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The Red Planet is a dead planet, but it may not have always been that way. Rovers and satellites have found clear evidence that the dusty Martian plains once flowed with rivers, which pooled into giant lakes, and perhaps fed into a global ocean. Warm and wet, ancient Mars may have offered a comfy climate for any emerging microbes, much like Earth did.
How times have changed. Billions of years later, Earth remains a blue marble while Mars has become a dry husk of its former self. While most of the desiccation resulted from the calamitous loss of Mars’s atmosphere, the planet has kept some of its water. But even that meager supply is leaking away.
So how did Mars die? After repeatedly skimming the upper reaches of the Martian atmosphere with an orbiting probe, researchers have another piece of the puzzle—they discovered that H2O molecules are somehow slipping past a protective atmospheric barrier much more easily than predicted.
“This was unexpected,” says Shane Stone, a planetary chemist at the University of Arizona and an author of the recent research, which was published today in Science. “When water is destroyed, the destruction is close to the edge of the atmosphere and it can escape quite readily.”
In the early days of the solar system, baby Mars probably didn’t look so different from baby Earth. Both planets had molten cores of electrically charged metal. The metals churned with liquid currents, erecting magnetic barriers around the planets. These magnetic fields repelled both the solar wind and electrical assaults from frequent flares during the sun’s tumultuous youth, protecting planets’ the nascent atmospheres. Enveloped by thick layers of air, water streamed on both surfaces.
But Mars was too small to have a real shot at staying habitable in the long run. It cooled down faster than its larger sibling did. The core congealed. The protective magnetic barrier fell. And the sun blasted away much of the atmosphere. Most of the liquid water on the surface soon followed it into space. Reconstructing this three-billion-year history has been the main task of the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) satellite, which has orbited the Red Planet since 2014.
Now new measurements from MAVEN have added new details to the most recent chapter in the Martian water exodus.
Since the late 1960s, planetary scientists had assumed that Mars’s surviving stores of H2O were relatively safe. Blocks of ice on or near the surface would steadily transform into molecules of water vapor, which would rise into the thin atmosphere until it got too cold and they condensed into clouds. The same barrier of chilly air—the “hygropause”—protects water on Earth by trapping it into clouds and preventing the hydrogen from floating away.
Then came MAVEN, which dips into the edge of the atmosphere with every orbit and directly samples the ions that come from Martian water. Reconstructing the original molecules, Stone and his colleagues were surprised to find that plenty of H2O was wafting about at more than 90 miles above the surface—way above the hygropause. Water that high up in the atmosphere is destined to be smashed into oxygen. The oxygen continues to break down, while the hydrogen is light enough to flit away from the planet forever.
By analyzing how the upper atmosphere’s water content changes over time, the team also uncovered two hints as to why Mars has such a lousy hygropause.
First, MAVEN detected an atmosphere that got drier in the winter and damper in the summer. Second, the spacecraft has been orbiting Mars for long enough to bear witness to a couple of regional dust storms, during which the water content jumped. The orbiter also happened to be operating during a dust storm in June of 2023 (a once-in-a-decade event so ferocious it killed the Opportunity rover), which caused moisture in the upper atmosphere to leap to roughly twenty times its normal levels.
These trends, Stone says, strongly suggest that Mars’s hygropause regularly breaks down because the atmosphere gets too warm, such as when the planet draws closer to the sun during the summer months, or when the atmosphere swirls with dust. Independent temperature readings from another spacecraft confirmed that the atmosphere’s wet periods line up with its relative heat waves.
While the Martian hygropause was never supposed to form a perfect seal, MAVEN’s measurements suggest that it leaks far more than predicted. Over the last billion years, seasonable warming, annual regional dust storms, and decadal superstorms have caused Mars to lose enough water that could cover the planet in a global ocean two feet deep, the researchers estimated. That’s just a few percent of the water Mars has lost over its entire history (which would be enough to flood the planet in an ocean many dozens to hundreds of feet deep), Stone says, but it’s the main way the planet continues to dry out today.
