Microsoft Considers $10 Billion Investment in ChatGPT Creator

One million users in less than a week

Microsoft Corp. is in discussions to invest as much as $10 billion in OpenAI, the creator of viral artificial intelligence bot ChatGPT, according to people familiar with its plans. The proposal under consideration calls for the Redmond, Washington-based software giant to put the money in over multiple years, though the final terms may change, the people said, asking not to be named discussing a private matter. The two companies have been discussing the deal for months, they added.

The potential investment would involve other venture firms and could value OpenAI at about $29 billion, citing people familiar with the talks. Documents sent to investors had targeted end-2022 for a deal closing, it added.
ChatGPT has lit up the internet since launching at the end of November, gathering its first million users in less than a week. Its imitation of human conversation sparked speculation about its potential to supplant professional writers and even threaten Google’s core search business. The organization behind it, co-founded by Elon Musk and Silicon Valley investor Sam Altman, makes money by charging developers to license its technology.

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Microsoft’s investment in the developer of ChatGPT may be the smartest $1 billion investment ever made

If ChatGPT realizes its potential, Microsoft may have future-proofed its cloud and browser business forever  

For the past few months, it has looked like Big Tech’s bull run is coming to an end. As interest rates soar, even well-funded tech companies are retreating from risky, expensive moonshots or money-losing projects. But a speculative bet is increasingly looking like excellent value for money: OpenAI just  released AI bot ChatGPT and is in talks to raise $30 billion in capital.

In 2019, Microsoft invested $1 billion in buoyant artificial intelligence research firm OpenAI, co-founded by Y Combinator’s Sam Altman, Elon Musk, and a group of others just over seven years ago. Financial details of the deal weren’t disclosed at the time, but MIT Tech Review reported in 2020 that the $1 billion was split between cash and credit for Azure, Microsoft’s cloud business. In November, OpenAI released an easy-to-use bot, ChatGPT, based on its GPT 3.5 language model trained on Azure. Engineers, academics, entrepreneurs, non-techies, and investors were nearly universal in their hype and praise as ChatGPT proved (up to a point) to be frighteningly intelligent. Even when buggy, ChatGPT is so smart that Google considers the chatbot “Code Red” for its search business.

Now, OpenAI is reportedly in talks to raise more capital at a valuation of nearly $30 billion – up from a current valuation of $20 billion – and is reportedly in talks with the VC led by Peter Thiel -Company Founders Fund. The valuation would be cemented by a takeover bid with the sale of existing shares to investors. The Information reported that the company could integrate ChatGPT with Bing, its struggling Google competitor. The first real threat to Google’s search hegemony in two decades.

https://canadatoday.news/

Almost half of young people use TikTok and Instagram to search

“Google is for boomers”

It turns out that TikTok poses a threat to Google not only because of its competition with YouTube, but also with the company’s main services – search and maps.

According to the company’s own research, about 40% of young people use TikTok and Instagram to search instead of Google. Such data was shared by Google Senior Vice President Prabhakar Raghavan during the FORTUNE Brainstorm Tech 2022 conference.

He admitted that “we keep learning, over and over again, that new internet users don’t have the expectations and the mindset that we have become accustomed to. The queries they ask are completely different” “Generation Z” does not search by keywords, but instead prefers to “discover” new content for themselves in “visual forms”.

Prabhakar Raghavan explained this with an example: “40% of young people when they’re looking for a place for lunch, they don’t go to Google Maps or Search, they go to TikTok or Instagram.” According to him, today’s youth have never seen paper maps, and cartographic mobile applications still use the “paper map in a smartphone” approach.

https://www.businessinsider.com/

Boeing invests $450 million in air taxi startup

The self-flying aviation company is backed by Google co-founder Larry Page

Boeing is doubling down on its investment in the autonomous air taxi company Wisk Aero.

The plane maker is committing another $450 million to the Silicon Valley startup that is developing its technology jointly with Kittyhawk, the self-flying aviation company backed by Google co-founder Larry Page.

“With this investment, we are reconfirming our belief in Wisk’s business and the importance of their work in pioneering all-electric, AI-driven, autonomous capability for the aerospace industry,” said Boeing Chief Strategy Officer Marc Allen.

https://nypost.com/

TikTok tops Google as the most visited website on the internet

Chinese startup ByteDance launched TikTok in 2016

For the first time, TikTok had surpassed Facebook and Google as the most popular destination on the internet, according to a technology firm that tracks online activity.

