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Google is opening up its generative AI search experience to teenagers

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Google is opening its generative AI search experience to teenagers, the company announced on Thursday. The company is also introducing a new feature to add context to the content that users see, along with an update to help train the search experience’s AI model to better detect false or offensive queries.

The AI-powered search experience, also known as SGE (Search Generative Experience), introduces a conversational mode to Google Search where you can ask Google questions about a topic in a conversational manner.

Starting this week, teens ages 13-17 in the United States who are signed into a Google Account will be able to sign up for Search Labs to access the AI search experience through the Google app or Chrome desktop.

“Generative AI can help younger people ask questions they couldn’t typically get answered by a search engine and pose follow-up questions to help them dig deeper,” wrote Senior Director of Product Management at Google Hema Budaraju in a blog post. “As we introduce this new technology to teens, we want to strike the right balance in creating opportunities for them to benefit from all it has to offer, while also prioritizing safety and meeting their developmental needs. Informed by research and experts in teen development, we’ve built additional safeguards into the experience.”

Google's AI Search experience depicted on a phone

Image Credits: Google

Budaraju notes that Google has designed guardrails to prevent inappropriate or harmful content from surfacing. For instance, the company has placed stronger protections for “outputs related to illegal or age-gated substances or bullying.”

The expansion to teenagers comes as Google notes that since the launch of SGE, it’s found the experience is more popular among younger users. Google said the highest satisfaction scores are among those ages 18-24, who the company believes like to ask their questions in a more conversational manner.

In addition to opening the AI search experience to teenagers, Google is introducing a new feature to give users more context about the content that they see. The company is adding an “About this result” notice, which has long been available in the standard Google Search experience, to the AI search experience. Google says the notices will give people context about how SGE generated the response, so they can get a better idea of how the technology works.

Google soon plans to add “About this result” to the individual links that are included in SGE responses, so people can understand more about the web pages that back up the information in AI-powered overviews.

Google's new About This Result feature depicted on a phone

Image Credits: Google

The company says it’s focused on making targeted improvements to the AI search experience. One area where it’s looking to improve is when a query includes a false or offensive premise, which can result in an AI-powered response that ends up validating the false or offensive claim. Google notes that this can happen even if the web pages themselves point to reliable information.

To help address this situation, Google is rolling out an update to help train the AI model to better detect these types of false or offensive premise queries, and respond with higher-quality, more accurate responses. The company is also working on solutions to use large language models to critique their own first draft responses on sensitive topics, and then rewrite them based on quality and safety principles.

Google has spent the last few months updating the AI search experience with things like support for videos and images, local info and travel recommendations, along with new tools to provide summaries and definitions. It has also started to experiment with ads that would appear next to the AI-generated responses.



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NASA reveals footage of astronauts training in desert for moon mission

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It’s taken more than half a century, but NASA really is going back to the moon.

Some of the space agency’s astronauts have been training in the Northern Arizona desert for the looming Artemis 3 mission, which is currently slated to land in September 2026. Decades of other U.S. space priorities (such as the Space Shuttle and building the International Space Station), along with the astronomical costs of sending astronauts to our natural satellite, have impeded such a return endeavor.

But after the successful launch of NASA’s new megarocket in 2022 — the Space Launch System — the moon mission’s wheels are turning, albeit slowly. That’s because every component of the agency’s new lunar campaign, dubbed Artemis, must be profoundly safe. Lives will be aboard.

NASA has released images of the astronauts’ May 2024 training in the desert, including a recent view of NASA astronauts Kate Rubins and Andre Douglas simulating a nighttime space walk (the official Artemis 3 astronaut crew has yet to be announced). Training in the dark or twilight is essential, as the conditions mimic the dark, shadowy regions Artemis astronauts will explore: NASA is going to the moon’s south pole region, a place where the sun barely rises over the lunar hills. It’s a world of profoundly long shadows and dim environs.

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The endeavor you see below is called the Joint Extravehicular Activity and Human Surface Mobility Test Team Field Test 5, or JETT5.

NASA astronauts Kate Rubins and Andre Douglas simulating a moonwalk for the looming Artemis 3 mission.

NASA astronauts Kate Rubins and Andre Douglas simulating a moonwalk for the looming Artemis 3 mission.
Credit: NASA / Josh Valcarcel

On left: Astronaut Andre Douglas reviews sample collection procedures. On right: Astronaut Kate Rubins ensures she has the necessary tools.

