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Google and Uber participating in international tech conference

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Techsylvania, an international tech conference and hackaton, is going to host more than 30 speakers, including people from Google, Uber, Bitdefender and more in Romania in June. Previously, we have reported about the Hackaton (with devices like the Apple Watch, Pebble, Oculus Rift, etc)  that is going to take place in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, but that was not all there was to Techsylvania. The tech conference is the highlight of the event and we’ve saved the best for last. The speakers at the tech conference, if added together, value billions of dollars, so attendees will be able to connect with individuals that really know their stuff.

Techsylvania aims to bring people together through a tech conference that will help tech enthusiasts understand their field more and learn about startups, companies, design, developing and much, much more. Through the tech conference, attendees will be able to network with the speakers and learn about their past, present and future and discuss possible collaborations in the future.

Techsylvania, the tech conference, will be taking place between June 8 and 9 in the Students’ Culture Hall in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, so if you’re an international enthusiast who would be interested in attending, you should factor that in. Tickets are currently on sale on the official website and the early bird prices are valid until June 1st. If you want to take part in possibly the largest tech conference in Romania, hurry up and reserve your tickets so that you can get a good price. You can also benefit from a 10% discount on your ticket by using the coupon code D8XYDY5C.

Although TechSylvania is not the cheapest tech conference, it does pay for itself with the sheer number of speakers that will be talking about wearable technology, innovation, cloud computing, advertising, cyber-security, engineering, enterprise, IT, development, artificial intelligence, big data, marketing, accelerators, disruption and much more. If you’re curious you can view the complete agenda on the Techsylvania tech conference website.

 

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Some of the speakers coming to the tech conference

Besides conferences, you will be treated to discussion panels and interactive sessions, not to mention networking in the VIP lounges. Most importantly, you will get a chance to meet influential people in the tech industry, and we’re not talking small-time engineers here. We’re talking CEOs, CTOs, developers, high-class engineers, creators, founders and the kinds of people that any tech enthusiast would love to meet.

Since we’ve mentioned Google and Uber, we should fill you in on why they’re headliners at Techsylvania. Peter Juszcsynski is the branding evangelist at Google and he will be talking about disruption and branding and will teach us about why innovation and novelty is important in every field of the tech industry. This dude is an expert in brand building, so if you’re a startup or are someone thinking about creating their own business, his speech will definitely give you some pointers. He has worked with the likes of Google (duh), Nestle, Starbucks, BMW, Unilever and more, which means he’s got a lot of experience and will provide quality information about surviving in a predominantly online world.

The regional general manager of Uber, Jambu Palaniappan, will also be holding a talk about the future of transportation and we will find out what lies behind the success of Uber in so many markets across the globe. The creator of Words with Friends, David Bettner, will also be hosting a talk, although the subject of his speech has not been divulged yet. We think that since it’s a tech conference, he will be talking about creating a successful app and marketing it, which is something millions are curious about.

The CEO of Bitdefender, Floring Talpes, will be holding a seminar on cyber-security and the trends of tomorrow. This is one of the conferences we’re eager to attend, because as you must know, security on the internet is a very sensitive topic. Hearing about optimization and new security measures that we will be able to take advantage of will give all of us an edge. We will learn how to protect our privacy and how to effectively secure our mobile- and desktop devices so that we don’t worry about our iCloud nudes.

PayPal’s senior developer advocate, Cristiano Betta will also be attending the tech conference and will be talking about hackatons on rails. Thomas Roth-Berghofer from the University of West London will be talking about AI and using case-based reasoning to build recommender systems, which sounds very high-tech and of course, intriguing. Artificial intelligence is on the verge of becoming a true reality – as depicted in Ex Machina – and remaining in the loop can’t be done without learning about how AI works.

Gentry Underwood, the co-founder of Mailbox (which he sold to Dropbox for $100, is one of the key personalities of the Techsylvania tech conference and he will be hosting multiple discussions. We’re very curious about how they came up with Mailbox and how they managed to become one of the most influential developers. These are just a few of the people participating in the Techsylvania tech conference in June, and you should check out the full list of speakers to see how truly comprehensive this event will be.

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The tech conference has more than 30 confirmed speakers, which means we are in for two very exciting days, full of new information and full of expertise. The agenda of the event is impressive to say the least and the folks here at Geek Reply will be attending! We recommend you guys come to, if you have the means! We want to meet you guys and we want to share a learning experience with you, so by all means, let us know if you can come! In case you miss the tech conference, we will be right here, reporting about all the conferences that we are going to attend, so stay tuned!

As part of the editorial team here at Geekreply, John spends a lot of his time making sure each article is up to snuff. That said, he also occasionally pens articles on the latest in Geek culture. From Gaming to Science, expect the latest news fast from John and team.

Artificial Intelligence

What a new study says suggests that ChatGPT may have passed the Turing test

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René Descartes, a French philosopher who may or may not have been high on pot, had an interesting thought in 1637: can a machine think? Alan Turing, an English mathematician and computer scientist, gave the answer to this 300-year-old question in 1950: “Who cares?” He said a better question was what would become known as the “Turing test”: if there was a person, a machine, and a human interrogator, could the machine ever trick the human interrogator into thinking it was the person?

Turing changed the question in this way 74 years ago. Now, researchers at the University of California, San Diego, think they have the answer. A new study that had people talk to either different AI systems or another person for five minutes suggests that the answer might be “yes.”

“After a five-minute conversation, participants in our experiment were no better than random at identifying GPT-4. According to the preprint paper, which has not yet undergone peer review, this suggests that current AI systems can deceive people into believing they are human. “These results probably set a lower bound on how likely it is that someone will lie in more naturalistic settings, where people may not be aware of the possibility of lying or only focus on finding it.”

