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Monthly Archives: January 2024

Can This A.I.-Powered Search Engine Replace Google? It Has for Me.

The New York Times [read free] “A start-up called Perplexity shows what’s possible for a search engine built from scratch with artificial intelligence…Perplexity. The year-old search engine, whose founders previously worked in A.I. research at OpenAI and Meta, has quickly become one of the most buzzed-about products in the tech world. Tech insiders rave about it on social media, and investors like Jeff Bezos — who was also an early investor in Google — have showered it with cash. The company recently announced that it had raised $74 million in a funding round led by Institutional Venture Partners, which valued the company at $520 million. Many start-ups have tried and failed to challenge Google over the years. (One would-be competitor, Neeva, shut down last year after failing to gain traction.) But Google seems less invincible these days. Many users have complained that their Google search results have gotten clogged with spammy, low-quality websites, and some people have started looking for answers in places like Reddit and TikTok instead. Intrigued by the hype, I recently spent several weeks using Perplexity as my default search engine on both desktop and mobile. I tested both the free version and the paid product, Perplexity Pro, which costs $20 per month and gives users access to more powerful A.I. models and certain features, such as the ability to upload their own files. Hundreds of searches later, I can report that even though Perplexity isn’t perfect, it’s very good. And while I’m not ready to break up with Google entirely, I’m now more convinced that A.I.-powered search engines like Perplexity could loosen Google’s grip on the search market, or at least force it to play catch-up…”

13 percent of AI chat bot users in the US just want to talk

“Two new Consumer Reports surveys explore the use of and attitudes toward text-based generative artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots by consumers in the United States. Artificial intelligence is being used every day across the country and is increasingly being integrated in the lives of Americans, from customer service to online medical advice. CR conducted two separate… Continue Reading

The thorny push to put body cameras in hospitals and stores

Fast Company: “Once, body cameras were attached only to cops, part of an effort to produce more evidence, de-escalate tense situations, and reduce force and abuse. The jury is still out on how effective they are, but the technology is spreading fast, and not just within policing. Increasingly, other sectors have adopted the cameras, and… Continue Reading

Every Awful Thing Trump Has Promised to Do in a Second Term

Rolling Stone: “Donald Trump reportedly did not expect to win the presidency in 2016, which isn’t surprising considering how ill-prepared he and his team were to take control of the country. He appointed established conservatives to key positions before learning some had personal principles that extended beyond indulging the president’s ego. Trump wreaked havoc on… Continue Reading

Telsa, Musk – The Bill Comes Due

Ann Lipton – Business Law Prof Blog: “On Tuesday, Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick of the Delaware Court of Chancery issued her long-awaited opinion in Tornetta v. Musk, where she took the extraordinary step of holding that Elon Musk’s Tesla pay package from 2018 was not “entirely fair” to Tesla investors, and ordered that it be rescinded.  In… Continue Reading

How to Right-Click on a Mac

MakeUseOf: “Performing a right-click action on a Mac is not as straightforward as on a Windows PC. That’s because Apple’s Magic Mouse and trackpad do not have a dedicated right-click button. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with the following right-click options in macOS to avoid confusion in the future.” Continue Reading

European Union Terrorism Situation and Trend Report 2023

Europol: The European Union (EU) Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TE-SAT) 2023 is a situational overview, presenting figures, major developments and trends in the terrorism landscape in the EU in 2022. The report is based on qualitative and quantitative data provided by Member States on terrorist attacks, arrests and court decisions issued for terrorist offences.… Continue Reading

AI in Politics Is So Much Bigger Than Deepfakes

The Atlantic [read free]: “…Up to this point, much of the attention on AI and elections has focused on deepfakes, and not without reason. The threat—that even something seemingly captured on tape could be false—is immediately comprehensible, genuinely scary, and no longer hypothetical. With better execution, and in a closer race, perhaps something like the… Continue Reading

Pew report shows TikTok’s rise and YouTube’s ubiquity

Pew Research Center: “Social media platforms faced a range of controversies in recent years, including concerns over misinformation and data privacy. Even so, U.S. adults use a wide range of sites and apps, especially YouTube and Facebook. And TikTok – which some Congress members previously called to ban – saw growth in its user base.… Continue Reading

Good AI Legal Help, Bad AI Legal Help: Establishing quality standards for response to people’s legal problem stories

Hagan, Margaret, Good AI Legal Help, Bad AI Legal Help: Establishing quality standards for response to people’s legal problem stories (November 21, 2023). Available at SSRN: “Much has been made of generative AI models’ ability to perform legal tasks or pass legal exams, but a more important question for public policy is whether AI… Continue Reading