While the dehydration of Mars would have devastated any life clinging to its surface, terrestrial organisms can breathe easy knowing that we won’t suffer quite the same fate. Earth does constantly lose H2O to “atmospheric escape,” but at a rate that’s far too slow to be of any concern, according to Stone. Rather, our planet has one to two billion years left of being blue, after which a brighter sun will evaporate our oceans, cranking up the thermostat to a few hundred degrees.
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A cryptic group of markings found in caves throughout Europe possibly served as a pre-historic animal encyclopedia. Archaeologists have known about these markings for at least 150 years, but now scientists predict that the pairing of these sequences of dots, lines, and other shapes combined with drawings of animals could have expressed information about the deer, cattle, wild horses, and mammoths that once roamed the continent. The marking themselves date back to at least 20,000 years, roughly when the last Ice Age peaked.
[Related: Humans may have arrived in the Americas 15,000 years earlier than we thought.]
In a new study published in the Cambridge Archaeological Journal, a team of researchers found that rather than recording speech or sentences, these markings recorded information numerically and reference a calendar. This means that the markings aren’t writing in the same sense of Sumerian writing systems (pictographs and cuneiform) from about 34,000 BCE onward. Instead, the researchers call this a “proto-writing” system that pre-dates other similar systems by at least 10,000 years.
“The meaning of the markings within these drawings has always intrigued me so I set about trying to decode them, using a similar approach that others took to understanding an early form of Greek text,” said co-author Ben Bacon, an amateur archaeologist and independent researcher, in a statement. “Using information and imagery of cave art available via the British Library and on the internet, I amassed as much data as possible and began looking for repeating patterns. As the study progressed, I reached out to friends and senior university academics, whose expertise were critical to proving my theory.”
Birth cycles in similar present day animals were used as a reference point to figure out that the number of markings associated with Ice Age animals was actually a record, by lunar month, of when the animals were mating.
For example, they believe that a “Y” sign meant “giving birth” and found a correlation between the number of marks, the Y’s position, and the months when modern animals mate and then birth their young.
“Lunar calendars are difficult because there are just under twelve and a half lunar months in a year, so they do not fit neatly into a year. As a result, our own modern calendar has all but lost any link to actual lunar months,” said co-author Tony Freeth, a professor of mechanical engineering at University College London, in a statement.
[Related: A discovery found in Germany’s ‘Unicorn Cave’ hints at Neanderthal art.]
Freeth has extensive work in deciphering the ancient Greek space clock called the Antikythera Mechanism. This clock uses a 19-year mathematical calendar to calculate astronomical events. This calendar is more simple, using a meteorological calendar tied to temperature changes instead of celestial events like solstices and equinoxes.
Freeth and Bacon then slowly devised a calendar that helped explain why it was so universal across caves in Europe. According to the team, it shows that hunter-gatherers in the Ice Age were the first to use marks and a systemic calendar to document major ecological events within a calendar.
“The implications are that Ice Age hunter-gatherers didn’t simply live in their present, but recorded memories of the time when past events had occurred and used these to anticipate when similar events would occur in the future, an ability that memory researchers call mental time-travel,” said co-author Professor Robert Kentridge from Durham University, in a statement.
The team hopes that decoding this proto-writing system further will offer insight into the types of of information that early humans valued.
“As we probe deeper into their world, what we are discovering is that these ancient ancestors are a lot more like us than we had previously thought. These people, separated from us by many millennia, are suddenly a lot closer,” concluded Bacon.
Ggool, which originated in South Korea, is the new shitcoin that taking the internet by storm
Over the past couple of weeks, shitcoins are hitting headlines. Shitcoins are funky and provide the easiest opportunities to become rich. Recently, the South Korean government is making headlines for inspiring the creation of a shitcoin, you can also call it a ‘poop-coin’. The South Korean authorities terminated a science program that created bathrooms designed to turn human waste into electricity, heat, and apparently a digital currency known as Ggool. The project is known as the Science Walden project and was introduced in July 2023 for the entertainment of the crypto community and the wider digital asset market. The project aimed to create the ‘BeeVi’ toilet that turned human excrement into methane gas and rewarded its ‘depositors’ with a digital currency known as Ggool. The BeeVi toilet project was led by Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology’s Cho Jae-weon, who is a professor of urban and environmental engineering. Even though the South Korean authorities planned to put a lid on the project, there are still a few BeeVi toilets inside the university’s campus at its Science cabin at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology campus. Since this innovation, BeeVi users have been using the Ggool digital currency. The Korean translation of ‘Ggool’ is honey and tokens for providing energy to the university. Ggool can be used to buy goods on campuses such as coffee and snacks inside the campus.
