If you think GPT-4o is something, wait until you see GPT-5 – a ‘significant leap forward’

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman sketched out a tantalizing idea of what people might expect from the eagerly anticipated GPT-5 artificial intelligence model. He attempted to balance optimism and caution in his comments, but his vision of the new model's potential underlined his confidence that GPT-5 will represent a substantial improvement over its predecessor, GPT-4, and won't face unresolvable issues.

“I expect it to be a significant leap forward,” Altman said. “A lot of the things that GPT-4 gets wrong, you know, can't do much in the way of reasoning, sometimes just sort of totally goes off the rails and makes a dumb mistake, like even a six-year-old would never make.” 

Altman likened the current state of AI technology to the early days of the iPhone, suggesting that while today's models are useful, they are still in the nascent stages of their potential. He pointed out that current AI models, including GPT-5, are relatively small compared to what future advancements might bring.

Interestingly, Altman's recent comments about model size indicate a slight shift from his previous stance. For those who follow Altman's comments closely, that's a sharp turn from when he suggested that the era of giant models might be nearing its end last year. Instead, he now apparently thinks models will likely continue to grow, driven by significant investments in computing power and energy.

Altman is confident that GPT-5 will address many of the shortcomings of GPT-4, particularly in areas such as reasoning and error prevention. But, Altman also emphasized that while the development of GPT-5 is promising, there is still considerable work to be done. “We don't know yet. We are optimistic, but we still have a lot of work to do on it.”

The big picture for large language models

Altman did take on some of the biggest controversies around AI, particularly content licensing. He took the opportunity to brag about OpenAI's approach, which involves agreements with publishers to license news content for ChatGPT in exchange for training data for the models. He contrasted this approach with that of companies like Google, which claims that AI-driven traffic benefits publishers – a claim he and many others view with skepticism.

Altman also during the interview tempered expectations of what AI means for the internet and the broader economy. He simultaneously suggested there won't be a massive impact on internet use while also pushing for brand-new approaches to commerce. 

 “I think maybe AI is going to not super significantly but somewhat significantly change the way people use the internet,” Altman said. “And if so, you can see some of the economic models of the past needing to evolve, and I think that's a broader conversation than just training data.”

Altman suggested that GPT-5 is just the beginning of a series of advancements aimed at building more sophisticated and capable AI systems. The next few months will be critical in determining whether GPT-5 can deliver on its promise of a significant leap forward, addressing the limitations of its predecessors and paving the way for more advanced AI applications.

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Google AI may mix good and questionable ideas in the anticipated Pixel 9

Google is reportedly going to unite existing and new machine learning (ML) features into a collection known as Google AI for Pixel. An anonymous insider recently spoke to Android Authority, spilling the beans on what the tech giant may have in store.

Before diving into the details, remember that this reporting of a potential update comes from a single screenshot of a menu. Not much is revealed, so the conclusions mentioned in the initial article are primarily speculation.

Regarding existing features, both Circle to Search, already available on Pixel and Galaxy smartphones, and Gemini, the brand's current AI assistant, will be moved under this new Google AI umbrella. The first new feature mentioned in the report is “Add Me,” which is described as a way to “make sure everyone’s included in a group photo.”

It’s unknown exactly what this means, but Android Authority theorizes this may be a revamped Best Take. If you’re unfamiliar, it's an AI tool that blends photographs together to ensure everyone looks their best and can help fix awkward shots. “Add Me” could be an upgrade as it may add the user to photographs they weren't originally part of.

“Studio” is the second new inclusion, and judging from the accompanying text, this is an AI image generator. Google has been working on image-generating models for some time now, and in February, the company launched ImageFX as one of its first forays into the tech. This could possibly be the mobile version that brings it to many more users. 

Screenshot scanning

The final ML feature, Screenshots, is arguably the most interesting of the bunch. According to the publication, the tool utilizes artificial intelligence to scour through on-device screenshots and provides information about them to help answer questions. 

