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💡 OpenAI Set to Slash Costs, Boost Software Development with Sweeping Upgrades

Today: Apple's Taiwanese Suppliers Fall | Costco Data Scandal | OpenAI's Big Upgrade

Hello, Digital Pioneers! As the shadows of Friday the 13th loom this October, don't be spooked; the tech world offers more treats than tricks. Here are today's top stories to bewitch you:

  • Taiwanese Suppliers Fall - Apple's major supplier setback.

  • Costco Data Scandal - Alleged sharing with Meta.

  • OpenAI's Big Upgrade - Slashing costs with pivotal changes.

  • LLaVA 1.5 Triumphs - Outperforming GPT-4 vision counterparts.

  • Google AI Power Surge - Predicted to rival an entire nation's consumption.

  • Atlassian Buys Loom - A $975M leap into asynchronous video.

  • $47B Stock Bet - Record wager against US stocks.

  • Pixel 8's Flat Display - Bidding goodbye to the curve.

  • AirPods Pro 2 Update - Apple reveals the latest firmware.

  • and more...

There's much more behind each headline. Dive in to stay ahead and informed in this ever-evolving tech world!

Tech Companies

Apple's primary suppliers in Taiwan experienced a substantial sales decrease in September despite new iPhone and Android device releases. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. observed a less-than-expected 13.4% fall, and assemblers and component manufacturers noticed a 16.4% decrease. Device producers Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Compal Electronics Inc., and Quanta Computer Inc. faced significant declines, marking the most severe drop since June.

💡 Why does this matter?

Despite new iPhone and Android launches, the significant drop in sales from Apple's key suppliers in Taiwan signals some uncertainties in the tech sector. This could affect tech investors who have stakes in Apple or its suppliers. It may allow tech entrepreneurs and workers to innovate and reimagine the mobile device market.

Costco is being sued for allegedly sharing customers' private and health-related data with Meta without consent, leveraging the analytical tool Meta Pixel. Despite the accusations, the retail company contested that its website remains secure and confidential.

💡 Why does this matter?

This news is significant as it raises concerns regarding the privacy of users' highly sensitive health data. Readers should take note, as this lawsuit could lead to increased scrutiny and stricter regulations around data privacy. Secure data practices are crucial to maintaining customer trust and avoiding legal complications.

Google has won a patent case against Sonos and promptly shipped a software update restoring previously disabled group speaker features on customer devices. However, Sonos plans an appeal.

Microsoft faces a $28.9 billion tax charge from the IRS, relating to profit allocations from 2004-2013. The company intends to contest this claim.

AI Corner

OpenAI is set to unveil updates to make building software applications with its AI models cheaper and quicker. Developers can expect improved memory storage, vision capabilities, and more, potentially cutting costs by up to 20 times. The features will be announced at OpenAI’s inaugural developer conference on November 6. The aim is to encourage more companies to utilize OpenAI technology to develop AI-powered chatbots and self-reliant agents. CEO Sam Altman envisions OpenAI as an AI ecosystem indispensable to app builders.

💡 Why does this matter?

OpenAI's plan to introduce major updates at its upcoming November developer conference could be a game-changer for tech companies looking to build more efficient AI-powered software. Affordable memory storage, vision capabilities, and other tools will drive down application development costs and diversify the potential for software uses across industries ranging from entertainment to medicine. The move signifies OpenAI's aim to transition from a consumer sensation to a tech industry powerhouse, offering unprecedented opportunities for those leveraging AI in their business.

The open-source AI community is responding to the advent of large multimodal models with the development of LLaVA 1.5, a blueprint for open-source alternatives to OpenAI's GPT-4 Vision. Despite GPT-4's commercial, closed-source limitations, LLaVA 1.5 merges several AI components into an efficient model with high-accuracy performance. Harnessing OpenAI's CLIP and Vicuna language models, LLaVA 1.5 impressively outperformed other open-source LLMs in 11 out of 12 multimodal benchmarks. This release could democratize the new wave of generative AI technologies by extending further development and customization.