Over the past couple of weeks, shitcoins are hitting headlines. Shitcoins are funky and provide the easiest opportunities to become rich. Recently, the South Korean government is making headlines for inspiring the creation of a shitcoin, you can also call it a ‘poop-coin’. The South Korean authorities terminated a science program that created bathrooms designed to turn human waste into electricity, heat, and apparently a digital currency known as Ggool. The project is known as the Science Walden project and was introduced in July 2023 for the entertainment of the crypto community and the wider digital asset market. The project aimed to create the ‘BeeVi’ toilet that turned human excrement into methane gas and rewarded its ‘depositors’ with a digital currency known as Ggool. The BeeVi toilet project was led by Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology’s Cho Jae-weon, who is a professor of urban and environmental engineering. Even though the South Korean authorities planned to put a lid on the project, there are still a few BeeVi toilets inside the university’s campus at its Science cabin at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology campus. Since this innovation, BeeVi users have been using the Ggool digital currency. The Korean translation of ‘Ggool’ is honey and tokens for providing energy to the university. Ggool can be used to buy goods on campuses such as coffee and snacks inside the campus. Reportedly, Ggool tokens were designed with a negative interest rate of 7% to discourage hodling, meaning earners must be regular in liquidating their assets or risk losing their purchasing power. Besides, 30% of the tokens earned by an investor are distributed to other holders upon receipt. But investors should consider that the token is not a government-backed or blockchain-based entity. Nevertheless, the emergence of these shitcoins is attracting more new investors to the market, eventually enhancing the value of the crypto market.
In 2023, a pandemic-driven shift in investment prospects sparked a surge in investor interest in cryptocurrencies. However, the craze was not without its drawbacks as the number of frauds and scams associated with it increased too.
Hacks, scams, and ransomware attacks cost the crypto industry billions of dollars last year, with major projects falling prey to the frauds of malicious attackers.
Authorities are catching up slowly but surely, and the need for experienced individuals capable of monitoring, tracking down, and decimating such illicit activities has become a necessity in the crypto space.
Binance, the world’s leading blockchain ecosystem and cryptocurrency infrastructure provider, is on the leading edge of securing crypto for everyone. As an organization, Binance is investing significantly in its capabilities, especially on the security and investigations front.
Binance strengthens security
Binance made a significant step forward in security assurance by bringing in Aron Akbiyikian as the Director of Audit and Investigations.
Notably, Aron joins Binance with a wealth of experience. He is an expert in criminal investigations and has worked on high-profile cases, including the ‘Welcome2Video’ case where he played an instrumental role in taking down the crypto-funded child porn ring. He also has extensive experience investigating and helping to prevent criminals from using blockchain when he was at TRM Labs and Chainalysis.
Focusing on identifying criminals seeking to exploit Binance’s platform and monitoring their activities across the blockchain sector, Aron will assist law enforcement authorities around the world in taking them down. His work helps to create a safer environment for all users within Binance and the larger crypto industry.
The platform also bolstered its Audit and Investigation team through the appointment of Nils Andersen-Röed from Europol as another Director of Audit and Investigations.
During his time as the Project Leader of the Dark Web Unit of the Dutch National Police, Nils oversaw the takeover and takedown of ‘Hansa Market’ and ‘Alphabay’ which were the biggest black markets for drugs operating in the dark web. This global operation gathered a huge amount of information regarding illicit trades which was shared with other law enforcement agencies. It led to many arrests around the globe and contributed greatly to cleaning up the crypto industry.