That sounds very similar to Microsoft’s controversial Recall feature. In case you don’t know, Recall was a search tool that would record your activity on certain Copilot Plus PCs by taking constant screenshots. It was heavily criticized for being a privacy nightmare, and Microsoft has since pulled the tool

Google’s Screenshots differ from Recall because they're “more privacy-focused.” Instead of consistently recording, it only works on screenshots you take yourself. From there, the software inserts “extra metadata” into files like the names of apps and web links.

Pictures are then “processed by a local AI,” which can be used to look up specific images or answer questions about the content. Android Authority points out that it is a “better implementation of the idea than what Microsoft [had] created.”

Analysis: AI competition

It's possible Google is bringing everything under one name in order to better compete with rivals like Apple Intelligence and Moto AI. Smartphone manufacturers are injecting AI tech into their devices as a new way to stand out. Apple Intelligence is particularly interesting as it'll enable so much on Mac ecosystem when it launches later this year. It will, for example, summarize messages, generate emojis, and answer text prompts on the fly.

The Pixel series has similar abilities, but Google's AI services don't feel as united as Apple Intelligence. Plus, they are missing important tools like the image generator and screenshot scanner.

There is no word on whether or when the Google AI collection will be released, although the report claims it will roll out with the launch of the Pixel 9.

Be sure to check out TechRadar's list of the best Pixel phones for 2024.

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Forget Sora, Runway is the AI video maker coming to blow your mind

Artificial intelligence-powered video maker Runway has officially launched its new Gen-3 Alpha model after teasing its debut a few weeks ago. The Gen-3 Alpha video creator offers major upgrades in creating hyper-realistic videos from user prompts. It's a significant advancement over the Gen-2 model released early last year. 

Runway's Gen-3 Alpha is aimed at a range of content creators, including marketing and advertising groups. The startup claims to outdo any competition when it comes to handling complex transitions, as well as key-framing and human characters with expressive faces. The model was trained on a large video and image dataset annotated with descriptive captions, enabling it to generate highly realistic video clips. As of this writing, the company is not revealing the sources of its video and image datasets.

The new model is accessible to all users signed up on the RunwayML platform, but unlike Gen-1 and Gen-2, Gen-3 Alpha is not free. Users must upgrade to a paid plan, with prices starting at $ 12 per month per editor. This move suggests Runway is ready to professionalize its products after having the chance to refine them, thanks to all of the people playing with the free models. 

Initially, Gen-3 Alpha will power Runway's text-to-video mode, allowing users to create videos using natural language prompts. In the coming days, the model's capabilities will expand to include image-to-video and video-to-video modes. Additionally, Gen-3 Alpha will integrate with Runway's control features, such as Motion Brush, Advanced Camera Controls, and Director Mode.

Runway stated that Gen-3 Alpha is only the first in a new line of models built for large-scale multimodal training. The end goal is what the company calls “General World Models,” which will be capable of representing and simulating a wide range of real-world situations and interactions.

AI Video Race

The immediate question is whether Runway's advancements can meet or exceed what OpenAI is doing with its attention-grabbing Sora model. While Sora promises one-minute-long videos, Runway's Gen-3 Alpha currently supports video clips that are only up to 10 seconds long. Despite this limitation, Runway is betting on Gen-3 Alpha's speed and quality to set it apart from Sora, at least until it can augment the model as they have planned, making it capable of producing longer videos. 

The race isn't just about Sora. Stability AI, Pika, Luma Labs, and others are all eager to claim the title of best AI video creator. As the competition heats up, Runway's release of Gen-3 Alpha is a strategic move to assert a leading position in the market.

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Microsoft continues to frustrate users with ads in the operating system – this time plaguing the MSN Weather app

Microsoft has made another move to push more advertising into Windows 11, with fresh ads arriving in the stock Weather app installed by default. So, alongside the likes of the Start menu and the Settings app, now the MSN Weather app will also have ads – more intrusive efforts, too, once again pointing towards a system-wide ‘adpocalypse’ as it were. 