💡 Why does this matter?

The advent of open-source large multimodal models (LMMs) like LLaVA 1.5 promises a more democratic and cost-effective field of artificial intelligence. Enhanced computational efficiency, advancements in generative AI technology, and innovation potential could lead the open-source community towards more opportunities in the AI sector, posing interesting implications for tech entrepreneurs, workers, and investors worldwide.

The AI industry could consume as much energy as Sweden by 2027, says a new study. Additionally, if Google switches its search business entirely to AI, it would utilize electricity similar to Ireland's yearly consumption.

💡 Why does this matter?

This news matters as it raises an overlooked aspect of AI development - energy consumption. As Google and other tech giants scale AI components of their businesses, the energy demands are set to rise, potentially hitting levels equivalent to entire countries. This raises environmental, financial, and supply chain concerns, presenting both a challenge and opportunity for innovators in AI and energy sectors.

Generative AI can reduce cloud migration efforts by 30%-50% and accelerate the migration to public cloud, asserts McKinsey's Bhargs Srivathsan. As the large language model (LLM) matures, organizations can leverage it to analyze system architecture and ensure efficient migration. Srivathsan sees the most significant potential for generative AI in content generation, customer engagement, synthetic data creation, and coding, especially for modernizing legacy code. She also promotes the use of public cloud over proprietary models, given its affordability and wider access to GPUs.

Google pledges to shield users of its generative AI systems on Google Cloud and Workspace platforms from intellectual property violation allegations. This move reflects similar commitments made by Microsoft and Adobe. Google states that the safeguard does not cover intentional infringements, and the policy extends to software such as Vertex AI and Duet AI systems. Google claims to be the first to offer comprehensive coverage for both claim types.

AI chatbot startup Character.AI has introduced a group chat feature for human and AI interactions. Initially available for paid subscribers, the launch rides on a $150m Series A funding round.

Google's Search Generative Experience (SGE) now allows users to create images from text prompts, using the AI-powered Imagen models. The company also introduced the capability to generate written drafts from the search bar.

Markets & Money

Atlassian is set to acquire Loom, a user-friendly video messaging platform, for around $975 million to enhance team collaboration and remote working. The integration will offer benefits such as seamless async video communication, better artificial intelligence capabilities, and improved workflows. However, the deal shows a 36% valuation decline from Loom's previous funding round of $1.53 billion, reflecting the prevailing market conditions.

Treasury yields surged as investors considered recent economic data showing persistent high inflation. According to the Labor Department, September's CPI increased by 0.4% month-over-month and 3.7% year-over-year, higher than expected. Core CPI, excluding food and energy prices, was up 0.3% for the month, and 4.1% annually. These figures may influence the Federal Reserve's next policy decision, including potential interest rate hikes.

According to Goldman Sachs, commodity trading advisers (CTAs) have established a record $47 billion short position on US stocks. This significant bet may induce strong buying pressure should the S&P 500 show signs of recovery.

Apps & Gadgets

Google's Pixel 8 Pro has been deemed a winner by routinely critiqued elements in past phones. It has discarded the troublesome curved screen distortion, finally matching iOS with regular update support timelines, and rectifying previous model issues like face unlock. The Pixel 8 Pro stands out due to a flat, more usable display, and an improved grip due to the increased surface area. Unfortunately, the phone still employs the expensive and largely unused mmWave antenna. As before, the camera bar remains innovative and practical. The new face unlock feature, now matching the finger unlocking, greatly enhances user convenience and security.

Apple has released a second firmware update for the AirPods Pro 2 since its USB-C edition launch in September. Although specific changes are unknown, firmware updates typically offer bug fixes, performance enhancements, and compatibility changes relative to operating system updates and new hardware introductions. The update installs automatically when AirPods Pro units are sufficiently charged and paired to an iOS device.

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