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Tech brief: Meta to Unveil AI Image Generator for Optimized Advertisements

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Meta is launching new tools for its AI-driven advertising products that overlay text and create image variations. Expected to roll out internationally by the end of the year, these tools could alter a product's appearance, raising concerns about consumers being misled. Robust safeguards, including filters for text, image content, and AI-generated images, are said to prevent the production of offensive or poor-quality ads. Meta's first AI advertising tools reportedly saved users up to five hours of creative labor per week.

Apple has unveiled the slimmest iPad Pros ever fitted with OLED displays for richer color saturation and perfect blacks at its "Let Loose" event. The new 13-inch and 11-inch devices feature advanced M4 chips, landscape-positioned front-facing cameras, starting prices of $999 and $1,299, respectively, and optional nano-texture glass coating. The accessories have also been upgraded with the Apple Pencil Pro, which now supports squeeze gestures and Find My location tracking. Pre-orders are available now, with sales set to commence on May 15th.

Nintendo is set to announce a successor to its seven-year-old Switch console after forecasting a larger-than-expected profit decline for the current fiscal year. The company also fell short on profit estimates for the March quarter, as revenue and operating income continued to slide. This comes as competition mounts with Sony and Microsoft's more advanced consoles. Nintendo expects Switch sales to decline to 13.5 million units this fiscal year from 15.7 million.

TikTok and parent company ByteDance have initiated a lawsuit in a US federal court to prevent a law compelling its sale or banning it in the country. The companies argue the law infringes on First Amendment rights. The legislation, endorsed by President Joe Biden, grants ByteDance until January 19 to divest TikTok or face prohibition. This legal move is TikTok's latest attempt to avert closure amidst rival tech firms eyeing advertising revenues during the uncertainty.

Chinese electric vehicle (EV) companies Nio and BYD are reportedly collaborating on a new affordable EV brand, Onvo, set to compete with Tesla's Model Y in China. BYD will provide batteries for the new EV, posing a new challenge to Tesla whose sales in China have been under pressure. Nio is also planning a sub-$30,000 EV for the European market. The new developments intensify the competition Elon Musk's Tesla faces in China's EV market.

Apple's next-generation M4 chip, enhanced for AI tasks, will debut in the new iPad Pro. Offering 38 trillion operations per second (TOPS), the M4 reportedly outruns Apple's A11 chip by 60 times. The M4 integrates second-gen 3nm technology and a 10-core CPU that is 50% more robust than the M2 in the previous iPad Pro. This announcement precedes Microsoft's AI event on May 20th, raising the rivalry with Apple's MacBook Air M3 laptops powered by the M3 chip.

Microsoft has shut down multiple Bethesda studios as part of significant organizational changes. Impacted studios include Arkane Austin (Redfall), Tango Gameworks (The Evil Within), and Alpha Dog Games (Mighty Doom). As a result, Redfall development has ended, and layoffs are expected. Bethesda’s remaining studios, including Machine Games and id Software, continue operations undisturbed.

Google is launching a cybersecurity product, Google Threat Intelligence, using its Gemini AI model to expedite malware attacks analysis and provide more accessible threat reports. It leans on the capabilities of its Mandiant cybersecurity unit and VirusTotal threat intelligence. Additionally, Google plans to use Mandiant's experts to assess security vulnerabilities in AI projects and aid in red-teaming efforts.

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