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Tesla Slashes 10% Workforce Amid Falling Sales and Demand

+ 7 other must-read tech stories.

TECH BRIEF

AI company OpenAI has launched its first Asian office in Tokyo, Japan, appointing Tadao Nagasaki as the new president of OpenAI Japan for commercial and market engagements. The firm aims to aid local businesses with a GPT-4 custom model, enhanced for the Japanese language, providing faster, cost-effective translations and text summaries. This move aligns with Microsoft's recent commitment to invest $2.9 billion over two years to expand its cloud computing and AI infrastructure in Japan.

Elon Musk's xAI unveils a preview of Grok-1.5 Vision, a multimodal AI model with an enhanced understanding of the physical world. Grok-1.5V, compared favorably to competitors like OpenAI's GPT-4, can process diverse visual information and score highly on the real-world spatial understanding RealWorldQA benchmark. The model, exhibiting coding capabilities and diagram interpretation, signifies progress toward xAI's mission of Artificial General Intelligence.

Tesla Inc. saw a 5% drop in shares after announcing it will lay off over 14,000 employees, approximately 10% of its workforce. The recent cutbacks follow the company's first reported decline in vehicle shipments since 2020 and may signal a shift in Tesla's growth strategy. Instead of a rumored affordable electric car, the automaker is said to be focusing on developing an autonomous taxi.

Global iPhone shipments plunged by nearly 10% in Q1, despite an overall 7.8% increase in global smartphone shipments. Samsung surpassed Apple's shipments by 10 million units, regaining the top spot for highest smartphone shipments. Meanwhile, Chinese manufacturers Xiaomi and Transsion reported a year-on-year rise of approximately 34% and 85%, respectively.

Adobe has launched an artificial intelligence assistant which aids users in comprehending digital documents. The tool is available via a monthly subscription beginning at $4.99. The company is also releasing a complimentary mobile version, capable of responding to voice commands, along with extensions for Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome.

Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) has secured $7.2 billion for its latest funding round, surpassing its $6.9 billion target. The new funds will be allocated across various sectors, notably AI infrastructure and apps, demonstrating a16z's ""American Dynamism"" strategy. Half of this capital boost will target the growth fund.

Humane's AI Pin, a screenless smart device, endured heavy criticism for being "unfinished" and " not that useful". Despite counterarguments from head engineer, Ken Kocienda, critics remained unimpressed with the $699 device.

Limitless Pendant, a new AI tool aimed to transcribe and prepare meetings records everything you hear. It integrates with existing apps and is set to launch soon.

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