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AI News Roundup | AI Advancements: Google and Microsoft, Germany's healthcare robots, and AI in the workplace

Your daily TLDR of important AI stories you must know about.

March 21, 2023 / 07:59 PM IST
White-coloured humanoid "Garmi" (Source: AFP)

White-coloured humanoid "Garmi" (Source: AFP)

Google, Microsoft aim to increase productivity through AI integration in popular productivity apps

  • Google and Microsoft are on a mission to remove the drudgery from computing, by bringing next-generation AI tools as add-ons to existing services.

  • Microsoft announced an AI-powered system called Copilot will soon be introduced to its 365 suite apps including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Teams. The news came about two days after Google published a blog explaining its plans to embed AI into its Workspace apps such as Docs, Sheets, Slides, Meet and Chat.

  • Now, Microsoft and Google have found a more concrete way to bring generative AI into our offices and classrooms.

  • Both systems are integrated into existing cloud infrastructure. This means all the data they are applied to will already be online and stored in company servers.

Is AI is gunning for one of its gatekeepers?

  • Journalism is on the cusp of a revolution where mastery of algorithms and AI tools that generate content will be a key battleground.

  • The German publishing behemoth Axel Springer, owner of Politico and German tabloid Bild among other titles, has been less coy. "Artificial intelligence has the potential to make independent journalism better than it ever was –- or simply replace it," the group's boss Mathias Doepfner told staff last month.

  • Alex Connock, author of "Media Management and Artificial Intelligence", says that mastery of these AI tools will help decide which media companies survive and which ones fail in the coming years.

  • However, not all analysts agree on that point. Mike Wooldridge of Oxford University reckons ChatGPT, for example, is more like a "glorified word processor" and journalists should not be worried.

Is imperfection the key to securing your columnist gig against AI?

  • Panic is spreading in what many of us regard as the world’s most important industry. For decades editors have been adding columns in a bid to explain the hidden meaning of the whirligig of daily events.

  • Humans cannot compete with AI when it comes to speed in recognizing patterns in vast bodies of data or processing mere words.

  • If ChatGPT can replace columnists, it can replace all sorts of people who try to spin words and numbers into argument and analysis.

Is competing with AI in your workspace a losing battle?

  • There is pressure to work faster, as if speed and quality rise in lockstep. The arrival of chatbots like GPT-4 capable of churning out credible text in seconds further ups the ante on humans.

  • Robots have huge cost efficiencies over humans, they also have a downside that’s tougher to quantify but no less real.

  • Inescapably, more of us will be working alongside machines, and we’ll have to get better at managing emotions.

Germany turns to robots for elder care

  • Garmi is a product of a new sector called geriatronics, a discipline that taps advanced technologies like robotics, IT and 3D technology for geriatrics, gerontology and nursing.

  • About a dozen scientists built Garmi with the help of medical practitioners like Steinebach at the Munich Institute of Robotics and Machine Intelligence.

  • With the number of people needing care growing quickly and an estimated 670,000 carer posts to go unfilled in Germany by 2050, the researchers are racing to conceive robots that can take over some of the tasks carried out today by nurses, carers, and doctors.

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