According to Windows Latest, a new server-side update now places two ads in the default Weather app as soon as you open it, and the situation is more dire than normal because the advertisements in question are pinned. In other words, even as you scroll down, looking at the forecasts and other details in the app, the ads will scroll, too, remaining constantly visible.

This is a pretty aggressive approach, similar to the Game Pass ad in the Settings app – and as I said in that instance, it seems like Microsoft is trying to usher in a whole new era of over-advertising. I fear that as time progresses, not only will we see more of these ads, but they might become more aggressive in terms of being unskippable and generally unavoidable.

Screenshot

Ads pinned to the Microsoft Weather app. (Image credit: Windows Latest)

Okay, so it could be argued that these are just small ads in the corner, and we all have to deal with ignoring or skipping advertisements in so much of our lives these days – but why should I do that on my PC, too? You’re telling me now that the new normal is just advertising everywhere I look – and not a single bit of technology is my own? 

I paid for my PC and its operating system, and I don’t expect to have to suffer through ads (which might be expected on a free OS, granted – but not one that’s charged for).

Also, while at the moment they’re only relatively little ads, the fear is that Microsoft might push boundaries in the future. If – or when, perhaps – these advertisements become more and more accepted, we could see personalized, bigger, unavoidable, and maybe even one-day unskippable ads in Windows 11 (or a future version of the desktop OS). 

It’s not like these ads are placed in some obscure part of Windows 11; you’re often going to find yourself opening up the Settings app, Start menu, or perhaps perusing the weather forecast, and so on. If more advertisements are placed in more prominent places, at what point will that make using your computer infuriating? It’s a dangerous path to tread with Windows 11, but one Microsoft seems intent on exploring, sadly.

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Frustrations are being aired about Windows 11’s new Copilot app – but here’s why we’re not worried (just yet)

Microsoft is seemingly going backwards with Copilot in Windows 11, and things certainly don’t look great in testing for the AI assistant right now.

Windows Latest spearheads a complaint – echoed elsewhere by other denizens of various forums and social media outlets – that the latest incarnation of Copilot sees Microsoft ‘downgrading’ the AI to a “Microsoft Edge-based web wrapper” (we’ll come back to that point shortly).

To take a step back for a moment, this is all part of Microsoft’s recent move – announced in May 2024, and implemented in June – to switch Copilot from being an assistant anchored to a side panel (on the right) to a full app experience (a window you can move around the desktop, resize and so on, like a normal app basically).

As Windows Latest points out, in the latest update for Windows 11 (in testing), changes that are rolling out to some users turn Copilot into a basic web app – although in fact, Copilot has always been a web app (even when in its previous incarnation as a locked side panel, before the standalone app idea came about).

What the tech site is really complaining about is how basic and transparent Copilot’s nature really is in this freshly deployed take. This means the Copilot window shows Edge menus and options, and just opens copilot.microsoft.com in an Edge tab – and you can even open any old website in the Copilot app with a bit of fudging and a few clicks here and there. And all that feels rather disappointing and basic, of course.


Acer Swift laptop showing the Copilot key

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

Analysis: Strip it back, then build it up

We get the criticism here, although as noted, all that’s really happening is that Copilot is being more obviously exposed for what it is – a simple web app that basically just pipes you through to the same AI chatbot experience you get with the Copilot website.

However, there is a twist here – namely that the extra options Copilot offered for manipulating Windows 11 settings in some respects (in the pre-standalone app days) have reportedly been ditched. Not that these abilities were any great shakes to begin with – they’ve always been fairly limited – but still, it does feel like a step back to see them vanish.

Ultimately, this leaves the new Copilot experience in Windows 11 feeling very disjointed and not at all well integrated into the OS – just slapped on top, really. However, we do have to remember that this is still in testing.

