Adobe’s ‘Photoshop on the web’ service is now available to all Creative Cloud subscribers

Users will be able to edit, share and receive feedback on their Photoshop projects from anywhere on the web, Adobe announced Wednesday, regardless of whether an Adobe product is installed on their PC or tablet. The company is bringing its Photoshop on the web service out of beta and incorporating a few handy new AI features as well.

Adobe first introduced a feature-svelt online version of the popular Photoshop app in December, 2021. Originally, users could share their psd files but only if the recipient had a copy of Photoshop or Illustrator on their computer too. That changed with the introduction of Creative Cloud, which allowed for sharing without the need for a local install. The beta version of Photoshop on the web took that concept a step further by incorporating basic editing tools into the web UI geared towards “minor tweaks and quick edits” — the easy sort of stuff that took less time to fix than the program took to boot. The production version released Wednesday does all that and more.

“With this release we are starting with a focus on the needs of creators who are new to Photoshop with a streamlined user experience,” Adobe VP Pam Clark wrote in a blog post. “We have brought the majority of the most commonly used Photoshop tools to the web and have streamlined the user experience, to make it easier for newer users to navigate the app.”

Users will also be able to experiment with two new AI-driven tools, generative fill and generative expand. As their names’ imply, these will “allow you to add, expand, or remove content from your images non-destructively, while magically matching perspective, lighting, and style of your image,” Clark wrote. The features were first released as part of Firefly for the desktop edition of Photoshop

The Contextual Taskbar is also migrating over from the desktop. This on-screen menu will observe your workflow and suggest relevant next steps. But for all the new features to play with, a number of existing tools have yet to make the jump to the web, including the patch and pen tools, smart object support and the polygonal lasso, the the company insists that they will be added with future updates.  

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ChatGPT is allowed to browse the internet once again

Ironically, when ChatGPT debuted last November and basically broke the internet for a few days, the AI itself wasn’t informed. In fact, its entire knowledge base stopped abruptly in September, 2021 because that was the most recent data the system was initially trained on. Wednesday, OpenAI announced that ChatGPT will now be able to answer even the most modern of queries as the generative AI assistant can now look up information, in real-time.

The new feature is being called Browse with Bing and appears to work directly within the normal Bing Chat window, notifying the user when it is looking up information from the web and providing citation links with its answers. “Browsing is particularly useful for tasks that require up-to-date information, such as helping you with technical research, trying to choose a bike, or planning a vacation,” the OpenAI team wrote in a subsequent tweet. “Browsing is available to Plus and Enterprise users today, and we’ll expand to all users soon. To enable, choose Browse with Bing in the selector under GPT-4.”

This isn’t the first time that ChatGPT has gone on the internet, mind you. It had a web browsing capability available to Plus subscribers as recently as this past July, though that feature got axed after users kept exploiting it to get around paywalls. This announcement follows another major update from earlier in the week, revealing the chatbot’s new multimodal functions.

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Meta AI is a new chatbot platform that starts with over 25 personalities

Mondays rumors turned out to be true, Meta announced at its Connect event on Wednesday that it will release a line of digital personalities built on the company’s freshly announced Meta AI chatbot platform. What could possibly go wrong?

Meta AI is a new genAI assistant that will span the company’s various properties including WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram (and arriving shortly on the Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses and Quest 3). User will be able to interact with it using natural language prompts. The AI is built on a custom model derived from Meta’s LLaMA 2 LLM and will pull real-time information from the web using Microsoft Bing.     

What’s more, the company is also rolling out 28 (!!!) chatbot “characters” meant to address specific niche interests, whether those are specific sports, media, or genre choices. These personalities will be voiced by a variety of modern influencers and celebrities: 

Charli D’Amelio as Coco, Dance enthusiast

Chris Paul as Perry, Pro golfer helping you perfect your stroke

Dwyane Wade as Victor, Ironman triathlete motivating you to be your best self

Izzy Adesanya as Luiz, Showy MMA prospect who can back up his trash talk

Kendall Jenner as Billie, No-BS, ride-or-die companion

LaurDIY as Dylan, Quirky DIY and Craft expert and companion for Gen Z

MrBeast as Zach, The big brother who will roast you — because he cares

Naomi Osaka as Tamika, Anime-obsessed Sailor Senshi in training

Paris Hilton as Amber, Detective partner for solving whodunnits

Raven Ross as Angie, Workout class queen who balances fitness with meditation

Roy Choi as Max, Seasoned sous chef for culinary tips and tricks

Sam Kerr as Sally, Free-spirited friend who’ll tell you when to take a deep breath

Snoop Dogg as Dungeon Master, Choose your own adventure with the Dungeon Master

Tom Brady as Bru, Wisecracking sports debater who pulls no punches

The initial batch of personalities will be available to US users starting today, with more performances coming from Bear Grylls, Chloe Kim, Josh Richards and others in the coming weeks.

Since the release of ChatGPT last November, Meta has been relatively slow to release a generative AI chatbot of its own, at least compared to competitors like Google and Microsoft. Instead, Meta has kept its focus on the LLaMA platform, its open-source large language model designed for commercial use, as well as a host of AI-enhanced, multimodal tools.  

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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Neuralink opens enrollment for its first human BCI implants

Elon Musk’s Neuralink company, purveyors of the experimental N1 brain-computer interface (BCI), announced on Tuesday that it has finally opened enrollment for its first in-human study, dubbed Precise Robotically Implanted Brain-Computer Interface (PRIME, not PRIBCI). The announcement comes nearly a year after the company’s most recent “show and tell” event, four months beyond the timeframe Musk had declared the trials would start, and nearly a month after rival Synchron had already beaten them to market.

Per the company’s announcement, the PRIME study “aims to evaluate the safety of our implant (N1) and surgical robot (R1) and assess the initial functionality of our BCI for enabling people with paralysis to control external devices with their thoughts.” As such, this study is looking primarily for “those who have quadriplegia due to cervical spinal cord injury or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS),” despite Musk’s repeated and unfounded claims that the technology will be useful as vehicle for transhumanistic applications like learning Kung Fu from an SD card, uploading your consciousness to the web and controlling various household electronics with your mind.

Actually, that last one is a real goal of both the company and the technology. BCIs operate as a bridge between the human mind and machines, converting the analog electrical signals of our brains into digital signals that machines understand. The N1 system from Nueralink leverages a high-fidelity Utah Array of hair-thin probes that, unlike Synchron’s Stentrode, must be installed via robotic keyhole surgery (performed by Nerualink’s sewing machine-like R1 robot surgeon). This array will be fitted onto the patient’s motor cortex where it will record and wirelessly transmit electrical impulses produced by the region to an associated app which will interpret them into actionable commands for the computer. “The initial goal of our BCI is to grant people the ability to control a computer cursor or keyboard using their thoughts alone,” the release reads.

Neuralink has been working on the N1 system since 2017, one of the first companies in the industry to begin publicly developing a commercial BCI. However, Neuralink’s efforts were waylaid last year after the company was credibly accused of causing the needless suffering and death of dozens of animal test subjects, which led to both a USDA investigation on animal cruelty charges and instigated the FDA to deny the company’s request to fasttrack human trials. The PRIME study is being conducted under the auspices of the investigational device exemption (IDE), which the FDA awarded Neuralink this past May.   

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