Top AI News, October 2023

In this monthly roundup, we present the most noteworthy AI news stories from October, highlighting the latest developments in the world of AI:

Canva Unveils AI Tools

Canva has leaped in AI innovation by introducing Magic Studio. This suite of AI-powered design tools redefines the way users create visual content in Canva. Magic Studio encompasses a diverse range of tools like Magic Switch, Magic Grab, Magic Expand, Magic Morph, Magic Alt Text, Magic Write, Magic Animate, and Translate. These tools empower users to edit images, produce videos, and leverage AI for copywriting and translations.

What distinguishes Canva’s AI tools is their seamless ability to convert designs between formats, greatly enhancing user productivity. Furthermore, Magic Studio tools can also turn text into photos and create videos from an image or text, harnessing the power of Gen-2.

For educators, Canva has rolled out Classroom Magic, a set of AI tools thoughtfully designed with privacy and safety in mind. This update brings a wealth of new resources, including a library of over 5,000 customizable classroom materials. Advanced accessibility features and a suite of AI tools simplify lesson planning and encourage student creativity.

Why it matters: Canva, a leading content creation platform suitable for users of all design skills, showcases how AI can provide a competitive edge. With Magic Studio, Canva improves its product, fosters stronger collaborations with creators, and streamlines content creation for greater efficiency and inclusivity.

Shutterstock Integrates Creative AI into Library

Shutterstock has ushered in a new era by integrating creative AI into its vast library of over 700 million stock images. This move introduces a marketplace of fully customizable stock images, the first in the industry.

Creatives now have access to AI-powered design tools, enabling them to generate, edit, refine, and personalize stock images, providing limitless possibilities for tailoring content to their projects. With six new features like Magic Brush, Variations, Expand Image, Smart Resize, Background Remover, and AI Image Generator, Shutterstock empowers brands, digital media, and marketing companies to speed up the creative process. The company’s commitment to the Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI) ensures verifiable and tamper-evident information for all forms of content.

The context behind: The shift in Shutterstock’s approach to AI, from initial resistance and skepticism to full integration, is a remarkable case of technology adoption. This transition highlights how companies can adapt, recognize the potential of emerging technologies over time, and harness their power for the benefit of the company.

Amazon Rolls Out AI-Powered Image Generation

A recent Amazon survey revealed that many advertisers struggled with creating ad creatives and choosing the right format. To address these challenges, Amazon Ads has launched AI-powered image generation, simplifying the process of creating ads. Advertisers can now effortlessly generate lifestyle and brand-themed images by selecting their product and using GenAI within the Amazon Ad Console. The images can be also further fine-tuned with short text prompts.

Between the lines: Opinions on this release are divided, and some users couldn’t resist commenting on it with a touch of irony.

Nightshade Empowers Artists to Protect Their Work from Unauthorized AI Data Scraping

A tool called Nightshade has been introduced to tackle unauthorized AI data scraping that threatens the intellectual property of visual artists. Nightshade focuses on protecting artists’ work from being exploited to train AI image generative models without permission. By “poisoning” the data within images, it renders them ineffective for AI training and can significantly disrupt text-to-image generators with only a small amount of poisoned data.

The backstory: Earlier this year, a group of Ph.D. students and computer science professors from the University of Chicago released a tool called Glaze. Glaze was designed to help photographers and visual artists protect their work from being replicated by AI image generators by making nearly imperceptible changes to an image’s pixels that distort the information about the artistic style. Building on the success of Glaze, researchers have now unveiled Nightshade to further enhance protection against AI image generation.

Stack Overflow Lays Off Over 100 People

Stack Overflow made headlines in October, by laying off over 100 employees, 28% of its staff. This move comes just over a year after the company significantly expanded its team, doubling its size to over 500 people. CEO Prashanth Chandrasekar attributes the layoffs to the need for the company to work toward profitability and has specified the reduction in the go-to-market organization and other supporting teams.

The context behind: Stack Overflow did not elaborate on the reasons for the layoff, but it’s worth noting that, as a community-based coding help forum, they’ve faced challenges related to the rise of AI-powered coding assistance. Users’ AI-generated responses raised concerns about response quality and an excessive volume of unverified content, resulting in a temporary AI usage ban. While some link the layoffs to a decrease in site traffic after the ChatGPT and GitHub Copilot releases, it’s important to consider that internal factors may have also influenced these staffing decisions.


AI Named Word of the Year

Collins Dictionary has declared “AI” as the word of the year for 2023. The use of this term has surged fourfold this year, making it the winner among other contenders like “ultraprocessed” and “debanking.”

TIME’s Annual Best Inventions List for 2023

TIME features 200 game-changing innovations, alongside 50 special mention inventions. The year 2023 has been one of the most exciting years for AI, as was also highlighted by the State of AI report 2023. Therefore, it is not surprising that among TIME’s top 200 inventions, at least 44 are AI-powered, further emphasizing the profound impact of AI on this year’s technological landscape.

Here, we’ve compiled a list of the best AI-driven innovations recognized by TIME:

AI: Adobe Photoshop Generative Expand and Generative Fill, OpenAI GPT-4, Runway Gen-2, Alitheon FeaturePrint, Dedrone City-Wide Drone Detection, Meta SeamlessM4T, So-VITS-SVC, AlertCalifornia and Cal Fire AI Wildfire Detector, Stable Audio, TrailGuard AI, OpenAI Dall-E 3, Project Gutenberg Open Audiobook Collection, Audio Shake, Humane Ai Pin

Apps&Software: Adobe Liquid Mode, Spotify DJ

AR&VR: Apple Vision Pro

Consumer Electronics: Loftie Clock, Sony Alpha 7R V, Apple Watch Ultra 2

Design: Iambic Model T

Experimental: NVIDIA Neuralangelo

Fitness: Bhout Bag

Medical Care: InVision AI, Targeted Real-Time Early Warning System, iLet Bionic Pancreas

Outdoors: Shift Robotics Moonwalkers, ePlant TreeTag, Bird Buddy

Parenting: Bark Phone

Productivity: UiPath Clipboard AI, Hearth Display

Reuse&Recycle: AMP Cortex-C

Robotics: Sanctuary AI Phoenix, Columbia University Robotic Hand

Sustainability: Tidal, BeeHome 4

Transportation: Czinger 21C, Ryse Recon, Callboats CAT 10 L

Special Mentions: Glaze, Leia Lume Pad 2, Eufy Dual Cameras

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