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The Bright Side of AI #3: Meta's AI Gift, BMW's AI-Driven Production, and South Park's AI Doppelganger

Gaétan Lajeune
Jul 28, 2023

The Bright Side of AI #3: Meta's AI Gift, BMW's AI-Driven Production, and South Park's AI Doppelganger

2 min read

In the last edition of The Bright Side of AI, we dove into medical breakthroughs and solutions to tackle food waste. And now, we're back with even more positive AI innovations from this past week. Buckle up, here we go!

Meta Rolls Out Its New AI Model on Microsoft for Free

As the AI showdown between OpenAI's ChatGPT and Google's Bard heats up, a new contender has entered the ring: Meta. The powerhouse behind Facebook and Whatsapp recently dropped a bombshell by announcing that its AI is now freely available on Microsoft's Azure Cloud Services. Microsoft, which Meta refers to as "their preferred partner".

Originally whipped up to cater to Meta's in-house needs, Llama 2 is now up for grabs for everyone. Meta is of the belief that open-sourcing AI is the golden ticket to ensuring the safety of such tools.

By injecting an open-source element into AI, has Meta just thrown a wrench in the works for OpenAI and Google's dominance in the sector? It's a possibility! The ball is now in the developers' court to see what they can cook up with this open-source bonanza...

BMW's AI Revolution: Turbocharging Production and Cutting Costs

AI is shaking up sectors far and wide, and the auto industry is no exception. But today, we're not zeroing in on its role in self-driving cars or road safety. Instead, we're spotlighting its use in the actual production of BMW vehicles.

While automation in car manufacturing isn't a new concept, it's just kicked into high gear at Spantanburg in South Carolina, BMW's powerhouse where a whopping 60% of vehicles sold in the US roll off the assembly line! 

The company has announced that it's deploying robots to ramp up production efficiency and quality. In practical terms, AI-driven robots are welding parts while another AI checks the weld for precision. If this control AI isn't happy with the outcome, it can instruct the robots to make corrections!

This cutting-edge technology has led to a five-fold surge in the production speed of the 1,500 vehicles churned out daily at the plant. Plus, the elimination of human labor for the operation has also allowed the company to reallocate its workforce, saving over a million dollars a year!

But that's not the only way AI is being put to work. New AI-powered software is also turbocharging BMW's inspection process. How does it pull this off? Well, thanks to cameras scattered across the site that snap photos of SUVs in production, and pinpoint and report issues to a human if needed. Lastly, AI also enables a 3D "digital twin" of the factory to be created, allowing instant adjustments and an understanding of their impact on production before they're actually rolled out. This digitization process, which used to take several months, now takes just a few days thanks to AI. Will this slash in production costs trickle down to vehicle prices? That's the million-dollar question that's still up in the air.

Oh My God they Cloned South Park! You basta***!

Could the Hollywood writers' strike be a boon for AI? The jury's still out on that one, but what we do know is that it could already step in for Trey Parker and Matt Stone on South Park! Fable Simulation, a U.S. firm, has revealed that it's been cooking up AI Showrunner, an AI capable of whipping up short original episodes of the animated series South Park.

This is where the programmer shines, taking the reins on the entire production of an episode tailored to your request. Dialogue, plot, animation, voices, and even editing - the program handles it all, as you can see! And if you're itching to bring your own character to life, just lend your voice and appearance to the AI and watch it work its magic!

However, fans of Trey and Matt can breathe a sigh of relief. According to Edward Saatchi, CEO of Fable Simulation, this tool won't be up for grabs to the public. It's merely a research project to close the AI loop that South Park is already part of.

Let's not forget that in addition to co-writing "Deep Learning," the fourth episode of season 26 with ChatGPT, Trey Parker and Matt Stone announced last year that they had secured a $20 million investment for their own AI entertainment company, Deep Voodoo. This venture creates state-of-the-art deepfake technologies, profitable visual effects services, and original synthetic media projects. And so, the circle is complete.

From optimized vehicle production and improved working conditions to the creation of larger-than-life fan series and the end of the Google/OpenAI rivalry, AI has a lot going for it. These bright spots partially overshadow its darker side, which we touched on recently and will delve into again this week in The Dark Side of AI. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter  and join us on Discord so you don't miss a beat.

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