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BusinessOpenAI's GPT-4o and Google's Project Astra demonstrate significant strides towards multifaceted AI...

OpenAI’s GPT-4o and Google’s Project Astra demonstrate significant strides towards multifaceted AI helpers


The developments from tech giants OpenAI and Google last week signaled that intelligent virtual assistants with lifelike conversation abilities are becoming more than just science fiction. OpenAI showcased its new GPT-4o model, which can process text, audio, images and video simultaneously. It responded to audio queries nearly as fast as humans while offering visual tips like hair styling advice using the phone's camera.

Meanwhile Google debuted Project Astra, a real-time multimodal assistant prototype for smartphones. In a demo, it identified speaker parts, located missing glasses, and reviewed code all through natural dialogue. While early versions, they show the direction of creating all-round AI helpers that can see, remember objects and aid with complex real- tasks.

There are still limitations to be addressed as the companies refine these systems. OpenAI noted GPT-4o is still exploring its potential across modalities, and both firms will need to mitigate newly discovered risks. How such assistants are ultimately developed and how users interact with them remains to be seen as the progresses. But these announcements indicate that intelligent digital companions handling different media types through conversational exchanges are becoming closer to mainstream use cases. For those facing loneliness, it also remains to be seen what role these AI systems may play in people's daily lives.

While the developments seem promising from a capability perspective, questions still exist around how gender biases could influence design approaches and how users perceive different voice options. Overall the efforts point to AI moving towards fulfilling the vision of smart, multiskilled virtual assistants first popularized in science fiction but now becoming everyday technologies. Continued advances will likely further narrow the line between such concepts and practical tools people engage with on a regular basis.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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