Here's a weekly recap of what made news in the world of science and technology.
OpenAI, which is backed by Microsoft, announced earlier this week that ChatGPT users will now be able to surf the internet. This would expand the data the viral chatbot can access beyond its earlier September 2021 cutoff limit, a Reuters report said. In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, OpenAI said that browsing is particularly useful for tasks that require up-to-date information, such as helping you with technical research, trying to choose a bike, or planning a vacation. The feature is already available to Plus and Enterprise users, and will expand to all users soon. To enable, choose Browse with Bing in the selector under GPT-4, ChatGPT said in its post. The company also announced that the chatbot can now see, hear, and speak. Since its launch, ChatGPT has been limited to written prompts, but now with new updates that will roll out in the next two weeks, users with paid versions will be able to have conversations with the AI and show them what they are talking about through photo. Read more on this here.
On 27 September, scientists at Nasa finally opened a space probe carrying the largest asteroid samples ever brought back to Earth. Researchers "found black dust and debris on the avionics deck of the Osiris-Rex science canister when the initial lid was removed today," the US space agency said, though without specifying whether they definitely belonged to the asteroid, an AFP report explains. Osiris-Rex was launched in 2016, landing on the asteroid Bennu and collected roughly nine ounces (or 250 grams) of dust from its rocky surface. Even that small amount, NASA has said, should "help us better understand the types of asteroids that could threaten Earth." It ended its 3.86-billion-mile (6.21-billion-kilometer) journey after touching down in the desert in the western state of Utah on 24 October, following a descent through Earth's atmosphere, the AFP report added.
On 27 September, Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company was putting artificial intelligence (AI) into its digital assistants and smart glasses. The second-generation Meta Ray-Ban smart glasses will have a starting price of $299 when they hit the market on 17 October, an AFP report said. Zuckerberg said that these smart glasses will also add the ability for users to stream what they are seeing in real time. The company is also introducing 28 AI characters that people can message on WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram with "personalities" based on celebrities including Snoop Dogg, Paris Hilton and YouTube star MrBeast, the AFP report said. All these announcements were made at Meta’s Connect developers conference at Meta's headquarters in Silicon Valley, the company's main annual product event.
(With inputs from news agencies)