A look at what made news in the world of science and technology this week.
Google I/O 2023 set for 10 May: The next big Google I/O event is right around the corner. On 7 March, Google announced that its annual developer conference will be held on 10 May. Google I/O is open to everyone online and users will be able to tune in to watch the livestreamed keynotes from the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California. As expected, the internet is rife with speculation on whether Google will introduce new iterations of some existing gadgets, apart from its highly anticipated Artificial Intelligence project, Bard. Will we finally hear something more about the Google Pixel Fold smartphone? Or a newer version of the Google Pixel Buds Pro wireless earbuds that were launched last year?
Spotify crosses user landmark: The audio streaming platform announced on 8 March that it surpassed 500 million monthly active users, including 205 million paying subscribers at the end 2022, and 10 million creators. The Swedish company also announced a host of new features on its app, including a design revamp and podcast previews. A Reuters report, citing Spotify, says features such as autoplay for podcasts, personalised visual and audio previews of podcast episodes and audiobooks or music playlists, and new feeds for discovery will be rolled out for users from this week. The platform has also introduced new tools for artists and songwriters, with a particular focus on video formats during its livestreamed Stream On marketing event.
AI-generated Seinfeld spoof back on air: Seinfeld, the iconic show about “nothing”, was interpreted as an AI-generated animated spoof called Nothing, Forever by US-based Mismatch Media last December and quickly garnered a cult following on interactive livestreaming service Twitch. It feels entirely fitting for Seinfeld, a show that celebrates randomness, to have a version where plot and dialogue are generated by OpenAI’s GPT-3, but the new show was taken off air in February when the lead character, a stand-up comic, delivered transphobic jokes after certain content moderation filters were not incorporated during an update. That error, straight out of Seinfeld, has been fixed and the show is back on Twitch, albeit with a new lead.
— Compiled by Nitin Sreedhar and Shrabonti Bagchi