coding in Python, JavaScript and Java. It will explain the functionality of a code snippet. It will assist in debugging code, finding errors and offering suggestions to fix them. It will optimize code.  And it will allow a team to collaborate on code. Much of this has been available to some extent in ChatGPT and in Copilot from Microsoft but Code Interpreter brings this to a new and highly functional level. 

But it also has some abilities that go well beyond coding and at least in early exploration, I don’t want to use superlatives too much but this may revolutionize data analysis. Yes, I said, revolutionize.

Code interpreter will allow the user to link a file and have GPT-4 analyze the data, even performing mathematical analysis, give insights into the data and even create charts. 

The data supplied to it need not be formatted, and can even come from documents like PDFs. 

From early reviews of those who have used it and demos, the potential for this new plug-in is extraordinary. Our own analytics area will be diving into this and we’ll have more news in ITWorldCanada.com

Sources include: Too many to list (we’ve been looking at this all weekend on articles, papers and YouTube videos and we used GPT-4 to provide us with additional information) but there’s a good summary at Plain English and the Indian Express

Mark Zuckerberg’s new “twitter killer” continues to grow.  According to various sources the new social media program had the fastest initial growth of any application in its first hour, beating even ChatGPT. Over the weekend, Threads reached 100 million users signed up, a feat that took Twitter over four years to accomplish. 

Zuckerberg has promised that this would be a “kinder and gentler” social world than Twitter

That will present a challenge as there have been reports of right wing groups migrating to Threads and how well that is managed will be challenging, especially as Threads also plans to open itself to the network of other social media servers referred to as the Fediverse and representing networks like Mastodon and others.

But Zuckerberg said, ‘We are definitely focusing on kindness and making this a friendly space’, Zuckerberg said in response to an early Threads user this week. ‘The goal is to keep [Threads] friendly as it expands.’

And with 100 million users, that message is definitively taking root.

Elon Musk’s response to this, in a tweet was, “It is infinitely preferable to be attacked by strangers on Twitter than to indulge in the false happiness of hide-the-pain Instagram.”

Really? That explains a lot.

So guess Elon won’t mind if the program that’s come to threads is the one used to track his personal jet, which is now up and running once again on Threads? 

Sources include: The Guardian and Reuters

And for those who thought Europe was a bastion of privacy, a new bill has been passed by the government of France which permits police access to an individual’s phone camera and GPS

The French publication Le Monde reported that under the new bill, police “can activate cameras and microphones and take audio recordings of suspects.”

Supporters claim that the bill will only apply to suspects in crimes that have a minimum sentence of five years, and French Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti claimed that this would only affect a few dozen cases per year.

Despite that some groups are expressing concerns about the potential implications on individual privacy.  For organized crime, the police can have access to the sound and image of a device. This concerns any connected device: telephone, speaker microphone, computer camera, computer system of a car… all without the knowledge of the persons concerned,” according to French advocacy group La Quadrature du Net who object to what they refer to as “accepting the very principle that they are transformed into police auxiliaries without our being aware of it.”

Source include:  Gizmodo

In what might be “the world’s first human-robot press conference”, nine humanoid robots were brought together for the UN’s AI for Good conference in Switzerland. The organizers used the unique format to “make the case for using AI and robots to help solve some of the world’s biggest challenges, such as disease, hunger, social care and the climate emergency,” according to a report in the Guardian.

A variety of humanoid robots from various organizations were assembled for the news conference and included Jam Galaxy’s robot singer Desdemona and Ai-Da a robot portrait painter.

It was not clear whether the robots were scripted or answering questions on their own, but reporters were asked to speak clearly and allow for a delay in responses. 

Interestingly, two of the robots disagreed with AI-Da agreeing with the need for more regulation and Jam Galaxy stating that she “didn’t believe in limitations, only opportunities,” to what was reported as nervous laughter in the room. 

The good news was the consensus from the robot panel that they are not here to take our jobs and they want to collaborate with humans to make “effective synergy” would happen when humans and robots worked together. 

Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m reassured. After all, AI can’t make things up.  Oh, yeah, actually it can.

And that’s the top tech news stories for today.

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We love to hear your comments because like robots, we believe that the audience and journalists can achieve a great deal by collaborating. You can find me on Linked In, Twitter or on our Mastodon site technews.social where I’m @therealjimlove.

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I’m your host, Jim Love. Have a Marvelous Monday.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Jim Love
Jim Lovehttp://www.itworldcanada.com
I've been in IT and business for over 30 years. I worked my way up, literally from the mail room and I've done every job from mail clerk to CEO. Today I'm CIO of a great company - IT World Canada - Canada's leading ICT publisher.

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