In an analysis of web traffic this year, storage software company Cloudflare found that TikTok was the most visited website and most widely used social media platform. Cloudflare’s ranking is based on how much web traffic a site generated in 2021.

Chinese startup ByteDance launched TikTok in 2016. The platform got some attention a year later when it bought rival app Musical.ly, and its popularity began surging in the U.S. in 2020 with notable videos including one that showed Idaho resident Nathan Apodaca skateboarding and drinking Ocean Spray cranberry juice while listening to Fleetwood Mac.

https://www.cbsnews.com/

Google, Twitter and Microsoft in great shape thanks to advertising and the cloud

Market expectations exceeded

The digital transition accelerated by the pandemic continues to benefit tech giants, such as Google, Microsoft and Twitter, which on Tuesday published quarterly results that meet or exceed investor expectations. Alphabet, the parent company of Google, saw third-quarter revenue jump 41% to $ 65 billion, with the internet giant posting net profit of $ 18.9 billion, well above expectations of the market.

The world’s number one online advertising company, which is the subject of numerous investigations and prosecutions on suspicion of anti-competitive practices, continues to reap astronomical revenues. From July to September, YouTube sold for $ 7.2 billion of finely targeted advertising space according to content and users, against 5 billion in the same period last year.

Twitter results also confirmed this trend. The blue bird group recorded a very heavy loss of $ 537 million in the third quarter, linked to an amicable agreement with shareholders who considered themselves aggrieved, but its turnover, $ 1.28 billion, met expectations. Its advertising revenues increased by 41% over one year and the platform exceeded 210 million daily users said to be “monetizable”.

Microsoft also pleased Wall Street, with 20.5 billion in net profit from July to September, i.e. a jump of 48% of its profits in one year, for a turnover of 45.3 billion (+ 22% ). Personal computing (Windows, computers, video games) is doing well, but it is above all its cloud services, scattered throughout all of its activities, that are fueling the company’s growth.

https://alwaysfreshnews.com/

Big Tech pledges billions to bolster US cybersecurity defenses

500,000 cybersecurity jobs across the U.S remain unfilled

Tech giants AppleGoogle and Microsoft have pledged billions to bolster U.S. cybersecurity following a meeting with President Joe Biden at the White House on Wednesday. The meeting, which also included attendees from the financial and education sectors, was held following months of high-profile cyberattacks against critical infrastructure and several U.S. government agencies, along with a glaring cybersecurity skills gap; according to data from CyberSeek, there are currently almost 500,000 cybersecurity jobs across the U.S that remain unfilled.

“Most of our critical infrastructure is owned and operated by the private sector, and the federal government can’t meet this challenge alone,” Biden said at the start of the meeting. “I’ve invited you all here today because you have the power, the capacity and the responsibility, I believe, to raise the bar on cybersecurity.”

In order to help the U.S. in its fight against a growing number of cyberattacks, Big Tech pledged to invest billions of dollars to strengthen cybersecurity defenses and to train skilled cybersecurity workers.

https://techcrunch.com/

Google presents a new chip for smartphone

The new chip is designed to bolster artificial-intelligence technology

Google is making a bigger bet on smartphones by joining rivals Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. in designing the device’s most critical component in-house: the main processor.

The Alphabet Inc. company said on Monday that its upcoming flagship phones, the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, will include new Tensor chips when they go on sale later this year. Google had previously used Qualcomm Inc. processors in all of its Pixel phones since the first models launched in 2016. The new chip is designed to bolster artificial-intelligence technology and improve both speech recognition and the processing of photos and video.

The new component will be Google’s first system-on-a-chip — technology that integrates the device’s key elements. Designing these kinds of processors takes years and is a massive investment, financially and in terms of resources. In order for such an undertaking to yield returns, Google’s future Pixel phones will likely have to sell better than previous models.

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Google and Facebook say on-campus workers must be vaccinated

People work remotely rather than risk exposure to Covid-19 in offices

Google and Facebook on Wednesday said workers returning to offices will need to be vaccinated against Covid-19, in the latest move by firms and US government agencies. Spikes in infections due to a Delta variant of the virus have ramped up concerns in the United States, where 611,000 people have died in the pandemic.

Google will make campuses off-limits to unvaccinated employees and extend its global work-from-home option through October 18, according to chief executive Sundar Pichai.