At Europol, Nils was a specialist on the Dark Web team. He is using his expertise to conduct internal and external investigations at Binance, with the purpose of detecting criminals attempting to commit crimes on Binance’s platforms and protecting its users’ funds.
Anti-Money Laundering program
Binance has appointed Greg Monahan as the Global Money Laundering Reporting Officer, to expand the international anti-money laundering program and investigation programs.
With nearly 30 years of credited government service, a majority of which as a US Treasury Criminal Investigator responsible for tax, money laundering and other related financial crime investigations, Greg has led complex international investigations that have resulted in the takedown of some of the world’s most notorious cybercriminals and terrorist groups.
Binance has always emphasized the need for regulations to facilitate mass adoption of crypto across the globe. They believe regulatory licenses are required to integrate crypto with traditional financial systems, banks, payment services to give authorities more clarity about the activities in the space.
Crypto adoption is probably around 2% now. Let’s go get the other 98% onboard.
— CZ 🔶 Binance (@cz_binance) July 30, 2023
Greg will work on aligning the platform’s interests with that of the regulatory bodies by strengthening the organization’s relations with law enforcement bodies worldwide. This will be a massive step to curb money laundering activities in the crypto sphere.
Taking down fraudsters
The platform is determined to restrain unlawful activities by cybercriminals and has brought in Tigran Gambaryan as the VP of Global Intelligence and Investigations.
Tigran is a former special agent of the Cyber Crimes Unit in Washington, D.C., and has led several multi-billion dollar cyber investigations, including the ‘Silk Road’ corruption investigations, ‘BTC-e bitcoin exchange’, and the’ Mt. Gox’ hack.
Mt. Gox, the most popular Bitcoin exchange at the time, responsible for almost 80% of all exchange operations on the network, filed for bankruptcy in 2014. It claimed hackers stole the equivalent of $460 million from its online coffers.
The news rocked the Bitcoin world as crypto enthusiasts lost huge amounts of money. The work and investigative findings of Tigran were monumental in retrieving millions of dollars of lost funds which brought back users’ trust in the currency.
With Tigran on the team, Binance will continue to focus on internal and external investigations to prevent threats and financial losses while closely complying with law enforcement agencies and regulators around the world to take down cybercriminals.
Sustained measures for cyber-security
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) said:
“We have always held Binance to the highest standard to safeguard our users’ interests, and to that end, we are always expanding our capabilities to make Binance and the wider industry a safe place for all participants.”
Binance is taking a huge leap forward in enforcing crypto security and propelling the platform to become the safest crypto ecosystem by strengthening an already strong team of security specialists.
For more information on Binance, please check out their official website.
Annie Hortense Crawford’s death was a long, dramatic affair. According to her front-page obituary in the California Democrat, the local paper serving California, Missouri, Mrs. Crawford’s demise had begun a full week prior to her 1930 demise. First, there was severe pain in her hand. Slowly, a creeping debility overcame her entire body. “She grew steadily worse throughout the day and evening,” the newspaper reported, “until the end came.”
It’s easy to imagine my great-great-great-grandmother (for that’s who Crawford was) was felled by some larger-than-life illness. But the reality is a little different: Crawford died of a splinter.
Reading the details of her rapid decline almost 90 years later, I was struck by the historic nature of her death—almost unfathomable to Americans today—and set out to find out why, exactly, people don’t die of splinters anymore. In the process I discovered the peculiars of her death weren’t, in fact, all that peculiar. In fact, unless we change our relationship to antibiotics, death by splinter could be familiar once again.
The Octagon Ward at John Hopkins was part of a hospital-wide effort to stop air from circulating between care units. Wikipedia
When Crawford was born in 1860, many Westerners still attributed disease to miasma—bad air—or an imbalance in the bodily humors like blood and bile. Doctors, just as they had since the days of ancient Greece, treated all manner of illnesses with things like fresh air, rest, and even bloodletting. It’s no surprise, then, that most people in this era died of their infections and many diseases considered curable today killed thousands.
