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Science Saturday: OpenAI, pyramids, humanoid robot and solar power

Tech It Out


OpenAI debuts GPT-4o

OpenAI has unveiled GPT-4o, its newest conversational AI model. The letter "o" stands for "omni." The new model is an update from the company's previous GPT-4 model, which launched just over a year ago.

Based on the company's demonstration, GPT-4o is capable of realistic voice conversations and interactions across text and images. The new model can handle 50 different languages and respond to users' audio prompts in as little as 232 milliseconds. The company said the new model will also be available to unpaid customers.

Mysteries of pyramids 

The story of how the pyramids were built has remained one of the world's biggest mysteries. But now, archaeologists may have found the answer.

They have discovered a long-buried branch of the Nile River that once flowed alongside more than 30 pyramids. The 64-kilometer-long river branch was hidden under the desert for a millennium.

Archaeologists said it would have provided a vital water route to transport the massive stones to the pyramid sites. The evidence points to a major drought roughly 4,200 years ago. This time coincides with the end of the Sixth Dynasty, around 2340 BC, when pyramid construction largely halted.

Humanoid robot

Recently, Tesla shared a video of its Optimus humanoid robot, showcasing its capabilities in sorting battery cells, walking and undertaking various factory tasks.

Tesla revealed how the Optimus robot can utilize cameras, hand tactile sensors and force sensors to gather data about its environment.

The video highlights the robot's ability to work autonomously, even fixing its own mistakes as it goes along. The company said that the robot is currently undergoing testing at one of its factories, with decreasing human interventions as the robot continues to enhance its performance over time.

Decarbonizing energy 

Researchers in Switzerland are using solar power to smelt steel and cement instead of burning fossil fuels. Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a thermal trap. It exposes a quartz rod to artificial light with an intensity equivalent to 135 times the power of the sun.

It can reach an astounding temperature of 1,050 degrees Celsius. This demonstrates the method's potential role in providing clean energy for carbon-intensive industries.

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