Google and Facebook were among companies worldwide that abandoned campuses early last year, letting people work remotely rather than risk exposure to Covid-19 in offices. Google has been paying the salaries of campus workers unable to do their jobs because of closed offices, and helping employees get access to vaccines, according to Pichai.

https://www.france24.com/

36 states, D.C. sue Google for alleged antitrust violations in its Android app store

Series of major antitrust cases filed against Google

A group of 36 states and Washington, D.C., sued Google on Wednesday in an antitrust case challenging the company’s control over its Android app store — opening a new front in regulators’ attempts to rein in the search giant.

The suit, filed in California federal court and led by Utah, North Carolina, Tennessee, New York, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa and Nebraska, is the latest in a series of major antitrust cases filed against the tech industry’s biggest forces, after years of brewing unhappiness with the growing wealth and power of Silicon Valley.

It comes just nine days after the antitrust crusade suffered its first major setback, when a federal judge in Washington dismissed the Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust suit against Facebook on the grounds that the agency hadn’t offered enough evidence that the world’s largest social network is a monopoly.

Trump sues Twitter, Google and Facebook alleging ‘censorship’

Freedom of speech

The class action lawsuit also targets the three companies’ CEOs. Mr Trump was suspended from his social accopremiercity.comunts in January over public safety concerns in the wake of the Capitol riots, led by his supporters.

On Wednesday, Mr Trump called the lawsuit “a very beautiful development for our freedom of speech”. In a news conference from his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, Mr Trump railed against social media companies and Democrats, who he accused of espousing misinformation.

“We are demanding an end to the shadow-banning, a stop to the silencing, and a stop to the blacklisting, banishing, and cancelling that you know so well,” he said. The suit requests a court order to end alleged censorship. Mr Trump added if they could ban a president, “they can do it to anyone”.

Ohio sues to have Google declared a public utility

Google is used for nearly 90% of internet searches

Ohio asked a court on Tuesday to declare Alphabet’s (GOOGL.O) Google a public utility, a step the state’s Republican attorney general said would forbid the search and advertising giant from giving preferential treatment to its own products.

“When you own the railroad or the electric company or the cellphone tower, you have to treat everyone the same and give everybody access,” Attorney General Dave Yost said in a statement.

The lawsuit, which estimates that Google is used for nearly 90% of internet searches and has 95% of the search share on mobile devices, accuses Google of responding to certain search requests in a way that prioritizes Google’s products even if other responses would give better answers.

https://www.reuters.com/

Supreme Court rules in Google’s favor in copyright dispute with Oracle over Android software

At stake: 12,000 lines of code that Google used to build Android that were copied from the Java application programming interface developed by Sun Microsystems

The Supreme Court on Monday sided with Google against Oracle in a long-running copyright dispute over the software used in Android, the mobile operating system. The court’s decision was 6-2. Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who was not yet confirmed by the Senate when the case was argued in October, did not participate in the case.

The case concerned about 12,000 lines of code that Google used to build Android that were copied from the Java application programming interface developed by Sun Microsystems, which Oracle acquired in 2010. It was seen as a landmark dispute over what types of computer code are protected under American copyright law.

Oracle had claimed at points to be owed as much as $9 billion, while Google claimed that its use of the code was covered under the doctrine of fair use and therefore not subject to copyright liability. Android is the most popular mobile operating system in the world.

https://www.cnbc.com/

Apple is now the world’s most valuable publicly traded company

Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco ranked at the second place

Apple is now the world’s most valuable publicly traded company, passing Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco. As of close of business Friday, Apple has a market valuation of $1.84 trillion, while Saudi Aramco’s is $1.76 trillion, according to CNBC. Apple’s stock, which has been on a largely-steady climb since the end of March, closed up more than 10 percent on Friday following the company’s record-breaking third-quarter earnings on Thursday, ending the day at $425.04.

Apple’s total revenue for Q3 hit $59.7 billion, up 11 percent from last year. Strong Mac and iPad sales were a highlight, and the company likely saw increased demand for the devices while people have been sheltering in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Apple also announced a four-for-one stock split as part of its third quarter earnings, which will lower the price of an individual stock.

AmazonFacebook, and Google all announced earnings yesterday as well, and for the most part, they had pretty good quarters. Amazon doubled its profit — during a pandemic. Facebook saw a daily user increase of 12 percent year over year to 1.79 billion. And combined, the four companies netted $28.6 billion in profits.

https://www.theverge.com/