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  • 🇨🇳 China Outpaces US in AI Patents Race, Fuels Tech Powerplay

🇨🇳 China Outpaces US in AI Patents Race, Fuels Tech Powerplay

+ Alphabet: 11% Revenue Jump | EU AI Act Delayed | Reddit Battles AI Firms

Tech Lovers, Assemble!

Today is October 25, 2023, and we're here to bring you the freshest updates from the tech world. Dive into the highlights and discover what's shaping our digital future:

  • Apple Financing - 6-week, interest-free for US users.

  • Alphabet's Surge - Q3 sees 11% revenue boost.

  • Microsoft's Cloud - Outperforms device revenue.

  • Spotify's Success - 26% user increase & soaring profits.

  • AI Patent Race - China outpaces the US.

  • AI SALMONN - Voice-activated analytics game-changer.

  • EU AI Delay - Regulations postponed to 2023.

  • Reddit vs. AI - API war intensifies.

  • GM Test Alert - California DMV halts driverless trials.

  • Snap's Rise - Earnings surge sparks 11% stock boost.

  • and more…

Stay tuned as we delve deeper into these stories. Read on to satisfy your tech cravings!

Tech Companies

Apple has rolled out its short-term financing solution, Apple Pay Later, to all eligible US users. The service allows customers to split purchases between $75 and $1,000 over a six-week period with four equal payments made every other week. The program is coordinated by Apple Financing LLC, with Mastercard and Goldman Sachs managing the payment credentials. The service requires the user to be at least 18, have a physical US address, a debit card setup for Apple Pay, and two-factor authentication for their Apple ID.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has suspended Cruise's testing and deployment permits due to safety concerns. This comes after Cruise allegedly withheld video evidence of a collision between a driverless vehicle and a pedestrian. The suspension does not impact Cruise's permit for testing with a safety driver. This incident is critical for the firm and its parent company, General Motors, facing increasing losses and a recent strike at a major GM manufacturing plant.

Startup Scene

Following its controversial API pricing changes, Reddit is reportedly negotiating with top generative AI firms over payment for its data. The social media company may block search crawlers from Google and Bing if terms aren't met, a tactic aimed at securing an advantageous position in negotiations. This move signifies Reddit's continued efforts to monetize technology and diversify its revenue streams.

💡 Why does this matter?

Reddit's drastic API access pricing changes have led to conflict and shifted the focus to generative AI firms. This move can drastically change how tech companies access and use Reddit's data, potentially impacting SEO strategies, innovations in data scraping and AI training. It's a significant shift which tech entrepreneurs, workers, and investors need to watch closely.

Elon Musk's infrastructure and tunnel construction company, The Boring Company, has recently achieved a market cap of $7 billion. Notable for its innovative take on urban transportation, this substantial valuation reflects the company's strong growth potential.

Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, has acquired the universal messaging app, Texts, for $50 million, marking its third pillar of focus alongside publishing and commerce.

AI Corner

The much-anticipated European Union AI Act is in jeopardy as lawmakers fail to reach a consensus on regulating foundation models, potentially causing the legislation to slip into 2023. The EU's current chair, Spain, proposes a tiered regulation system and more frequent vulnerability checks, while open-source companies ask for distinction between for-profit and non-profit models. The Act's delay may impact other regions considering similar legislation, as exemplified by the US eyeing EU's model and China, which already enacted its rules in August.

💡 Why does this matter?

The delay in the EU's AI Act could disrupt tech businesses, especially in AI, and potentially alter the global AI regulatory landscape. This news could herald increased uncertainty for AI developers and may open new opportunities for entities in regions with clearer AI regulation frameworks.

Currently optional, Google's AI-powered Search Generative Experience (SGE) could significantly impact its core ad business. In anticipation, CEO Sundar Pichai revealed plans to experiment with SGE-native ad formats. Intent on ensuring advertisers retain opportunities to reach customers during their search journeys, Google aims to confirm the utility of SGE while ensuring a smooth ad transition. Infusing AI into search is viewed as Google's long-term strategy.

💡 Why does this matter?

Google's new AI-powered Search Generative Experience (SGE) might significantly affect its profitable ad business. As Google experiments with ad formats catering to SGE's functionality, opportunities may open for advertisers to engage potential customers differently. Tech stakeholders will likely watch how AI infusion into Google's search alters the ad landscape.

Researchers from Tsinghua University and ByteDance have developed SALMONN, an AI system that can understand and reason about all types of audio, including speech, sounds, and music. The system represents a significant advancement from traditional AI's basic transcription abilities, potentially marking a new era of voice-activated enterprise data analysis and decision-making. The SALMONN model is available on Hugging Face, a platform for sharing machine learning models.

Chinese organizations have increased their artificial intelligence (AI) patent filings to 29,853 in 2022, up from 29,000 previously, accounting for 40% of all AI-related submissions. Meanwhile, filings by American entities decreased by 5.5% to about 6,300. This shows China's accelerating AI innovation pace and efforts to bypass international sanctions, aided by growing government support.

University of Chicago researchers are developing Nightshade, a tool that 'poisons' AI models with altered pixel information, enabling artists to protect their work from being used in unauthorized AI training datasets.

Markets & Money

US stocks broke this year's longest losing streak on Tuesday, buoyed by strong earnings reports from leading companies including Spotify and Verizon. Investors are eyeing Big Tech reports later this week, including Microsoft, Alphabet, Meta, and Amazon. Oil prices and Treasury yields declined, while Bitcoin surged to its highest level since May 2022, powered by ETF optimism. JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon criticised central banks, and BlackRock warned of unaccounted "macro damage" in stocks.

Spotify’s third-quarter earnings report shows a significant profit increase due to a surge in active users and price hikes. Active users jumped 26% to 574 million, beating the company's forecast, while Spotify Premium subscribers hit 226 million, a 16% rise from last year. A quarterly profit of $69 million was achieved, overturning last year's $176 million loss. The firm forecasts continued growth in active users, premium subscriptions, and revenue into next year.

atom.finance - Spotify

Microsoft delivered strong Q1 2024 fiscal financial results, with a revenue rise of 13% to $56.5 billion and a 27% increase in net income to $22.3 billion, driven primarily by cloud services and Office. While Windows revenue saw a rebound, hardware earnings were negatively impacted due to diminished laptop shipments, resulting in a 22% decline in overall device revenue. Despite hardware setbacks, Xbox content and services revenue saw a 13% upswing, largely attributed to the success of Xbox Game Pass.

atom.finance - Microsoft

Alphabet's Q3 2023 earnings report reveals a revenue increase of 11% ($77 billion) compared to Q3 in 2022 ($69.1 billion). With significant growth reported in the search, cloud, and YouTube sectors, the quarter yielded a net income of $19.69 billion, a s

ignificant increase from last year's $13.91 billion. Despite steady inflow across most sectors, "Other Bets" continued to operate at a loss.

The cloud division, despite growth, saw Q3 revenues fall short of projections due to economic uncertainties and expenses on cutting-edge AI tools. This slowdown led to a 4% drop in the company's shares despite net profits of $19.69 billion.

atom.finance - Alphabet

Snap's Q3 earnings outdid projections, propelling shares 11% higher, despite past struggles. The firm also launched a $500 million buyback plan and reported the upcoming retirement of COO Jerry Hunter.

atom.finance - Snap Inc.

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