OpenAI’s GPT-5 plans and Apple’s ‘most advanced’ hardware of 2024 lead ZDNET’s Innovation Index

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Welcome to ZDNET’s Innovation Index, which identifies the most innovative developments in tech from the past week and ranks the top four, based on votes from our panel of editors and experts. Our mission is to help you identify the trends that will have the biggest impact on the future.

Unsurprisingly, three out of four of this week’s top trends revolve around AI, straddling big-picture developments with smaller-scale — but just as crucial — product improvements.

Without even materializing, OpenAI’s GPT-5 topped this week’s leaderboard on buzz and anticipation alone. Just weeks after the arrival of GPT-4o, we’re looking forward to improved accuracy and multimodality from OpenAI’s next model, as well as potential advancements towards artificial general intelligence (AGI). With no release date set, any autonomous capability claims from OpenAI are speculative — for now.

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Next up was Meta’s promising new approach to large language models (LLMs). Scientists at the company are exploring a solution to hallucinations that penalizes models for producing wrong answers. While there’s still plenty of testing to be done, it’s resulted in some benchmark improvements so far. If the team can successfully evolve how models decide which words to string together, the result could mean greater sophistication and contextual accuracy for generated text.

Ranked third was Microsoft planning to turn Windows Copilot into an app, a move that would bring the AI assistant’s UX up to speed with other tools. Of course, using Copilot in Windows will be even easier — as in, single-click easy — if you have one of Microsoft’s slick new AI-powered PCs. Either way, we’re looking forward to how the improved functionality will expand usage.

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Closing out the week at number four was ZDNET’s assertion that the new iPad Pro is Apple’s “most advanced piece of hardware in 2024.” The thin, light form factor and Tandem OLED display just might be as cutting-edge as they look, putting the iPad back on the map.

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