It's November 16, and the tech world is buzzing with Google's new feature, WhatsApp hitting 500M users, Tencent's growth, and Microsoft's AI leaps. Dive into today's top tech stories.
Google Annotations - Personalizing search experiences.
WhatsApp Expands - Reaching 500M users, introduces stickers.
Tencent's Growth - Continues upward trend, misses some marks.
Google's AI Weather - Surpassing traditional forecast accuracy.
Microsoft Chooses Copilot - Shifting from Bing Chat in AI race.
Copilot Studio - Microsoft's new no-code AI solution.
Microsoft's AI Chip - Challenging Nvidia in tech hardware.
Loop Updates - Enhancing project collaboration tools.
Qi2 for iPhone 15 - Revolutionizing wireless charging.
There's much more to these headlines. Keep reading for in-depth analysis and insights on each of these developments.
⚡️ Quick: Google is introducing a "Notes" feature, allowing users to annotate search results and articles. The company will also introduce "follow" queries for batched relevant content and enhance its "Perspectives" feature.
Google is launching a new “Notes” feature, which lets users annotate search results and articles on Discover in the Google app. The notes, displaying colorful text and images, will appear under search results within minutes unless flagged for review. Google is also planning to show batched results related to specific queries followed by users, and it aims to expand its “Perspectives” feature to showcase more information about creators. The company has no plans to share users’ follow data with advertisers or external parties.
💡 Why this matters: Google's new "Notes"" feature might drastically alter the user's search experience and influence search behavior. This tool poses potential regulatory and moderation challenges, as it may inadvertently disseminate misleading or harmful information despite Google's current moderation strategies.
According to Mark Zuckerberg, WhatsApp Channels, the feature enabling users to follow updates from preferred entities, has surpassed 500 million monthly users within seven weeks. The platform is now introducing Stickers to facilitate more interactive channel messages. Prominent figures and groups, including the International Cricket Council, prominent Indian celebrities, and TechBurner, are adopting it. Channels can be accessed through QR codes or direct links, allowing users to create channels.
⚡️ Quick: Microsoft rebrands Bing Chat as Microsoft Copilot, positioning it as a competitor with OpenAI's ChatGPT. The AI chatbot will have free and paid versions and will be accessible via Bing and Windows.
Microsoft is rebranding its Bing Chat AI service to Microsoft Copilot, aiming to compete with OpenAI's ChatGPT. The name change aligns with Microsoft's new branding for its chatbot in Windows 11. Advanced offerings like Copilot for Microsoft 365 will have paid options while the standard service remains free. Microsoft plans to diversify access to Copilot beyond Bing and Windows, launching a dedicated website and supporting it only in Microsoft Edge and Chrome.
💡 Why this matters: Microsoft's shift from Bing Chat to Microsoft Copilot intensifies the competition for AI assistant users, particularly those relating to OpenAI's ChatGPT. This rebranding could expand Microsoft's market opportunity in the tech industry by positioning Copilot as an independent, readily accessible AI for consumers and businesses.
Microsoft's new offering, Copilot Studio, allows businesses to create custom AI co-pilots and integrate ChatGPT AI chatbots. The studio is intended to extend Microsoft 365 Copilot, enabling companies to customize datasets, automation flows, and custom copilots. Additionally, it offers an interface for IT administrators to monitor copilot usage and analytics and even integrate custom ChatGPT chatbots from OpenAI's GPT platform. This development aligns with Microsoft's broader AI strategy for Copilot, which includes new business features and a focus on custom CPU and AI chips.
Microsoft introduced two chips, the Maia 100 AI chip, set to rival Nvidia's high-demand AI GPUs, and the Cobalt 100 Arm chip, targeting general computing tasks and competing with Intel processors. Available commercially on Azure in 2024, the Cobalt chips won't be available for server purchasing, unlike Nvidia or AMD. Microsoft also developed custom hardware, Sidekicks, for efficient data center space and improved cooling. Cobalt processors are allegedly performing 40% better than Azure's existing Arm-based chips in tests.
Google's DeepMind has developed a new weather forecasting model called GraphCast, which outperforms traditional methods over 90% of the time. By placing emphasis on historical data over simulator predictions, GraphCast promises to deliver 10-day weather forecasts that are accurate, swift, and energy-efficient. Interestingly, it performed well predicting extreme weather events, despite not being specifically designed to do so. Developers maintain it should augment, not replace, existing weather forecasting methods.
Ed Newton-Rex, VP of Audio at Stability AI, has quit over disputes regarding the 'fair use' of copyrighted content to train generative AI models, amidst growing copyright debates in AI music.
US stocks closed higher on Wednesday following data showing a continued decline in inflation. The Producer Price Index (PPI) fell 0.5% in October from the prior month, marking the largest decline since April 2020. Despite a slight dip in retail sales, adjusted figures excluding auto and gasoline sales showed a modest increase. This data should be encouraging to the Federal Reserve, which has been hiking interest rates to tame inflation without triggering a recession.
Tencent Holdings reported a 10% YoY revenue increase for Q3, reaching 154.63 billion yuan ($21.3 billion), falling slightly short of expectations. The tech giant has refined its growth strategy, harnessing features of its superapp WeChat to boost ad revenues. Despite export restrictions on AI chips, Tencent plans to further develop its Hunyuan AI model using its sizable chip inventory.
Microsoft has officially launched Microsoft Loop, an online productivity tool now available for commercial customers. Microsoft 365 E3, E5, Business Standard, and Business Premium Licenses can access the platform. New features include Workspace status for highlighting urgent tasks in preview and Work descriptions for intelligently surfacing related files. Microsoft is also integrating Power Automate for easy task tracking and project management, and post-meeting Loop workspaces for Teams meetings to be released soon.
The new Qi2 wireless charging specification, featuring Apple's MagSafe technology, has been approved by the Wireless Power Consortium. It will debut with the iPhone 15 lineup, promising faster charging times and improved energy efficiency. This uptake is likely to expand the fast-growing wireless charging market, providing compatibility with a broader range of accessories.