Stripping features back in preview can be expected – even if it isn’t a pretty sight right now, presumably Microsoft is going to build it back up, make the new Copilot app more seamless, and reintroduce those powers related to Windows settings. In fact, we’d be shocked if that didn’t happen…

Unless Microsoft does have plans to make Copilot a more basic entity in Windows 11, but that seems very unlikely unless many more future AI powers are going to be forked off exclusively for Copilot+ PCs, perhaps (like Recall – which is another controversial topic in itself).

Time will tell, but eventually, we expect Copilot to become a more well-rounded and seamless app, and crucially, when powerful NPUs become more widespread, the AI assistant will be able to perform a good deal more AI workloads on-device (rather than hooking up to the cloud to get the necessary processing power). That’s when a more fully-fledged app with greater powers to operate locally will likely become a reality.

In its current format, though, which has always been pretty basic, Copilot in Windows 11 doesn’t really need to be any more than a simple web wrapper.

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Apple Intelligence tipped to feature Google Gemini integration at launch, as well as ChatGPT

At WWDC 2024, Apple confirmed that its upcoming Apple Intelligence toolset will feature integration with ChatGPT to help field user queries that Siri can’t handle on its own, and now we’re hearing that a second third-party chatbot could be added to the mix.

According to Bloomberg’s resident Apple expert Mark Gurman, Google Gemini could join ChatGPT as one of two Siri-compatible chatbot options in Apple Intelligence. This integration could see iPhone, iPad and MacBook users given the option to use the cloud-based powers of ChatGPT or Google Gemini when Siri is unable to answer a query on-device.

Apple will reportedly announce its collaboration with Google “this fall” (aka September), which aligns with the assumed launch of Apple Intelligence, iOS 18 and the iPhone 16 line.

Rumors surrounding a partnership between Apple and Google have been swirling for some time now, but many tech commentators – including TechRadar’s own Lance Ulanoff – doubted its authenticity owing to Apple’s historic reluctance to bring parity between the best iPhones and best Android phones.

A hand holding an iPhone showing the new Siri

Siri could soon feature integration with ChatGPT and Google Gemini  (Image credit: Apple)

Ulanoff wrote back in March: “Apple's goal with the iPhone 16, iOS 18, and future iPhones is to differentiate its products from Android phones. It wants people to switch and they'll only do that if they see a tangible benefit. If the generative tools on the iPhone are the same as you can get on the Google Pixel 8 Pro (and 9) or Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra (and S25 Ultra), why switch?”

It’s a valid question, but perhaps Apple sees its additional (and so far unique) partnership with ChatGPT as the USP of its new and upcoming devices. 

There’s also the question of revenue to consider. Gurman recently reported that Apple’s “long-term plan is to make money off Apple Intelligence”, with the company keen to “get a cut of the subscription revenue from every AI partner that it brings onboard.”

It seems likely, then, that Apple will launch a paid version of Apple Intelligence which incorporates the premium, fee-paying features of ChatGPT and Google Gemini, respectively. 

Incidentally, Gurman also reports that Apple had brief conversations with Meta about incorporating its Llama chatbot into Apple Intelligence, but the iPhone maker allegedly decided against a partnership due to privacy concerns and a preference for Google’s superior AI technology.

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The Meta Quest 2 is sold out everywhere – paving the way for the Meta Quest 3S

If you’ve waited until July 2024 to buy a Meta Quest 2 – nearly four years after its launch under the Oculus Quest 2 name – then you might be about to miss your chance, as the official Meta.com store is out of stock. However, it’s likely yet another sign that the Meta Quest 3S is ready to launch soon.

If you live in the US or Australia (or some of the other countries we checked, including Canada, France, and South Korea) instead of a blue “Add to bag” icon under the wildly popular Quest 2 VR headset, you’ll see a gray “Out of stock” notification instead. At the time of publishing it is still available in the UK, but only the cheapest £199.99 128GB Quest 2 can be bought – the pricier 256GB model is unavailable.

