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From OpenAI's GPT-4o to Google's Gemini: All the major AI updates to know about this week

The OpenAI logo is seen displayed on a cell phone with an image on a computer screen generated by ChatGPT's Dall-E text-to-image model, Friday, Dec. 8, 2023, in Boston.
The OpenAI logo is seen displayed on a cell phone with an image on a computer screen generated by ChatGPT's Dall-E text-to-image model, Friday, Dec. 8, 2023, in Boston. Copyright AP Photo/Michael Dwyer
Copyright AP Photo/Michael Dwyer
By Pascale Davies
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AI voice assistants stole the show this week as tech companies made major announcements.

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This week was all about artificial intelligence (AI) competitors showing off their might with OpenAI and Google’s DeepMind trying to trump the other.

But the impressive updates show how the technology is being rolled out quickly, living up to previously voiced fears penned in an open letter that AI could harm society and should be put on pause until it is better understood.

OpenAI’s co-founder and chief scientist Ilya Sutskever, who was known to question Sam Altman’s ambition to deploy AI quickly, announced on Wednesday he was leaving the start-up.

On Monday, OpenAI held its first-ever live session and announced its new model GPT-4o, which claims to be “much faster” and improves “capabilities across text, vision, and audio”.

A version of it will be free to users, but there is a paid version that will have five times the capacity limits.

The most interesting development from the company is the voice assistant that can generate content or understand commands in voice, text, or image and do live translations. It can also respond in real-time and observe body motion.

But OpenAI did not stop there with announcements. On Thursday, the company said it had signed a deal for access to content from Reddit and would bring AI-powered features to the social media platform.

The same day, Sony sent letters to OpenAI, Google, and Microsoft, asking if they had used its songs to develop their AI systems. The letters come as copyright cases against generative AI companies mount.

Google vs OpenAI rivalry

Google similarly signed a deal with Reddit earlier this year for its AI training data.

Competition between the two companies heated up this week as Google’s DeepMind released updates to its chatbot Gemini, a day after the OpenAI event, which appeared to be no coincidence.

At Google’s I/O developer conference, a video was shared showing that the company's Gemini chatbot was watching GPT-4o.

When asked by voice command, Google’s chatbot was able to attribute quotes to the OpenAI speakers and even named them when it was asked to. The two companies showed how voice input is overtaking text input.

Gemini can also use personal information, such as holiday time requests and use public information to quickly build itineraries.

But that was not all Google announced. Its search engine is also getting a makeover. Instead of offering the Search Generative Experience (SGE), AI will generate a summary of their search results.

Not just about OpenAI and Google

While the two AI titans appear to be leading the sector, Anthropic also had announcements this week.

On Tuesday, Anthropic’s artificial intelligence (AI) assistant Claude became available in Europe.

Anthropic bills itself as an AI safety research company and was founded by former OpenAI executives and researchers. Google and Amazon are also major Anthropic investors.

“We're incredibly excited to launch in Europe because the region is well-positioned to harness the benefits of AI,” an Anthropic spokesperson told Euronews Next.

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“Claude has a number of specific features that uphold EU values and caters for the EU market; we designed Claude to avoid biases, discrimination, and hate speech; focused on reliable, steerable, and accessible AI for all”.

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