“We had a gross misunderstanding of things we called blood poisoning and things we now recognize to be infectious disease,” says Duane J. Funk, a physician and sepsis expert at the University of Manitoba. But over the course of Crawford’s life, enterprising researchers drove an incredible shift in the practice of science and, most importantly, how we think about infection.
In the late 1850s, the French scientist and father of microbiology Louis Pasteur set about disproving the common theory of spontaneous generation. At that time, many people believed that agents of decay—the things that molded bread or rotted a peach—magically appeared from within the bread or peach itself. By showing that microorganisms came from elsewhere—that they infected a body—Pasteur established the basic mechanism of infectious disease. He went on to develop the earliest technique for pasteurization, as well as rabies and anthrax vaccines.
Other scientists subsequently sought to validate and expand on Pasteur’s ideas. Though he was ridiculed at first, the inquisitive surgeon Joseph Lister ultimately proved that carbolic acid had a sterilizing effect on open wounds and, when properly applied, saved lives. In 1890, the German physician Robert Koch published his unified “germ theory.” Koch’s postulates displaced miasma theory and germ theory remains the predominant explanation for infectious disease to this day.
By the time a splinter pierced Crawford’s thumb in March of 1930, scientists knew that small microbes, invisible to the naked eye, could invade a human body and feast until the host recovered or, more often, died. These germs, such as they were, caused everything from waterborne illnesses like cholera to sexual transmitted conditions like syphilis. They were also responsible for the disease that killed Crawford: blood poisoning.
But just because doctors of that day may have understood the biological war raging in my ancestor’s thumb doesn’t mean they could cure what ailed Crawford. It would take one moldy discovery—and more than a decade of subsequent research—before anyone could do a thing about infectious disease.
A World War I-era Red Cross poster. Wikipedia
While thousands of people still die from sepsis each year, many Americans think they are impervious to such diseases. Funk says that may be because, on a statistical level, people aren’t that susceptible to death by splinter and never really have been. “I get cuts from shaving every second or third day,” says Funk. “The question is, why do some of them get infected and some of them don’t?”
The answer, he says, starts in the skin. “As soon as you get the splinter wound or the cut, right off the bat, there’s a battle that begins,” Funk says. First, blood clotting factors swarm to the affected site. This not only stops a person from bleeding out; it also serves as a biological drawbridge, raising against any potential invader. In some cases, there may not be harmful bacteria on the afflicted site at all. But if there is, the immune system is ready. It deploys white macrophages, the body’s Roombas, to slurp up any dirt, bacteria, or other foreign objects. “Bacteria are all around us,” Funk says. “But 99 percent of the time, our immune system works great at preventing infection.”
The very young, very old, and infirm are less likely to fight back effectively, however. Genetic predispositions toward certain illnesses, how aggressive a given bacteria or virus is, and other circumstances also factor into the progression of disease. Crawford, who was 70 at the time of her death, was part of this vulnerable population. The infectious agent—like Staphylococcus aureus—was able to push past Crawford’s natural defenses, which had diminished with age, and make their way into her bloodstream.
The infection likely moved quickly from there, Funk says, thanks to the tropical heat of the human body. “Some of these bugs have a doubling time of eight to 20 minutes,” he says. “There’s two [microbes], then there’s four, eight, 16—you do the math. It doesn’t take long to have millions to billions of bacteria floating in your system.” But they didn’t just float. Division made the bacteria hungry, so they eagerly turned Crawford’s heart, lungs, liver, and other organs into food. Without medical intervention, her body was overwhelmed. Her blood pressure likely dropped suddenly. And in the absence of any suitable medical intervention, she died.
Alexander Fleming, the father of penicillin, in the lab. Wikimedia Commons
For thousands of years, the fate of sepsis patients was largely sealed. But that began to shift in 1928 when the Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin, the world’s first antibiotic. Just two years before Crawford’s death, Fleming was working with a lab culture of Staphylococcus, which just so happens to be one of the two main agents that cause sepsis. He noticed what scientists call an “inhibition halo”—a line the bacteria could not cross—clearly defined on the lab specimen. A blue-green mold had contaminated the sample and inhibited bacterial growth. Fleming’s original experiment was wrecked, but the mishap presented him with an unprecedented opportunity.
