► Meta’s code-generating bot. Meta has released a tool, built on top of its Llama 2 large language model, to generate new code and debug human-written work. Code Llama, as it’s called, will use the same community license as Llama 2 and is free for research and commercial use. It can create strings of code from prompts or complete and debug code when pointed to a specific code string. In addition to the base Code Llama model, Meta released a Python-specialised version called Code Llama-Python and another version called Code Llama-Instrct, which can understand instructions in natural language. Read it here.
► Midjourney launches Inpainting tool. Midjourney has announced the launch of its highly anticipated Inpainting tool, offering a solution to the common challenges faced by users while editing images. With this new feature, users can now modify any part of a generation without having to rely on external software or Photoshop skills. Users can simply press “Vary (Region)” over an enlarged picture, highlight the area they wish to edit, and then provide a written description of the desired changes. Read it here.
► Meta has launched SeamlessM4T. Meta AI’s SeamlessM4T (Massive Multilingual Multimodal Machine Translation) model enables universal, on-demand translation for hundreds of languages. According to Meta, SeamlessM4T supports speech recognition and speech-to-text translation for 100 input and output languages, and speech-to-speech translation for almost 100 input and 35 output languages. It can also perform text-to-text translation and text-to-speech translation for 100 input and 35 output languages. Read it here.
► India becomes the fourth country to land a spacecraft on the moon. A robotic landing craft from India successfully touched down in the southern polar region of the moon, making the rising space power the fourth nation to achieve a soft landing on the lunar surface. Chandrayaan 3 landed closer to the Moon's south pole than any previous mission. Read it here.
► Virtual game highlights global food waste issues. Singapore banking firm DBS has launched BetterWorld, where it uses gamification in the virtual space for good. Players can roam a fantasy world created by the bank. Read it here.
► As VR headset adoption grows, privacy issues could emerge. UC-Berkeley researchers found that hand and head motion data could be as good as fingerprints and facial scans at identifying users, raising a host of privacy concerns as headset adoption grows. Read it here.
► The everything app: Here's what we know about Musk's plans for X. The transformation of Twitter into X is more than just a change of name; it’s a manifestation of Musk’s long-standing vision. Musk’s ambition for X is to take it beyond the social interactions of Twitter and create a digital ecosystem. From posting videos to making payments, Musk wants X to be a one-stop solution for digital needs. Some of the features we can expect to see, if his vision is fully realised, are messaging, payments, e-commerce, live-streaming, virtual reality and augmented reality, and financial technology. Read it here.
DATA & STATISTICS
► What does virtual reality mean for training? The PwC 2022 US Metaverse Survey (July 2022) found that 51% of companies are either in the process of integrating VR into strategy or have already built VR into at least one dedicated line of business. 34% say that one of the biggest metaverse benefits they currently enjoy or foresee is “a more effective way to develop and train our people.” According to the same study 21% of the companies expressed that VR is part of their strategy and 30% said they are integrating it into their strategy.
Selected employees from a group of new managers in 12 US locations took the same training — designed to address inclusive leadership — in one of three learning modalities: classroom, e-learn and v-learn (VR).The survey by PwC showed that VR can help business leaders upskill their employees faster, even at a time when training budgets may be shrinking and in-person training may be off the table. VR learners were 4 times faster to train than in the classroom, 275% more confident to apply skills learned after training, 3.75 times more emotionally connected to content than classroom learners, 4 times more focused than their e-learning peers. Read it here.