5 things about AI you may have missed today: AI-powered Google Maps, Rishi Sunak on AI risk, more

Another day has gone by and more AI developments have come to the surface. In the last 24 hours, some major updates have emerged from both tech firms and governments. Firstly, Google Maps is getting an AI-powered makeover, with features such as Immersive View, and upgrades to driving directions. The new features also make the app more like Google Search, as the platform will soon answer basic queries as well. In other news, UK PM Rishi Sunak gave a speech today, October 26, where he highlighted the capabilities and potential risks posed by AI including cyber-attacks, fraud, and child sexual abuse. This comes following the publication of a government report that highlighted how AI was used to de-age celebrities and create sexualized images of children. This and more in today’s AI roundup. Let us take a closer look.

Google Maps getting an AI makeover

Google is adding a host of new AI features to Maps, such as immersive navigation, streamlined and straightforward driving directions, and more useful search results, as per a report by The Verge. It feels like Google Maps is turning into Google Search, or more appropriately Search Generated Experience (SGE), as Maps are now also designed to answer queries such as ‘nearby coffee shop’, ‘things to do in New Delhi’, and ‘best ice cream’. In short, Google Maps is turning into a service where discoverability will play a big part.

“AI has really supercharged the way we map…It plays a key role in everything from helping you navigate, commute, discover new restaurants, where to go, when to go. These are all really important decisions that people are making all the time,” said Chris Phillips, vice president and general manager of Geo, the team that works on Maps and similar geolocation mapping products.

Rishi Sunak on AI risks

On Thursday morning, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak gave a speech highlighting the capabilities and potential threats associated with AI, which include cyberattacks, fraudulent activities, and child sexual abuse, BBC reported. The latter came in response to a government report that showed that pedophiles were using AI to create sexualized images of children.

Sunak pointed out that the report highlighted various other risks as well, one of which was the possibility of AI being exploited by terrorist organizations to propagate fear and chaos on a larger scale. “In a worst-case scenario, society could lose all control over AI, preventing it from being switched off,” he said.

“This is not a risk that people need to be losing sleep over right now and I don’t want to be alarmist,” he added saying that he was generally optimistic about the potential of AI to change people’s lives for the better.

Liz Truss tells Rishi Sunak: Inviting China to AI Summit a mistake

Former UK prime minister Liz Truss has written a letter to the current PM Rishi Sunak, warning about the consequences of inviting China to the UK AI Summit. In a post on X, she said, “China should not be invited to the UK’s AI Summit at Bletchley Park. We should be working with our allies, not those seeking to subvert freedom and democracy. I have written to the Prime Minister requesting that the invitation be rescinded”.

AI can change smartphone upgrade cycle, says Qualcomm SVP

In a conversation with Indian Express, Alex Katouzian, SVP and GM of Qualcomm’s Mobile, Compute, and XR said that AI could be the catalyst that changes the stagnant-like upgrade cycles of smartphones and transforms it into something exciting.

“The upgrade cycle for these devices has become longer because it’s somewhat stagnant. They have seen improvements in graphics, an increase in camera capabilities, but the display remains largely the same. We went to foldable phones, which were cool but have not yet reached the mass market,” he said.

Google adds AI threats to its bug bounty program

Google has announced that it will be expanding its vulnerability rewards program (VRP) and include attack scenarios specific to generative AI.

“We believe expanding the VRP will incentivize research around AI safety and security and bring potential issues to light that will ultimately make AI safer for everyone,” Google said in an announcement that was shared with TechCrunch, ahead of publishing it.

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