Here's a weekly recap of what made news in the world of science and technology.
A smarter, more conversational Amazon Alexa
On 20 September, Amazon unveiled a host of new devices and announced an update to its voice assistant Alexa, which will now be equipped with generative artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. According to the company, these new features, based on a new large language model, will make Alexa more conversational, helpful, and entertaining for users. Amazon also introduced its latest Echo 8 smart home hub as well as a soundbar for TVs and new AI-fueled search capabilities on its FireTV service, an AFP report added. The company said it was also working on a “speech-to-speech" model that will, for instance, allow Alexa to exhibit human-like attributes, such as laughter and phrases like “uh-huh" during conversations, an Associated Press report said.
Apple rolls out iOS 17
Apple rolled out the latest version of its mobile operating system, iOS 17, on 18 September. The new iOS upgrades, the communications experience with features such as contact posters, a new stickers experience, Live Voicemail, and more. With iOS 17, available for iPhone Xs and later models, users will now also be able to leave a video or audio message on FaceTime when someone they call is not available. Another interesting addition to the iPhone ecosystem is NameDrop, a new AirDrop feature, that will let users exchange contact information, including their Contact Poster, simply by bringing their iPhone devices together. Read more here.
Isro's Aditya-L1 moves closer to its destination
Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro)’s Aditya-L1 solar mission completed a key manoeuvre in the early hours of 19 September to reach the L1 Lagrange point, a balanced gravitational location between the Earth and the Sun. The Trans-Lagrangian Point 1 Insertion manoeuvre marks the beginning of the spacecraft's approximate 110-day trajectory to the destination, which is roughly 1.5 million km away from Earth, a Press Trust of India report said. Aditya-L1 is India's first space-based mission to study the Sun and has already started collecting data that is aimed to help scientists analyse the behaviour of particles surrounding Earth.
(With inputs from wire agencies)
- FIRST PUBLISHED23.09.2023 | 12:00 PM IST