Upon isolating the mold, Fleming found he had the relatively common fungi Penicillium notatum on his hands. The mold, which thrives in damp environments, easily infests water-damaged buildings. When airborne, it can cause allergic reactions in humans. But when synthesized into a bacteria-fighting drug, Fleming realized the cloudy growth could save thousands of lives. The only problem: it couldn’t be synthesized.
For a decade, Fleming tried and failed to persuade chemists and manufacturers to help him transform his fungal find into a mass-market product, knowing all the while that lives were being unnecessarily lost to infection. It was not until World War II that penicillin made its debut as a bona fide treatment. In 1941, scientists at the USDA isolated higher-yield strains of the mold, which they used to successfully treat burn victims of the 1942 Cocoanut Grove nightclub fire in Boston. At the same time, researchers at the drug company Pfizer perfected a deep-tank fermentation system that generated high-quality penicillin in industrial quantities, which allowed the drug to finally go mainstream.
But even with modern medicine, Funk says Crawford may not have recovered. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates that 1.5 million Americans get sepsis each year. Whether it’s from a splinter like Crawford’s or, more commonly, a hospital-acquired infection, sepsis continues to kill approximately 250,000 Americans annually. And not only can antibiotics fail—it’s increasingly apparent they can create problems all on their own.
A close-up of MRSA. Pixino
While penicillin was still being hailed as a wonder drug, by 1942 scientists were suddenly aware of a terrifying possibility: antibiotic-resistant superbugs. Mere months after penicillin had finally been mass-produced and deployed, researchers reported the existence of penicillin-resistant bacteria. “By growing the organism in increasing concentrations of penicillin over a long period it was possible to render the organism resistant to penicillin,” Charles H. Rammelkamp and his colleagues wrote at the time.
The biggest fears of these early scientists have since been realized. Today, at least 2 million Americans experience antibiotic-resistant infections annually. Approximately 23,000 die as a result. Antibiotics have saved thousands of lives, but they have also slowly selected for even more powerful bacteria. A round of penicillin might kill 99.9 percent of the harmful bugs in a person’s body, but the few organisms that live are stronger than average and now they’re free to breed wildly. Given the right environment—like a weakened immune system in an ICU patient—the already-scary Staphylococcus aureus can transform into methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, more commonly called MRSA.
About 720,000 Americans acquire infections while in the hospital in 2011, according to a CDC report. And for every three people who die in the hospital, one dies of sepsis. While doctors are working on instituting new protocol to reduce the risk of superbugs, like minimizing the use of ventilators, which can cause pneumonia, and carefully tailoring treatments to the specific bacteria regaining control over these pathogens has proven difficult.
Despite increasing awareness, doctors continue to overprescribe antibiotics and patients continue to quit an antibiotic regimen before they’re supposed to. At the same time, the livestock industry consumes 70 percent of the antibiotics in the United States to keep their animals healthy—all the while breeding antibiotic-resistant meat, soils, and even farmers. A 2014 report from the United Kingdom predicted 10 million annual deaths due to antibiotic resistance by 2050. While experts still quibble over the impending tsunami of deaths from antibiotic resistance, one thing is clear: People rarely die of splinters in 2023, but 2080 is looking a little different.
Poring over the reports on antibiotic resistance, I’m reminded of a dystopian novel I once read called Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. At one point in the book, the main character describes her brother’s death as “The kind of stupid death that never would’ve happened in the old world. He stepped on a nail and died of infection.” While Station Eleven was a work of fiction, I remember feeling a jolt down my spine when I read that line for the first time. My great-great-great-grandma’s all-too-real obituary (“The injury was so insignificant that she thought nothing of it… until the end came”) gave me the same sensation. Reading the detailed account of Crawford’s death, I can’t help but think this brave new world looks a lot like the old one she left behind.
