The Search Party: SEJ’s Weekly News Recap For Search, Social, And AI 

It’s been a busy week for professionals in all industries, thanks to the latest developments in AI.

To help you stay updated on the latest news that may affect your work life, we have condensed the top stories you need to know – from search to social to AI – into this easy-to-digest post.

This week’s top stories include the release of GPT-4, new AI tools and features across several platforms, the rollout of a Google core algorithm update, and more!

OpenAI Releases GPT-4

One of the most prominent announcements came from OpenAI – the release of GPT-4. Rumors sparked by a recent Microsoft AI event were confirmed this week as GPT-4 became available for immediate use for ChatGPT+ subscribers at $20 per month.

GPT-4 is multimodal, allowing it to accept text and image input to generate text outputs. Greg Brockman, President and Co-Founder of OpenAI, demonstrated this new capability by using GPT-4 to transform a photo of a hand-drawn website mockup into a website in HTML and JavaScript.

OpenAI also showed how well GPT-4 has improved its LSAT, GRE, AP, and other exams designed to test humans.

Even with its improvements in reasoning and conciseness, there are still limitations to the training data ChatGPT uses. Users should, as always, verify the accuracy of responses before trusting them – and, where possible, cite sources.

Google Introduces AI For Google Workspace, Google Cloud

While partly overshadowed by OpenAI’s announcement, Google made AI news this week by revealing upcoming AI features for Google Workspace apps: Gmail, Docs, Slides, Sheets, Meet, and Chat.

Trusted testers (customers of a Google product or family & friends of Google employees) can use AI to generate content inside Gmail and Google Docs, allowing users to brainstorm, draft emails, craft job descriptions, write blog posts, proofread, and more from inside each interface.

Screenshot from Google, March 2023

Google also announced new and improved generative AI capabilities for Google Cloud developers.

  • Vertex AI upgraded with generative AI support from various foundation models, including PaLM API, Google Research, and DeepMind.
  • The Generative AI App Builder allows developers to build gen apps – bots, chats, digital assistants, custom search engines, and more – in minutes or hours with limited technical knowledge.
  • The new PaLM API and MakerSuite allow experimentation and quick prototyping with large language models.

These features will be available to select trusted Google Cloud Innovators community testers.

Microsoft Reveals AI-Powered Copilot for Microsoft 365

Not to be outdone by Google, Microsoft revealed new AI features for Microsoft 365 users.

During Microsoft’s “Reinventing Productivity” livestream event, Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO of Microsoft, said that AI had powered the tools we use in the workplace for years – but now, Microsoft is moving AI from autopilot to copilot, making AI as empowering as it is powerful.

Copilot integrates with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Teams to enhance productivity and creativity in the workplace. It can help users draft content faster, explore data with natural language queries, transform ideas into presentations, summarize emails, and more.

Screenshot from Microsoft, March 2023

In addition, Business Chat will help users connect their data and information across all of Microsoft’s productivity apps in a streamlined way through Microsoft Teams.

The goal of these new AI features from Microsoft is to help users automate tedious tasks, freeing up their time for more creative work.

Nadella also reminded people that those who build, deploy, and use AI must use it responsibly to allow AI to evolve into something that fits our social, cultural, and legal norms for our democratic society.

The Copilot System is positioned for enterprise-AI deployment. Copilot goes beyond integration with OpenAI’s ChatGPT – it combines the power of LLMs like GPT-4 with Microsoft 365 and your business data in the Microsoft Graph.

Instead of being tied to limited training data, Copilot applies natural language processing to your data, making it faster to access, process, and utilize in various scenarios.

Copilot and Business Chat are available to select customers with plans to expand to more users in the coming months.

In Case You Missed It

What if AI, search, and social media walked into a bar? We don’t have time to get into everything that would ensue, but let’s explore more of this week’s stories from around the web.

AI News

Anthropic, led by former OpenAI employees, introduced Claude, an AI assistant used by DuckDuckGo, Poe, Notion, and others to create safer, less toxic AI experiences.

Research lab Midjourney released version 5 of its product with more accurate visualizations of text prompts and higher-resolution images. (Midjourney)

Apple computers with M1 and M2 chips may be able to run LLaMA models. (Github)

Search News

Microsoft offered a list of suggested prompts for Bing AI copilot, which is now available. (Microsoft Blog)

Google announced its rollout of a core algorithm update for March 2023.

Google’s John Mueller shares advice on simplifying website structure and landing a job at a major tech company.

Google Ads will solely use GA4’s conversion window settings starting April 1, 2023, to minimize discrepancies in performance reporting between the two platforms.

Google Search Central released a new tutorial on unlocking Search Console insights with Looker Studio dashboards to visualize key SEO metrics.

Using conversational AI, Google unveiled improvements to search results around healthcare and mental health.

Social Media News

TikTok announced a new STEM feed to provide safe, factual information on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics-related topics.

Meta is winding down digital collectibles (NFTs) to focus on alternative ways to support creators with the monetization of messaging and Reels. (Twitter)

Mark Zuckerberg released a memo to employees about upcoming changes to improve efficiency. (Meta)

LinkedIn introduced new generative AI features to help users craft more effective professional profiles and job descriptions that attract qualified candidates.

Featured Image: Photo Kozyr/Shutterstock