On left: Astronaut Andre Douglas reviews sample collection procedures. On right: Astronaut Kate Rubins ensures she has the necessary tools.
Credit: NASA / Josh Valcarcel

Astronaut Kate Rubins used a hammer to drive in tube that will collect soil samples from the ground. On the moon, these samples will be sealed and then returned to Earth.

Astronaut Kate Rubins used a hammer to drive in tube that will collect soil samples from the ground. On the moon, these samples will be sealed and then returned to Earth.
Credit: NASA / Josh Valcarcel

The two astronauts pushing a tool cart across the desert surface.

The two astronauts pushing a tool cart across the desert surface.
Credit: NASA / Josh Valcarcel

NASA captured these images in a rugged region called the San Francisco Volcanic Field. The area astronauts are headed to is also quite rugged. It’s a heavily cratered region, teeming with volcanic rocks. Crucially, they’ll be hunting for ice deposits, too.

“The ice deposits could also serve as an important resource for exploration because they are comprised of hydrogen and oxygen that can be used for rocket fuel or life support systems,” NASA explained.

The moon may one day serve as a lunar fuel depot, where after burning copious amounts of fuel during launch, spacecraft stop to fill up for deeper space missions. They may be headed to Mars, resource-rich asteroids, or beyond.





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Webb Telescope Discovers Galaxies Formed Right After Birth Of The Universe With Earliest Elements

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A group of astronomers sifting through the James Webb Space Telescope have found three galaxies from the earliest universe. According to their findings, which have been published in the journal Science, the universe was just 400 to 600 million years old when the said galaxies were born. According to current estimates, the universe is about 13.8 billion years old.

Kasper Heintz, the lead author and an assistant professor of astrophysics at the University of Copenhagen, called these galaxies “sparkling islands in a sea of otherwise neutral, opaque gas.”

ALSO SEE: Webb Telescope Finds Best Evidence Of Potential Atmosphere Around A ‘Super-Earth’

Scientists believe that the universe was very different during the Era of Reionisation – the period of several hundred million years after the big bang. At this point, gas between stars and galaxies was largely opaque and things became transparent only after one billion year later.

About the galaxies discovered using the Webb telescope‘s data, they are believed to be surrounded by almost purely hydrogen and helium which are the earliest elements to form in the universe.

Darach Watson, a co-author of the paper, said that the large gas resorvoirs suggest that “the galaxies have not had enough time to form most of their stars yet.”

Moving forward, the researchers will work to build large statistical samples of these galaxies and measure the prevalence and prominence of their features.

ALSO SEE: Webb Telescope Discovers Oldest Ever Black Hole Merger From Over 13 Billion Years Ago

(Image: NASA)





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Neuralink’s Rival Company Precision Creates World Record By Placing Over 4,000 Electrodes In Human Brain

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Elon Musk-owned Neuralink’s rival Precision Neuroscience has set the world record for placing 4,096 electrodes in the human brain. It is double the number of electrodes placed last year – 2,048.

According to the official statement, the record-setting operation took place in April at the Mount Sinai Health System in New York, as part of an ongoing clinical trial for the brain chip.

Precision’s chip in the brain. Image: Precision Neuroscience

Precision’s implant uses a thin-film microelectrode array containing 1,024 miniature electrodes covering 1.6 square cm of area. Four such arrays were placed on the patient’s brain.

More number of electrodes will ensure higher data transmission to and from the brain, and this will determine the capability of the chip.

ALSO SEE: Neuralink’s Paralysed Patient Desires A Tesla Robot Assistant He Can Control With His Mind

“This record is a significant step towards a new era. The ability to capture cortical information of this magnitude and scale could allow us to understand the brain in a much deeper way,” said Benjamin Rapoport, Precision’s co-founder and Chief Science Officer.

Also a co-founder of Neuralink, Rapoport exited the company and established Precision with two other Neuralink members in 2021.

According to Ars Technica, he told The Wall Street Journal that the reason for his exit from Neuralink were the safety concerns regarding the brain implants which he says are too invasive.

ALSO SEE: Elon Musk’s Neuralink Gets Approval For Second Chip Implant In Human Brain

The company claims that its ‘Layer 7 Cortical Interface’ can conform to the brain’s cortex with minimal invasiveness and without damaging any tissue.

Neuralink is currently at the forefront in the brain-computer interface game. It implanted the chip in the first patient earlier this year and is preparing for the second operation.

As for Precision, it is testing its chip through research collaborations with West Virginia University’s Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute, Perelman School of Medicine (Penn Medicine), and New York’s Mount Sinai Health System.

(Image: Precision Neuroscience)





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