Tech Titans and Trendsetters,
Today is October 30th, 2023, and here's your daily dose of the latest happenings in the tech world. Dive into the key stories that are setting the pace in today's digital landscape:
Meta's EU Launch - Ad-free subscriptions unveiled.
Maps' AI Revolution - Google's immersive, AI-driven features.
Google's $2B Bet - Investment in Anthropic's AI tech.
Bard Goes Live - Google's chatbot now interrupts real-time.
ChatGPT's New Era - OpenAI's latest beta features unveiled.
AI's White House Play - 10 directives reshaping tech.
Cloud's Growth Hurdle - Startup declines impacting pace.
iOS 17.2 Journal - Balancing self-reflection and AI concerns.
Stay ahead, stay updated, and read on to delve deeper into these groundbreaking stories. Cheers to innovation!
Meta announced plans to launch ad-free subscription plans for Facebook and Instagram in Europe from next month. The monthly subscriptions, costing between 10-13 euros ($10.60-$13.78) are available only to users aged 18 or above. The decision follows a European Court of Justice ruling requiring user consent for personalized ads. Subscriptions replace personalized ads as a 'valid form of consent.' Meta stated it will still run personalized ads through its ad-supported service.
💡 Why does this matter?
Meta's introduction of paid, ad-free subscriptions for Facebook and Instagram could transform the user experience on these platforms. Tech industry players, particularly in digital advertising, should examine the opportunities this shift could create. Meta's new strategy, balancing regulatory requirements and revenue generation, could set a precedent for any tech company handling user data.
A dramatic increase in startup bankruptcies is impacting the cloud industry, with 212 businesses closing in the third quarter, per data from Carta. This trend may disrupt the growth of cloud providers, as their revenue partly depends on startup expenditure. Particularly affected could be Amazon Web Services, which has traditionally catered to startup companies. However, the growing demand for AI cloud services, specifically linked to Microsoft, may cushion this effect.
💡 Why does this matter?
The current startup extinction wave, leading to many bankruptcies and shutdowns, significantly impacts the cloud industry, which relies heavily on startup expenditure. Cloud giants like Amazon Web Services, previously boosted by startups, face potential growth issues. Nonetheless, the emergence of AI-focused startups bolstered demand for AI cloud services, offering a novel revenue stream for the cloud industry.
According to industry leaders Bill Gates and Sundar Pichai, generative AI technology is becoming a central feature in smartphones. The technology played a significant role in Google's Pixel 8 launch, with AI algorithms picking out best facial expressions in group photos. Similarly, the next smartphone processor from Qualcomm is said to be designed to hasten AI processing tasks. Furthermore, Apple is developing new features that fall largely on AI technology, reportedly enhancing the functionality of the iPhone. The tech is anticipated to assume an even bigger role in smartphones beyond 2024.
Twitter has introduced new subscription options: a $3/mo Basic tier offering longer posts and custom app icons without a verification checkmark and a $16/mo Premium+ tier with an ad-free experience. The existing $8/mo Premium verification tier remains unchanged.
The White House has issued an executive order targeting the regulation of AI, featuring ten key mandates. These include a requirement for leading AI developers, such as OpenAI, Google, and Microsoft, to share results of safety tests with the Federal government, new standards for biosynthesis screening, and labeling of AI-generated content. The order aims to ensure cybersecurity, address discrimination issues raised by AI, and support workers potentially affected by AI advancements.
💡 Why does this matter?
This new AI regulation could dramatically alter the tech industry, affecting major players like OpenAI, Google, and Microsoft, as well as smaller companies and startups. It emphasizes safety, transparency, and ethical considerations, creating a more stringent environment for AI development and utilization. This could also serve as a blueprint for other countries' AI regulations, potentially harmonizing global standards.
OpenAI is enhancing the capabilities of ChatGPT Plus, introducing new beta features for subscribers that include file upload and analysis, as well as multimodal support. The update includes Advanced Data Analysis and more autonomous functioning, guessing user needs based on context. The chatbot can now handle text and image files, allowing for data summarization, answering queries, and generating data visualizations and image iterations.
Google has upgraded its Bard AI chatbot to respond in real-time, including mid-sentence response cutoffs and answer draft previews, enhancing Gmail email summaries.
Meta is being criticized by artists over its data deletion process for AI training models, describing it as a "fake PR stunt" due to its apparent non-functionality and lack of transparency.
Google Maps is introducing significant design changes and AI-boosted functionalities to aid navigation and location discovery better. The new Immersive View feature for Routes has launched in numerous cities, offering a photorealistic preview of the journey. Google also plans to roll-out enhanced EV charging station details, AI-powered specific searches, and a more precise and user-friendly map color scheme. Developers will access enhanced EV charging information via the Places API and an upcoming Photorealistic 3D Tiles feature.
Apple's developer beta for iOS 17.2 introduces the Journal app, a digital diary that enables users to log activities and utilize machine learning for entry prompts. Additional features include bookmarking entries and setting a writing schedule. The beta also presents new music playlist options, an identity verification feature on iMessage, and an enhancement of Siri's health data logging function. Apple TV users can expect a new navigation sidebar for improved content accessibility.
The secretive startup Humane's new device, the Ai Pin, may retail for about $1,000 and also require a monthly data subscription. This wearable, screenless device is packed with features like a camera, microphone, speaker, sensors, and a laser projector. Set for launch on November 9th, a proprietary large-language model powers it and operates as a phone, contextual computer, and software platform. Its ambitious vision entails a paradigm shift in consumer computing.
Apple has introduced new functionalities to the Shortcuts app with iOS 17, enhancing automation and task optimization. Added actions include "Transcribe Audio," "Open Camera," and "Show Passwords". ""Set Timer” and "Get Network Details" updates improve timer management and network information access. These changes boost productivity, streamline workflows and simplify life for iOS 17 users.
Apple's iOS 17.2 beta introduces a new iMessage security feature, Contact Key Verification (CKV). Alerting users about unverified device keys, CKV ensures the authenticity of contacts. All devices logged into an iCloud account must have iOS 17.2, macOS 14.2, or watchOS 10.2 to enable this. No compromise on iPhone's functionality is needed to utilize this safeguard.