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Stanford University’s 502 page AI report

Amazon Just Walk Out, Abu Dhabi AI, Boston Dynamics robot update, Microsoft AutoDev, and more

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Hello everybody. Welcome to Daily Zaps.

Here’s what we got for ya today:

  • 🌲 Stanford University’s 502 page AI report

  • 🇦🇪 Microsoft invests $1.5 billion in Abu Dhabi’s G42

  • 🦿Fully electric humanoid robot

  • 👩🏻‍💻 Goodbye, developers?

Let’s get right into it!  


10 takeaways from Stanford University’s 2024 502 page AI report

The 2024 AI Index from Stanford's Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence highlights the rapid advancements in AI, showing that today's systems vastly outperform humans in standard benchmarks, a stark contrast to a decade ago.

AI Performance: AI excels at tasks like image classification and English understanding but falls short in areas like advanced mathematics and visual commonsense reasoning.

Industry Dominance: In 2023, the industry produced 51 significant AI models, academia 15, and industry-academia collaborations resulted in 21 notable models.

Rising Costs: Training costs for frontier AI models like OpenAI’s GPT-4 and Google’s Gemini Ultra have reached up to $191 million.

U.S. Leadership: The U.S. led in AI model production in 2023, with 61 notable models, compared to 21 from the EU and 15 from China.

Lack of Standardized Evaluations: There's a significant gap in standardized responsible AI evaluations, making it hard to compare models' risks systematically.

Generative AI Investment: Investment in generative AI surged to $25.2 billion in 2023, despite a downturn in overall AI investment.

AI's Impact on Labor: AI has been shown to increase worker productivity and quality of work, though it requires careful management to avoid performance drops.

Accelerated Scientific Progress: AI significantly advanced scientific discovery in 2023, with new applications like AlphaDev and GNoME.

Increase in AI Regulations: The U.S. saw a substantial increase in AI regulations, with 25 new regulations passed in 2023.

Public Sentiment on AI: Global nervousness towards AI is rising, with significant percentages expressing increased concern over AI’s impact on their lives.

Download PDF of 502 page report here.


Microsoft invests $1.5 billion in Abu Dhabi’s G42

Microsoft is investing $1.5 billion in G42, an Abu Dhabi-based AI company, aiming to limit China's influence in the Gulf and strengthen U.S. technological leadership in global AI developments. This deal, which was carefully negotiated with both the U.S. and UAE governments, also requires G42 to remove Chinese equipment from its operations, addressing security concerns.

Microsoft's involvement with G42, which will include serving on its board and integrating Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure, represents part of its broader strategy to partner with international tech companies, expanding its global influence while avoiding traditional antitrust scrutiny. The partnership is expected to advance AI technologies that adhere to high safety and security standards, particularly for government users, and to promote the responsible management and deployment of AI worldwide.

 This strategic move is seen as a way to ensure that American innovation and values continue to lead the global tech scene, with AI as a pivotal area of competition between the U.S. and China.


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Fully electric humanoid robot

Boston Dynamics has introduced a new all-electric version of its humanoid robot, Atlas, a day after announcing the retirement of its hydraulic predecessor. This next-generation robot features redesigned swiveling joints and a greater range of movement, aimed at efficiently performing dull, dirty, and dangerous tasks. The new Atlas boasts improved strength, dexterity, and agility, and is capable of movements that surpass human capabilities.

Visually more humanoid, it has longer limbs, a straighter back, and a distinct swiveling head with no visible cables and a built-in ring light. The company's teaser for Atlas highlighted its dramatic movement capabilities, including rising from a prone position in a theatrically unnerving display.


Goodbye, developers?

Microsoft researchers have introduced AutoDev, an AI-driven software development framework that automates complex software engineering tasks using autonomous AI agents, transforming developers from hands-on coders to supervisors. Detailed in their paper, "AutoDev: Automated AI-Driven Development," this framework allows developers to set intricate objectives for AI agents, who then autonomously manage file editing, code compilation, testing, and version control among other tasks.

This significant automation extends beyond existing tools like GitHub Copilot, enabling complete task execution within a codebase, thus raising concerns among developers about the future of manual coding jobs. The conversation-based system within AutoDev not only executes tasks but also manages feedback and adjustments through a sophisticated interface that involves multiple AI agents working collaboratively.

In case you’re interested — we’ve got hundreds of cool AI tools listed over at the Daily Zaps Tool Hub. 

If you have any cool tools to share, feel free to submit them or get in touch with us by replying to this email.

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