Goodbye Cortana, Hello Generative AI

This week, we mourn the lose of Microsoft’s tech star Cortana. Meanwhile, on the medical front, AI is simultaneously promising to revolutionize cancer care and raising concerns about its adaptability and patient comprehension. These aren’t the only concerns AI is facing at the moment, either. As Generative AI tools grow exponentially in popularity, they continue to fuel the debate: machine vs. artist. Are we witnessing the rise of creative machines or merely an evolution of technology’s impact on artistic expression? Have we reached the "Creative Singularity”? Is this a new era or just the next evolution? Let the AI saga continue.

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Welcome to the August 13, 2023 edition of the Digest.

Cortana, Microsoft’s once-prominent virtual assistant, has found her final resting place in the ever-expanding graveyard of failed tech products.

The farewell follows years of controversy over voice-data access, echoing uncertainties for other assistant apps, like Amazon’s Alexa. The company, in a forward-looking move, has halted support for Cortana's Bing-powered voice control on Windows, making way for an AI-infused Bing experience and its array of digital offerings.In the evolving landscape of AI-driven digital companions, how will Cortana's departure shape Microsoft's strategy and inspire innovations in the realm of virtual assistants? Link.

AI is learning how to flex its diagnostic muscles, according to new research.



A study published in the journal Radiology revealed that AI can outshine conventional methods in predicting cancer risk. Doctors have long relied on age, family history, and mammogram-assessed breast density to predict risk; AI, on the other hand dives into the data to discern subtle patterns and structures in mammograms that are linked to future risks. While AI could refine screenings and preventative therapies —essentially revolutionizing cancer care— its use is also raising questions. Just how adaptable is the technology’s decision-making, particularly surrounding the patient diversity and case severity? And just how will practitioners  integrate these tools while ensuring patients’ understanding of the risk assessment process? Link.

Are we experiencing the Creative Singularity, the moment in which machines have surpassed human capability in the creative realm?

Certainly, the surge in popularity of text-to-image generators like Midjourney, DALL-E 2, and Stable Diffusion have thrown the creative world into a contentious debate about the future of human creativity and the role of machines in artistic production. While Generative AI tools promise a democratization of creative expression, they also raise questions over automation's impact on creative labor and the authenticity of output. Amid debates and protests, the notion of a "Creative Singularity" arises, challenging the conventional boundaries of creative expression and production. With AI tools democratizing creativity, reshaping aesthetics, and transforming cultural dynamics, the question remains: Are we on the brink of a new era of creativity, or is this merely a continuation of technological evolution? Link.