Your round-up of the stories shaping tomorrow's world from The National
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Newsletter

Hello there,

Back in the day, if you needed a question answering and didn't have a human fountain of knowledge nearby you could log on to the internet (after dialling up the modem) and ask Jeeves.

While Jeeves has hung up his smart suit, Ask.com remains, but if you've had a question in the past decade then there's really been only one place to go - and that's Google.

However, there is a new kid on the digital block, and it doesn't just answer questions, but can write essays and solve technical problems as well.

OpenAI's ChatGPT was described as "scary good" by Elon Musk, who knows a thing or two about artificial intelligence and was a co-founder of the company.

But can it handle our constant need for information and become part of the lexicon like "Google it" has?

While it doesn't quite roll off the tongue as easily, it has really sent social media into a spin this week, with Twitter users posting all sorts of impressive results from their requests on ChatGPT.

Even Jeeves would be impressed.

Elsewhere, hydrogen use for transport has been making headlines, Tesla has rolled out its electric truck and Dyson is about to unleash what may be the headphones of the future on the market.

Have a good week.

Ian Oxborrow, Business Audience Growth Editor

 

ChatGPT: the 'scary good' new AI program

Artificial intelligence is making chatbots more life-like and knowledgable. Photo: iLexx

In brief | This isn't just a chatbot like you find on a company helpdesk when you need to speak to an advisor. This is one that actually mimics human speech and positively pours out information, showing how far artificial intelligence has advanced. It scans massive volumes of content found on the internet and uses it to predict how to generate text.

Quoted | “Soon you will be able to have helpful assistants that talk to you, answer questions and give advice."

— OpenAI co-founder and chief executive Sam Altman

Why it matters | Because it is like a living, breathing mind that can perform mental tasks like humans - only better in many cases. School pupils are asking it to do their homework for them, and it's going to need to be closely watched to differentiate between what is authentic and what isn't. It's also adept at bending the truth.

Sheikh Hamdan, Crown Prince of Dubai, witnessed the signing of three partnership agreements. Photo: Dubai Media Office

Dubai Future Labs | An initiative of Dubai Future Foundation, DFL has signed three preliminary deals with Emirates airline, DP World and Dnata, aimed at driving innovation in the fields of aviation and logistics. DFL runs advanced robotics and AI applied research projects that are aimed at raising Dubai’s future readiness.

Under the bonnet | Is the future electric cars or hydrogen powered - or both? BMW announced it has started production of its first Sports Activity Vehicle featuring hydrogen fuel cell technology.

Long time coming | Tesla's Semi model, an electric truck, was first unveiled in 2017 by Elon Musk, and the first ones have finally been delivered with Pepsi the recipient. Tesla said charging with electricity is about 2.5 times cheaper per mile than refuelling with diesel.

 

Predicting the future | Signal or noise? Headphones with an air purifying face mask made by Dyson. It sounds like something out of the year 2051, but is actually here and now (well, they're out in January). They are designed to help people who live in noisy and polluted cities.

This is noise | It's a fine idea, no doubt, and the health benefits are to be commended. However, humans are an image-conscious bunch and the Dyson Zone makes you look rather like a cyborg. I can't see them catching on, especially with a price tag close to $1,000.

 

In case you missed it

Visitors test VR headsets at the Dubai Metaverse Assembly at the Museum of Future. Khushnum Bhandari / The National

The metaverse is projected to contribute about $15 billion to GCC economies annually by 2030, led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, a new study has found. The travel and tourism industry is seen as benefiting the most.

The launch of the UAE's Rashid rover to the Moon is now set for December 11 after several delays. The rover will begin studying an unexplored region of the Moon and will gather data on the Moon's soil, dust and electrically charged particles. It is expected to take thousands of images.

It's not just cars looking to hydrogen for clean fuel, but the aviation industry too. The sector could use 15 per cent to 20 per cent of the world's projected hydrogen supply of 600 million tonnes by 2050 for the production of sustainable aviation fuels and to power new aircraft, Iata said.