Gemini misses the mark as AI goes social in this week’s biggest Android news

18/04/2024

If it feels like the AI ​​revolution is happening too fast, too bad — there’s money to be had and many companies see the tech as the biggest cash cow since the dot-com boom. That became more apparent this week in Android news, as Google had to hit pause on a Gemini feature that was clearly a bit undercooked, and we found out which “unnamed large AI company” was injecting Reddit with capital ahead of its IPO. Meanwhile, a popular app has died, some Wyze cam users might be dying of embarrassment, and a pair of drop-dead gorgeous smartwatches are making headlines this week.

Get Caught Up

Here’s what happened last week in the world of Android

Android 15 goes live, Samsung claps back with an update, and an old Frankenphone finally surfaces

Gemini misses the mark

Google continues to be all-in on Gemini, its new multimodal AI model that continues to find its way into the company’s products lately, but it’s not all roses this week. After rebranding Duet AI to Gemini in Workspace while launching new subscription tiers to access the AI ​​in apps like Gmail, Docs, and Slides, Google followed up with more good vibes as it unveiled Gemma, a family of open AI models created for developers to leverage .

But things quickly took a sour turn towards the end of the week when users noticed that Gemini had a tendency to create inaccurate and sometimes insensitive images when asked to generate pictures of historical figures and settings. Google responded by temporarily disabling Gemini’s ability to generate images of people, and the company explained that its tuning of the feature to try and avoid user abuse was at least partly to blame. Gemini still can’t generate images of people as of this weekend, and Google says it will work to improve the feature “significantly” before turning it back on.

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Google pauses Gemini’s ability to generate images of people

The AI ​​was caught generating problematic content like racially diverse Nazis

Google-Reddit AI training partnership

At the beginning of the week, we learned of an “unnamed large AI company” coming to an agreement to access Reddit’s treasure trove of user-submitted content for the purposes of training its AI model. The deal was said to be worth $60 million annually, and it was expected to boost Reddit’s value ahead of its anticipated IPO next month.

Days later, we learned the AI ​​company was, you guessed it, Google. The Search company announced that it will be partnering with Reddit to provide cloud services while training its AI on the social media aggregator’s API — you know, the same API that famously went paid last year, leading to the sudden death of most third-party Reddit clients. As we saw with the first story in this roundup, Gemini still has some learning to do — we’re just not sure Reddit’s toxic comment sections will be the best teachers.

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Google will use Reddit’s hate-filled content to train its AI

Deal for $60 million per year was struck ahead of Reddit’s rumored IPO

The Google Pay app is dead

The Google Pay app’s ridiculously circuitous journey has finally come to an end — in the US, at least. After helping to popularize mobile payments, Google Wallet was combined with Android Pay to form Google Pay, only to be renamed to Google Wallet again years later. Along the way, the Google Pay brand was revived as a peer-to-peer payments app in some markets, including the United States, but that app is now being killed off.

Users have until June to withdraw any money left in the app, but can continue accessing Google Pay on the web thereafter. It’s a bit of a mess, to be honest, so we recommend reading the full story below.

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The Google Pay app is shutting down in the US

The app will be killed in favor of Google Wallet in June

Wyze users get spied on again

It’s becoming all too common that internet-based security cameras do the exact opposite of what they’re intended to by making people feel unsafe in their own homes after data breaches and other technical gaffes. Wyze has been among these cameras in the past, and it now finds itself doing damage control for a serious screw-up yet again.

After service went offline briefly last weekend, some Wyze cam users were greeted by event notifications from other people’s homes, including thumbnails, and in some cases, actual video clips. Wyze said 99.75% of users were unaffected, but with the company’s cameras being so cheap that they’re firmly in impulse-buy territory, that 0.25% still represents a large number of people who might now be looking for a new security camera.

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Wyze is once again caught in security incident affecting thousands

For a security camera company, Wyze is definitely bad at security

Two of Android’s biggest names take the wraps off new watches

Finally, with MWC 2024 kicking off in Barcelona this week, we saw new smartwatch offerings from OnePlus and Samsung. The former all but announced its OnePlus Watch 2, saying “it’s time to do it right” after a poorly-received first generation watch. The Watch 2 is set to debut today, February 24, and it features a bold new design that’s sure to turn heads.

Meanwhile, Samsung revived the Galaxy Fit line with a new smartwatch that’s so wide you can’t call it a fitness band anymore. We’re not complaining, though, as it has a bit of an Apple Watch vibe and seems packed to the gills with all the functionality you could need in both a watch and a health tracker. We’re still anxious to check it out for a full review, but in the meantime, you can read up on all the juicy details at the link below.

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