Xtracts: August 2023

Welcome back 

The suitcase is once again empty, the swimming goggles in the far back of the closet, and the weather is still somewhat reminiscent of summer. We’ve returned to the office with 5 quick news from the digital world. 

We’re looking at Meta’s brand new social media platform, OpenAI’s unsuccesful AI identification tool – and of course, we have to talk about the perhaps most drastic decision, Elon Musk has made regarding Twitter. 

All this and more awaits you in this month’s edition of Xtracts, your digital news update. Happy reading. 

1. World famous internet bird leaves its nest 

The big news piece of the month. And one that might be a little hard to grasp. Especially if you’re a faithful user of Twitter. Since the introduction of social media into our digital daily lives, the blue bird has been one of the internet’s most iconic – well, icons. But everything has an end. 

X. That’s the new logo for Elon Musk’s social platform. And probably also the name in the future. Musk announced it himself in a tweet at the end of July, after which the site’s well-known bird flew from the nest and made way for the new symbol. The web address www.x.com also now redirects to Twitter. 

Elon Musk and Twitter have surely been the headliners of a large portion of 2023’s internet news, no doubt, but this has to be the most drastic change we’ve been able to write about. And it is guaranteed to bring even more changes with it. 

If nothing else, we can recommend having X’s as a logo. 

Source: NBC NEWS

2. Meta unveils new social media 

Until the update above entered our news feed at the end of the month, this was probably the hottest topic of conversation in social media. And impressively, it’s still somewhat related to Twitter (or X, I suppose). Because if you’re getting dizzy from navigating all the social media, hold on to your socks: another one has arrived. 

The name of Meta’s new creation is Threads . And if you want to know what it’s all about, you first of all have to look at Twitter. This is because it is a platform where you share and react to text posts. The big difference compared to the now birdless colleague is perhaps that it is linked to your Instagram account. It therefore speaks to Meta’s vision of connecting all their platforms in a unified universe. 

Meta states that the plan is to make Threads compatible with several applications such as WordPress, which will make it possible to interact with the platform without having an account on it. “A new era of diverse and connected networks”, as Meta states. 

Source: Meta

3. OpenAI is withdrawing AI identification tool 

And thus: Xtracts’ AI news of the month. For the last long while, you have time and again been able to read about new AI tools appearing everywhere. So, it is almost completely interesting in itself that this time, it is a tool that is withdrawn

OpenAI , the creators behind e.g., ChatGPT and DALL-E, earlier this year introduced a program that should be able to recognize AI-produced content. Its purpose was, among other things, to remedy that artificial intelligence is used for e.g., exam cheating. Unfortunately, the program was not as effective as expected – it gave a significant number of false positives – and therefore, OpenAI has now made the tool unavailable. 

It should of course be said that OpenAI has not abandoned the project. However, they aim to improve the tool through more data work before it becomes available to us again. 

Source: The Verge

4. Meta hints at voice activated marketing 

Have you ever worried about whether Facebook is listening in on your conversations? Fortunately, that is most likely not happening. But the idea that social media can listen in and thus collect data is not so far off in the future – albeit in a less sinister way. 

Meta has just taken out a patent called “User Identification with Voiceprints on Online Social Networks”. The patent concerns software that would be to recognize the user’s voice and use this to unlock – or lock – an app and its various functions. In a way, it’s not a long shot from fingerprint or facial recognition, both of which smartphones have had for several years now. 

But after that it gets interesting. Meta explains that the function could also be used to analyze whether there are more voices (people) present in the room, when the user e.g., uses his voice to log in. If there are others in the room (whose voice ID is registered on the platform), content and ads that match the interests of everyone present will be displayed. 

However, the latter of the two functions could be disabled by the user so that the voice ID is only used for security measures. But there are signs that a new chapter in the advertising handbook is on its way. 

Source: Social Media Today

5. Bing Chat is coming to Safari and Chrome 

Bing has not exactly been sporting the yellow jersey in the internet race. But after AI has really taken hold, Microsoft’s search engine now has an ace up its sleeve – an ace that until now could only be found on Microsoft’s own browser, Edge. 

That ace is called Bing Chat: Bing’s search function – spiced up with a lot of artificial intelligence. As with e.g., ChatGPT, you can give a Bing Chat a text prompt, after which you will get a more detailed answer than search engines are often able to give. And although it was previously only possible when you used Bing via Edge, users on Safari and Chrome will soon be able to make use of the intelligent search function as well. 

Google has its own version of the same feature, Bard, so it’s in many ways a strategic move on Microsoft’s part to launch Bing Chat across browsers. It seems very likely that AI will become a permanent part of how we use search engines – already in the near future. 

Source: The Verge