Even at third-party stores such as Amazon and Walmart most of the Quest 2s being sold appear to be from non-official resellers – at inflated, non RRP prices – suggesting stock is running dry everywhere. Again, a few bastions remain in select regions (such as the UK) but soon you won’t be able to buy a new Meta Quest 2 anywhere.

This is hardly the most shocking twist. The Meta Quest 3 is nearly a year old, and with Quest 3-exclusive software set to launch soon such as Batman: Arkham Shadow it’s not a surprise that Meta would want to phase out the older model so people instead buy the new headset.

Batman standing in the dark alone in Arkham Shadow

Is the Quest 3S looming in the shadows like Batman? (Image credit: Meta / Camouflaj)

However, the price gap between the new and older Meta Quest headsets is significant – a fact that makes VR less accessible now that the Quest 2 is going away.

Even ignoring the Meta Quest 2’s recent (phenomenally low) $ 199.99 / £199.99 / AU$ 359.99 price, its launch price of $ 299 / £299 / AU$ 479 is roughly 40% less than the Meta Quest 3’s official $ 499 / £479 / AU$ 799 price. While we think the Quest 3 is great value for money and worth that higher cost – we gave it five-stars in our review – $ 499 / £479 / AU$ 799 isn’t as budget-friendly a price as its predecessor.

That’s where a Meta Quest 3S comes in. 

This Meta headset – twice leaked by Meta itself – will be more affordable than the Quest 3 with specs and a design that blend the new model with the Quest 2; so expect a Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2, dual 1,832 x 1,920 pixel per eye displays, and a bulky body at a cheaper price of hopefully $ 399 / £399 / AU$ 639 or less – though nothing has been officially confirmed.

With Meta Connect 2024 landing on September 25 and 26, we’re hoping we’ll hear something about the Meta Quest 3S there – which all signs point to. So if you’re looking to buy your first VR headset, a Quest gadget is the way to go. But even with cheap Quest 2 stock dwindling, we still think the best course of action is to wait for the Quest 3S to be announced. We shouldn’t be waiting for much longer.

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Windows 11 runs into more trouble as Microsoft halts rollout of new features in testing

Microsoft has stopped the rollout of some new features to Windows 11 testers as it “investigate a few issues” discovered in the Dev channel (build 26120.961). 

The announcement was made in the blog post announcing the latest slew of new Windows 11 features which have now been put on hold.

Those features include improvements with Voice Access, such as support in Narrator to allow the hands-free dictation of text, as well as bringing Voice Access to Windows 11's search functionality, all of which are big wins for accessibility.

There's also a new account manager panel in the Start menu, and fixes for Task Manager, all of which are paused while Microsoft investigates said issues. The software giant hasn't given us any indication of when we might expect a resolution of these problems yet. 

PhantomOfEarth, a regular leaker on X, observes that the brakes were applied by Microsoft due to issues including a “broken touch keyboard, emoji picker, and clipboard history.”

Windows 11's broader woes

We shouldn't have to wait too long for the gremlins in the works to be fixed, given that Windows 11 preview builds arrive on a pretty regular schedule (at least once per month, minimum).

It's not been the best week for Windows 11, as Microsoft just broke the taskbar for some users when it implemented a solution for a previous issue (whereby the KB5039302 update was put on hold after some users were left stuck in an infinite boot loop – nasty). Another recent fly in the ointment has been the appearance of adverts in the Start Menu.

In the case of this latest preview build, it makes sense why Microsoft has pushed back these more experimental features, but it's far from a good look given all the current problems around Windows 11 – particularly the controversial Recall feature which was recently put on ice, too.

In all honesty, Microsoft really needs to make an effort to get its act together on a broader level with Windows 11.

