1- OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot is reactivated in Italy after addressing data privacy concerns
OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot has been reactivated in Italy after being temporarily banned by the country’s data protection authority last month over suspected privacy breaches. OpenAI, which is backed by Microsoft, has addressed the issues raised by the authority, offering a tool to verify users’ ages in Italy and a form for EU users to object to the use of their personal data to train models. Italy was the first Western European country to curb ChatGPT, but the development of generative AI tools like ChatGPT has attracted the attention of regulators in several countries. As a result, the European Data Protection Board has set up a task force to investigate the chatbot.
2- Apple to Make Widgets Central in watchOS 10 Overhaul and Introduce New Health Features
Apple plans to give its smartwatch a significant software overhaul with watchOS 10 by bringing back widgets and making them a central part of the interface, according to a report. The new widgets system will let users scroll through different widgets rather than launching apps, similar to the widget stacks feature in iOS and iPadOS. The company is also testing the idea of changing the functions of several watch’s buttons, such as launching widgets instead of the home screen. The update is set to debut at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June. Additionally, Apple is working on significant new health features, including an AI coach, iPad health app, and mood and vision management tools.
3- Spotify-owned audiobook distributor Findaway Voices has removed its 20% distribution fee for audiobooks sold on Spotify
The move is expected to attract independent authors to the platform by offering the highest royalty available for sales made through Findaway Voices. The change will give authors the full 50% of the list price they set. Spotify says it is at the beginning of its journey to support independent authors and has plans to help them expand their reach, maximise revenue, and build a strong audiobook business. Spotify launched support for audiobooks in the US last September and has since rolled out the service in several other countries.
4- AI-powered chatbots have been utilised to generate numerous content farms for news.
Dozens of low-quality news websites generated by AI chatbots are proliferating online, according to a report by NewsGuard. Many of these websites began publishing this year as AI tools began to be widely used by the public. The websites are based all over the world and publish in several languages, including English, Portuguese, Tagalog, and Thai. These sites are content farms run by anonymous sources that churn out posts to bring in advertising revenue. NewsGuard found that the chatbots generated falsehoods for published pieces, which raises questions about how the technology may supercharge established fraud techniques.
5- AI-equipped drones designed to eliminate weeds are being developed for large-scale farms.
Canadian startup Precision AI has developed a drone equipped with an AI system that identifies and kills weeds, reducing herbicide use by up to 90%. The technology, which can cover 80 acres per hour, aims to reduce the environmental toll of prolonged exposure to weed killers and preserve biodiversity. The drones are fitted with a camera that can detect anything larger than half a sesame seed, allowing the AI to identify weeds with 96% accuracy and spray them individually. Founded in 2017, Precision AI was one of a dozen winners of BloombergNEF’s 2023 Pioneers award, which celebrates early-stage climate tech innovators.
6- Russia’s Sberbank introduced GigaChat as a competitor to Microsoft’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard
Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, has introduced its own generative AI tool called GigaChat, which is currently undergoing an invite-only testing phase. The tool can answer user questions, carry out a conversation, write program code, and create texts and images based on descriptions within a single context. Sberbank’s tool is aimed at competing with Microsoft-backed ChatGPT and Google’s Bard, with the company claiming that GigaChat is unique in its open architecture. The model’s global analogs, on the other hand, are based on closed AI principles. The bank’s virtual assistant, Salut, is expected to soon gain all the capabilities of the new model.
Source: National News
7- SpaceX Starship prototype explodes during landing attempt after successful launch
SpaceX’s latest Starship prototype, SN20, successfully launched and completed a 90-minute orbital flight test. However, during the landing phase, the spacecraft exploded upon impact with the landing pad. This was the second time a Starship prototype failed to land safely during testing. Despite the setback, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk expressed optimism and confidence in the progress of the Starship program. The company plans to continue testing and iterating on the design as it aims to develop a fully reusable rocket that can transport humans and cargo to the moon, Mars, and beyond.
8- Snap added to its AI chatbot a new ability to generate images
Snapchat has announced that its AI chatbot, My AI, will be able to respond to users’ messages with AI-generated images. The company, owned by Snap Inc, built My AI using OpenAI’s ChatGPT technology, and aims to use generative AI to develop its augmented reality (AR) features. My AI is now open for free to all Snapchat users and will recommend lenses and real-world places to visit. Snap has also launched AR mirrors for stores to help customers virtually try on clothes and accessories, with Nike and Men’s Warehouse already using them. In addition, snap’s enterprise division allows companies to build their own AR experiences.
9- No more red envelopes: Netflix is going to discontinue its DVD-by-mail service
Netflix is shutting down its DVD-by-mail service, which started around 25 years ago, due to the shrinking demand and inability to provide a quality service. The company will send out the last discs on September 29. The service paved the way for the shift to streaming, and it was the first time Netflix’s gamble on an emerging technology allowed it to challenge an entrenched competitor. The decision to shut down the DVD rental service marks the end of an era for Netflix, which started as a mail-order DVD rental business before transitioning to streaming.
10- Twitter removes outdated verification checkmarks from its platform
Twitter has announced the removal of verification checkmarks from accounts that no longer meet its updated criteria for verification. This move comes after years of complaints that the blue checkmarks were being handed out inconsistently, leading to confusion and frustration among users. The updated verification policy will prioritise verification for accounts that are of public interest, active, and complete, among other factors. The removal of the legacy verification checkmarks is expected to take several weeks. Twitter also plans to introduce new types of verification, including badges for specific interests and expertise.