Google has made a bold move in integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into its search tools, signaling the company’s commitment to compete against OpenAI, which is backed by Microsoft, and other AI chatbots. According to Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google’s parent company Alphabet, the opportunity space is even bigger now.
Microsoft, Meta, and many other tech firms are rushing to incorporate AI technologies into their products and services, and Google’s integration of AI into its search tools is a strategic move to stay ahead of the competition. The notion that chatbots pose a threat to Google’s search engine business was rejected by Pichai, who emphasized that the integration of AI into search tools will allow for direct user interaction with large language models.
In this article, we’ll delve deeper into the significance of Google’s integration of AI into its search tools, and how it positions the company in the race to incorporate AI into consumer goods.
Google has recently announced its plans to integrate Conversational AI into its search engine to increase productivity rates amidst pressure from AI chatbots such as ChatGPT. In an interview, CEO Sundar Pichai stated that the integration of Chat AI would help supercharge Google’s ability to respond to a wide range of search queries while engaging users in the context of search engines. This move is set to distinguish Google’s search engine from its competitors and enhance its capability to handle user queries.
Google has been a pioneer in large language models (LLMs) for years, and its decision to integrate AI into its search tools demonstrates its commitment to competing against OpenAI, Microsoft, and other AI chatbots. This move is a clear indication of Google’s intention to stay ahead of the curve, and not be left behind in the race to incorporate AI technologies into products and services.
There are concerns that chatbots, particularly the AI-powered ChatGPT developed by OpenAI, pose a threat to Google’s search engine business. Microsoft’s integration of ChatGPT into Bing has brought about a revolutionary change in the technology industry, and it’s being perceived as a threat to many giants.
However, Pichai rejected the notion that chatbots pose a threat to Google’s search engine business. Instead, he emphasized that the integration of AI into search tools will allow for direct user interaction with LLMs, which will enhance the user experience.
Also read: Google Bard vs ChatGPT: What’s The Difference?
Google has been planning to introduce Chat AI features into its search engine to enhance its productivity rates. Sundar Pichai stated that the integration of Chat AI into the search engine would enable users to engage with Large Language Models (LLMs) effortlessly in the context of search engines. This development will enable users to ask queries and receive responses in a conversational manner.
Google has been facing competitive pressure from AI chatbots like ChatGPT, which prompted the company to develop its conversational AI technology. Although Google’s search engine accounts for more than half of Alphabet Inc.’s revenue, the company could not incorporate its conversational AI technology until now. Pichai stated that adding a chatbot would not threaten the search business but would instead increase the opportunity space.
Also read: How to Get Started with Google Bard
In the interview with WSJ, Pichai also revealed that Google is experimenting with several new search products, including ones that let users ask follow-up questions to their original queries. This move is in line with Google’s commitment to enhancing the user experience and providing more personalized search results.
Google opened its AI chatbot Bard for public access in March but did not integrate it with the search engine. However, Pichai’s recent remarks suggest that Google intends to enable direct user interaction with its extensive LLMs via its search engine.
Google has been generating LLMs that can respond to users’ prompts in a human-like manner. The company has now incorporated its technology into its search engine, which is set to enhance its capability to respond to a wide range of search queries. With the integration of Chat AI, users will be able to raise inputs and engage with LLMs in the context of search engines effortlessly.
Google recently announced the layoff of around 12,000 employees, which accounts for 6% of its workforce. Pichai stated that the company was unable to achieve its target of becoming 20% more productive, which prompted the layoffs. Ruth Porat, Google’s Chief Financial Officer, stated that the company would make spending cuts ranging from dining facilities to computing infrastructure critical for creating and running strong AI algorithms.
Google’s plans to integrate conversational AI into its search engine is set to distinguish it from its competitors while enhancing its productivity rates. With the integration of Chat AI, users will be able to engage with LLMs in the context of search engines, making it easier to receive conversational responses to their queries. Although Google faced cost-cutting pressure, it remained committed to investing in AI efforts to accelerate work on new products. If successful, Google’s integration of conversational AI into its search engine will help it maintain its position as a leading search engine in the industry.
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