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Opera’s Aria AI assistant’s big upgrade makes images, talks out loud, and summarizes chats

Gaming browser Opera GX has augmented its AI assistant Aria with several new AI tools, including creating images, speaking out loud, summarizing conversations, and linking appropriately for the conversation.

Aria's new ability to generate images from text prompts leverages Google's Imagen2 model. Users can generate up to 30 images per day, with the option to redo the image creation if unsatisfied. Beyond generating images, Aria has also gained the ability to understand and provide context for images uploaded by users. This allows users to upload an image and ask Aria questions about it.

Chatty Aria

The textual side of things has seen an upgrade as well with the new “Chat Summary” and “Links to Sources” features. As the name suggests, Chat Summary provides a concise recap of the conversation with Aria, helping users quickly review important points. This is particularly useful for lengthy interactions where users need to recall key details without scrolling through entire chat logs.

Meanwhile, the Links to Sources provides you with relevant links about the topics discussed with the AI. The idea is to help you delve deeper into subjects of interest, accessing additional information and verifying the AI’s responses. Such features are designed to make the chat interaction more comprehensive and resourceful.

Opera GX is a browser designed by Opera for gamers. with features like network bandwidth limiters to keep games uninterrupted, Twitch integration, and built-in gaming news feeds. Opera isn't among the giants of browsers in terms of the number of users like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, but it does have a loyal community interested in more niche innovations as well as privacy features. Opera GX tends to be ahead in offering new tools that may eventually become mainstream in any browser. as with these AI interface and content creation features.

This latest update reflects the ongoing evolution of AI in enhancing user experiences across various digital platforms. All of the new Aria features are available to all Opera GX users, now.

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Windows 11 has never been so popular – but is a fresh surge of installations coming from a place of love or mere tolerance?

Windows 11 is creeping up on its three-year anniversary since launch, and the OS has apparently hit an all-time high for users – almost 30% of all Windows PCs now run Windows 11, at least according to one analytics firm.

That may not seem like a lot – frankly, it isn’t – but it’s at least a marked improvement in recent times, where Windows 11’s adoption has actually slightly dropped, and this is certainly a positive sign compared to the cold reception that the operating system initially received.

Neowin flagged that Statcounter’s most recent monthly report shows Windows 11 at 29.7% of market share, with Windows 10 still currently enjoying a large majority of 66.1%. 

Normally, when a new operating system drops, it’s widely adopted. Still, if we’re celebrating a high of 30% nearly three years on from release, that’s obviously not a great indication that Windows 11 is being welcomed with open arms – despite all its extra perks and AI features, which are continuously being added.

That begs the question: Why are so many people reluctant to move to Windows 11? For starters, the more demanding system requirements that rule out older CPUs and machines without TPM are a hard barrier for adoption when it comes to some PCs.

Windows 11 laptop showing Copilot

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Furthermore, since its launch, Windows 11 has suffered more than its fair share of poor updates and buggy behavior. Plus, the OS is slowly turning into a conduit for ads that you can’t escape in some cases. Also, there’s just not a lot of difference between Windows 10 and Windows 11 for people who aren’t really that fussed about AI or Copilot (and Copilot is in Windows 10 anyway, even if all of Microsoft’s various AI features aren’t). 

Could this small victory for Windows 11 – which represents a monthly uptick of just over 2% in Statcounter’s figures – simply be the result of people buying new machines? You’d be hard-pressed to find a new Windows desktop PC or laptop that isn’t running Windows 11, and downgrading your system is just not worth the effort for many (or may not even be possible). Especially given that Windows 10 isn’t far off its End of Life anyway (that rolls around in October 2025).

It might be the case that we’ll have to wait until Windows 12 eventually debuts and hope that it’s a big enough improvement to get Windows 10 users to jump ship and skip Windows 11 – although, again, system requirements are likely to prove an insurmountable hurdle for some older PCs.

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