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  • Google I/O 2024: Unveiling Advanced Gemini AI Features & New Multimodal Model Applications

Google I/O 2024: Unveiling Advanced Gemini AI Features & New Multimodal Model Applications

Tech brief: 8 | AI: 4 | VC & Startups: 9 | Cloud & SaaS: 3 | eCommerce :3 | Social: 4 | Fintech: 3

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TECH BRIEF

Google's I/O 2024 introduced major AI advancements including Gemini 1.5 Flash for faster response rates, a rolled-out Gemini 1.5 Pro for Google Workspace, and a do-it-all virtual assistant named Project Astra. Other developments include Veo, an AI model generating 1080p video from various prompts, AI-capable chatbot creator Gems, and Gemini Live for more natural voice chats. Google also unveiled features assisting with math problems, scam call detection, and improvements in the Gemini model like video and PDF comprehension. Gemini Nano's integration to Chrome was also highlighted.

Alibaba Group's Q1 revenue climbed 6.6% to $30.7 billion, slightly surpassing expectations, following its concerted efforts to seize market share in e-commerce and cloud services. Despite ongoing challenges posed by a stiff competition, an uneven economic recovery and regulatory pressures, the company's top executives, Eddie Wu and Joe Tsai, are leading a business turnaround focusing on customer experience and innovation. The company is cutting costs in its cloud division, selling off non-core assets and investing in AI research and burgeoning startups.

Tencent Holdings, the operator of China's largest social media app and the world's biggest gaming business, reported a 6% rise in Q1 2024 revenue, reaching 159.5 billion yuan ($22 billion). This increase, beating estimates, is attributed to a resurgence in advertising and business services following the easing of domestic regulations. Its shares have grown over 30% since March following the announcement of plans to double share repurchases this year. Future growth is expected to come from efforts in AI and video content.

Serial entrepreneur David Sacks and Evan Owen have launched Glue, an AI-powered employee chat app designed to tackle 'Slack channel fatigue'. Unlike Slack's channel-based discussions, Glue organizes communications into topic-based threads and incorporates AI. The AI bot can be invited to threads, suggest conversation topics, summarise conversations over time, and ascertain information based on chat history. Glue can be powered by ChatGPT or Anthropic's Claude AI, a feature its creators say competitors cannot replicate without a complete redevelopment.

Google is rolling out AI Overviews, a new search feature using generative AI technology, to all US-based search engines. The application analyzes complex queries and provides summarized answers, improving click-through rates. Despite initial limitations and inaccuracies, Google anticipates that AI Overviews will enhance the user experience by integrating multi-step reasoning and planning functionalities. The feature is set to launch globally, targeting over a billion users by year-end.

The Biden administration has hiked tariffs on Chinese imports, encompassing electric vehicles, batteries, and semiconductors, to protect US jobs. The tariffs extend to $18bn worth of Chinese products, including strategic sectors like aluminum, steel, solar cells, and crucial minerals. Tariffs will fourfold on Chinese EVs to 100%, while the rates on steel, aluminum, and semiconductors will roughly triple or double. Despite the possible escalation of tensions with China, the White House assures the move isn't politically motivated.

TikTok is reportedly experimenting with AI-generated search results through a tool named "AI Smart Search", which features summaries at the top of search results for specific queries. This new approach follows TikTok's recent methodology for watermarking AI-generated content, as the app continues to evolve into a search engine, primarily for Gen-Z users.

Meta Platforms will discontinue its Workplace app by June 2026 to concentrate on building AI and metaverse technologies. Customers can access Workplace until August 2025 while Meta will continue using it as an internal messaging board. Clients will be offered an option to shift to Zoom's Workvivo product.

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AI

Elon Musk's AI firm, xAI, is nearing a $10 billion deal to lease cloud servers from Oracle, potentially making it one of Oracle's largest clients. This possible partnership reflects xAI's growth strategy and the technological sector's increased investment in AI capabilities. Following this news, Oracle shares surged by 4%. The deal, if concluded, positions Oracle favorably against AWS and Azure in the AI hosting space.

Today's report features 4 AI news stories. Unlock by going PRO.

VC & Startups

BIP Ventures' report indicates a supply-demand imbalance in startups with $300 billion of dry powder remaining idle. With funding reaching $11.6 billion in Southeast startups in 2023, the focus is now on software startups. Despite the venture banking crisis of 2023, 2024 investment activity maintains 2023's pace. However, higher deal sizes and inflation rates make investing trickier, and, although IPO market shows signs of recovery, valuations remain high. Notably, AI investments are under scrutiny due to the hype resulting in major write-offs.

Today's report features 9 VC & Startup news stories. Unlock by going PRO.

Cloud & SaaS

Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Nokia partnered with O2 Telefónica to deploy 5G standalone core software on a public cloud in Germany, setting a new global precedent. This move represents telecommunication companies' shift towards cloud migration, reducing costs and enhancing their network's scalability and maintenance. Nokia's technology offers ultra-low latency--crucial for advanced 5G services like extended reality and network slicing--while providing flexible scaling, more reliability, and near zero-touch automation for workload management.

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eCommerce

Singapore-based tech firm, Sea, posted a 23% revenue boost of $3.73 billion during the first quarter of the year, despite competition from newcomers like TikTok. The company's e-commerce business, Shopee, saw a record revenue increase of 31% to $2.95 billion in the same period; though, the firm reported a quarterly net loss of $23 million.

Today's report features Z eCommerce news stories. Unlock by going PRO.

Social platforms

In response to a court ruling, YouTube has decided to block access in Hong Kong to 32 video links, including the protest anthem ""Glory to Hong Kong." Despite expressing disappointment and concerns about online censorship, the platform is complying with the order. Critics argue the move could hamper the digital economy and damage Hong Kong's reputation as a hub for business.

Today's report features 4 Social platform news stories. Unlock by going PRO.

Fintech

Expanding its crypto services in Europe, Robinhood has announced its first crypto staking services for Solana holders, available exclusively to European customers. The brokerage is also launching its crypto investment app in three European countries: Italy, Poland, and Lithuania. Furthermore, a third of Robinhood's European user base comprises first-time crypto traders. The platform's crypto revenue for Q1 2024 stood at a striking $126 million, marking a 232% jump.

Today's report features 3 Fintech news stories. Unlock by going PRO.

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