😐Australia's AI Blindspot

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Today we will discuss-

  • 🪟Chinese GenAI developers upgrade chatbot context windows

  • 🫢GenAI hype falls flat with Australians, study reveals

  • 👨‍🌾AI helps farmers access EU funds

  • ⚙️9 amazing AI tools you might not have heard of

All this and more - Let's dive in!

👩‍🍳What’s cooking in the newsroom?

Following Google's lead, Alibaba and Baidu upgrade chatbots to handle longer texts

🏃‍♂️News - China's leading GenAI developers—Alibaba and Baidu—have upgraded their chatbots to handle extremely long texts of up to 10 million Chinese characters. 

This move comes after Google released the latest version of its Gemini LLM in February, which the company said had achieved a context window (the amount of text that a model considers when generating a response) of up to 1 million tokens or roughly 700,000 English words.

💁‍♂️What's the most important point here? Unlike Google, which limited the context window update to "a select group of developers and enterprise customers" due to its high computational requirements, Alibaba announced last week that its Tongyi Qianwen chat bot, now equipped to handle texts up to 10 million Chinese characters, will be accessible to all users for free. 

Keeping with the trend, Baidu will launch an upgraded version of its Ernie bot capable of processing up to 5 million Chinese characters. This new version, set to be launched in April, will also be free for all users.

🤓In conclusion - The push to expand context windows highlights the determination of Chinese AI giants to keep pace with Western tech frontrunners. And while the tech race unfolds, it's the public that stands to gain the most, with enhanced capabilities that help streamline various tasks.

Study: Majority of Australians disregard potential impact of GenAI, deem it irrelevant

😵‍💫News - According to a new report, many Australians don't realize how much generative AI will impact their jobs. 

The 'Ready, Set, Upskill' report, a collaboration between RMIT Online and Deloitte Access Economics, revealed that almost half of employees (47%) have never used generative AI in their roles, and a significant majority (73%) don't consider it relevant. This contradicts research from the Australian Computer Society, which suggests that generative AI will impact 86% of all occupations.

😵What's more?

  • The report also found that more than three in four (78%) surveyed employers have either not provided, or are unaware of, generative AI training in their organization.

  • Additionally, 17% of employers do not plan to provide training on generative AI at any point.

  • Currently, only a mere 5% of Australian businesses are fully prepared to integrate and utilize AI in their workflows.

  • Furthermore, across various digital skills, approximately a third (between 29-36%) of employees admitted to lacking fundamental digital skills or having outdated skill levels. Meanwhile, employers identified AI or machine learning as the top digital skills lacking within their organization, followed by data science, coding, and cybersecurity.

  • However, 59% of employees expressed plans to enhance their generative AI skills within the next year.

Romania state agency uses AI to help farmers access EU funds

🚜News - A Romanian state agency dedicated to rural investments announced on Monday that it is using artificial intelligence to assist farmers in accessing European Union funds. The move marks the first instance of such technology being employed in one of the EU's less digitally developed economies.

💥The impact - The agency (AFIR - The Agency for Financing Rural Investments) began using AI-enabled robots over two years ago. It has used the robots to handle labor-intensive duties like accessing state databases to acquire land registry and judicial records required by farmers, entrepreneurs, and state institutions seeking EU funds. Since their implementation, the agency has processed financing requests totaling 5.32 billion euros ($5.75 billion) from more than 50,000 beneficiaries. As a result, AFIR staff have saved approximately 784 days' worth of time formerly spent on document searches.

🤔Why is this important though? As per Eurostat data, only 28% of the population in Romania had basic digital skills in 2023, falling well below the EU average of 54%. Thus, this initiative highlights the potential of AI to bridge digital skill gaps and facilitate access to essential resources, in this case, EU funds. Of course, this is in addition to the aforementioned impact. 

🙆🏻‍♀️What else is happening?

😺Interesting facts

  • AI-enabled devices are everywhere. From voice assistants like Siri and Alexa to recommendation systems on streaming services like Netflix and YouTube, nearly 77% of devices today use AI technology in one form or another.

  • The industry value of AI is projected to rise by 13x over the next 7 years, which is good news for AI-oriented businesses in 2024.

  • The term "Deepfake'' first emerged when a Reddit user named "deepfakes" shared AI-crafted adult videos blending celebrity faces in late 2017. This sparked mainstream attention and collaborations within the deepfakes community, revealing AI's power for both innovation and manipulation.

👩🏼‍🚒Discover mind-blowing AI tools

  1. Chatbit - A customizable AI chatbot tool designed to enhance website engagement by answering questions and capturing leads ($19/month)**

  2. WatchThis.Dev - A tool that provides users with curated show or movie recommendations (Free)

  3. Dupe Any Product - A tool that helps users find affordable dupes of home decor items (Free)

  4. KeywordSearch - Uses relevant keywords to help users generate leads and sales in their video marketing campaigns ($97/month)

  5. Barcode.so - A QR code generator that offers 25+ styles to choose from, including neo fauvism, cyberpunk, and botanical academia ($99.99 lifetime unlimited) 

  6. Wonderplan - An AI-powered travel itinerary planner generates tailored trip recommendations based on your interests, preferences, and budget (Free)

  7. SynthMind - An AI-powered platform that offers various autonomous AI agents to assist professionals in their work ($49.8/month)

  8. Presentations.AI - An AI-powered tool that enables users to create professional and engaging presentations quickly and effortlessly ($198/year)

  9. ChefGPT - An AI-powered recipe recommendation tool that suggests recipes based on the ingredients and tools you have (Free)


Myth - AI applications are all about the ML code

Fact - AI applications are not just about the ML code. They also require data, infrastructure, and human expertise to be successful. ML code is an essential part of AI applications, but it is not the only component. AI applications also need data to train and learn from, infrastructure to run on, and human expertise to design, develop, and deploy.

[The tool marked with ** is a sponsored feature.] 

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