Even though this is a big event that makes headlines, it’s not a milestone that everyone agrees on. The researchers say that Turing first thought of the imitation game as a way to test intelligence, but “many objections have been raised to this idea.” People, for example, are known for being able to humanize almost anything. We want to connect with things, whether they’re people, dogs, or a Roomba with googly eyes on top of it.

Also, it’s interesting that ChatGPT-4 and ChatGPT-3.5, which was also tested, only persuaded humans that it was a person about half of the time, which isn’t much better than random chance. What does this result really mean?

As it turns out, ELIZA was one of the AI systems that the team built into the experiment as a backup plan. She was made at MIT in the mid-1960s and was one of the first programs of her kind. She was impressive for her time, but she doesn’t have much to do with modern large-language model-based systems or LLM-based systems.

“ELIZA could only give pre-written answers, which greatly limited what it could do. Live Science talked to Nell Watson, an AI researcher at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), about how it might fool someone for five minutes but soon show its flaws. “Language models are completely adaptable; they can put together answers to a lot of different topics, speak in specific languages or sociolects, and show who they are by displaying personality and values that are based on their characters.” a significant improvement over something that a person, no matter how intelligent and careful they were, programmed by hand.

She was perfect for the experiment because she was the same as everyone else. How do you explain test subjects who are lazy and pick between “human” and “machine” at random? If ELIZA gets the same score as chance, then the test is probably not being taken seriously because she’s not that good. In what way can you tell how much of the effect is just people giving things human traits? How much did ELIZA get them to change their minds? That much is probably how much it is.

In fact, ELIZA got only 22%, which is just over 1 in 5 people believing she was human. It’s more likely that ChatGPT has passed the Turing test now that test subjects could reliably tell the difference between some computers and people, but not ChatGPT, the researchers write.

So, does this mean we’re entering a new era of AI that acts like humans? Are computers smarter than people now? Maybe, but we probably shouldn’t make our decisions too quickly.

The researchers say, “In the end, it seems unlikely that the Turing test provides either necessary or sufficient evidence for intelligence. At best, it provides probabilistic support.” The people who took part weren’t even looking for what you might call “intelligence”; the paper says they “were more focused on linguistic style and socio-emotional factors than more traditional notions of intelligence such as knowledge and reasoning.” This “could reflect interrogators’ latent assumption that social intelligence has become the human trait that is most difficult for machines to copy.”

Which brings up a scary question: is the fall of humans the bigger problem than the rise of machines?

“Real humans were actually more successful, convincing interrogators that they were human two-thirds of the time,” the paper’s co-author, Cameron Jones, told Tech Xplore. “Our results suggest that in the real world, people might not be able to reliably tell if they’re talking to a human or an AI system.”

“In the real world, people might not be as aware that they’re talking to an AI system, so the rate of lying might be even higher,” he warned. “This makes me wonder what AI systems will be used for in the future, whether they are used to do bots, do customer service jobs, or spread fake news or fraud.”

There is a draft of the study on arXiv, but it has not yet been reviewed by other scientists.

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Threads’s API for developers is now live

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Meta finally put out its long-awaited API for Threads today, so developers can start making games and apps that use it. Third-party developers will be able to create new experiences around

Mark Zuckerberg also posted about the launch of the API, saying, “The Threads API is now widely available and will be coming to more of you soon.”

Engineer for Threads Jesse Chen wrote in a blog post that developers can now use the new API to publish posts, get their own content, and set up reply management tools. In other words, developers can let users hide or show replies or reply to certain ones.

It will also have analytics that let developers see things like the number of views, likes, replies, reposts, and quotes at the media and account level, the company said.

Adam Mosseri, the CEO of Instagram, first talked about the company’s work on the Threads API in October 2023. The API was first released in a closed beta with partners like Techmeme, Sprinklr, Sprout Social, Social News Desk, Hootsuite, and a few other developers. Chen said at that time that Meta planned to let many developers use the API in June. As promised, the company kept its word.

Along with the launch of the new API, the company also put out an open-source reference app on GitHub so developers can play with it.

In 2023, it was hard for third-party developers who made tools for social networks because social networks like Twitter (now X) and Reddit limited or shut down API access at different levels. This is because decentralized social networks like Mastodon and Bluesky are more open to developers. With more than 150 million users, Meta’s Threads is the most popular new social network. Since Threads now works with the fediverse and has an API, third-party developers can make some great social media experiences.

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Apple has officially announced its intention to collaborate with Google’s Gemini platform in the future

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After delivering a keynote presentation at WWDC 2024, which unveiled Apple Intelligence and announced a collaboration with OpenAI to integrate ChatGPT into Siri, Senior Vice President Craig Federighi confirmed the intention to collaborate with more third-party models. The initial instance provided by the executive was one of the companies that Apple was considering for a potential partnership.

“In the future, we are excited about the prospect of integrating with other models, such as Google Gemini,” Federighi expressed during a post-keynote discussion. He promptly stated that the company currently has no announcements to make, but that is the overall direction they are heading in.

OpenAI’s ChatGPT is set to become the first external model to be integrated at a later date this year. Apple announces that users will have the ability to access the system without the requirement of creating an account or paying for premium services. Regarding the integration of that platform with the updated iOS 18 version of Siri, Federighi confirmed that the voice assistant will notify users before utilizing its own internal models.

“Now you can accomplish this task directly using Siri, without the need for any additional tools,” stated the Apple executive. “Siri, it is crucial to ascertain whether you will inquire before proceeding to ChatGPT.” Subsequently, you can engage in a dialogue with ChatGPT. Subsequently, if there is any pertinent data mentioned in your inquiry that you wish to provide to ChatGPT, we will inquire, ‘Would you like to transmit this photograph?’ From a privacy standpoint, you always maintain control and have complete visibility.

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