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  • 🪟 Microsoft Earns Observer Seat on OpenAI's Reshuffled Board

🪟 Microsoft Earns Observer Seat on OpenAI's Reshuffled Board

+ TinyLetter Ending | Perplexity's LLMs | DALL-E in Paint

Hello tech enthusiasts,

Welcome to your daily technology newsletter this November 30, 2023. Here's a glimpse of what's trending:

  • Google-Canada Accord - A landmark agreement averting news block.

  • Apple-Arm Deal - Surprising chip royalty terms revealed.

  • Microsoft & OpenAI - Gaining a seat on OpenAI's board.

  • TinyLetter Phasing Out - Mailchimp's iconic service concludes.

  • Firefox Android Expansion - Over 400 new extensions coming soon.

  • Data Exposure Alert - Study highlights language model risks.

  • Google AI Breakthroughs - Pioneering advancements spanning centuries.

  • Perplexity's LLMs - Introducing revolutionary online models.

  • Amazon's Titan - A sneak peek at AI's new frontier.

  • DALL-E Meets Paint - Microsoft's innovative integration.

  • and more…

Read on for the latest insights and updates!

Tech Companies

Google has agreed to maintain links to Canadian news publishers, reneging on previous plans to block them. This comes after successful negotiations with the Canadian government over Bill C-18, which requires tech giants to compensate news outlets for their content. The deal averts the creation of an ""uncapped financial liability"" and will involve Google paying millions to publishers. The exact regulatory terms underpinning exemptions for Google is expected to be published soon.

💡 Why this matters: Google's agreement with the Canadian government over Bill C-18 suggests a shift in how tech giants fund media outlets. This successful negotiation may influence Meta's approach to global "link taxes" and could herald widespread industry changes in news compensation models.

Apple is said to pay less than 30 cents per device to use Arm-based chips - the smallest royalty fee among Arm's customers, including Qualcomm and Mediatek. Despite Arm's owner, SoftBank's attempts to negotiate better terms since its 2016 purchase, Apple and Arm have reportedly agreed on a long-term contract extending beyond 2040. However, Apple's scrutiny of open-source RISC-V architecture could suggest leverage for future discussions.

Microsoft is set to join OpenAI's board as an observer as CEO Sam Altman officially returns to the helm. The initial board will comprise Bret Taylor as Chair, and members Larry Summers and Adam D’Angelo. OpenAI aims to utilize this transition period to improve its governance and focus on building its research plan while enhancing its product offerings.

AI Corner

A study reveals that large language models such as ChatGPT may memorize and divulge the data they were trained on, posing significant privacy concerns. Notably, researchers conducted a "divergence attack" on ChatGPT, compelling it to repeat a word continuously, eventually triggering the unexpected release of training data. The findings confirmed that these models could extract specific information, highlighting potential risks and underlying vulnerabilities within the model's design. The research emphasizes the need for intensive testing, robust methods to assess memorization, and addresses the current necessity for securing AI models beyond superficial solutions.

Google's DeepMind's artificial intelligence (AI), Graph Network for Materials Exploration (GNoME), has generated predictions for millions of entirely new materials able to fast-track advancements in AI computing chips, batteries, and renewable energy. By predicting the stability of new materials, the speed and efficiency of discovery could increase dramatically. With potentially 400,000 AI-generated material designs actionable in labs, these findings could hasten discoveries and engineering advancements, including superconductors for more efficient electronics.

San Francisco-based startup Perplexity has launched two advanced online large language models, pplx-7b-online and pplx-70b-online, aimed at providing real-time information and reducing inaccurate responses. Unlike traditional offline language models, these tap into up-to-date internet data, enhancing factual accuracy. According to early performances, the models match or surpass leading models like GPT-3.5. Perplexity's models are accessible to the public via an API, marking critical growth in AI democratization.

Amazon has launched Titan Image Generator, an AI-assisted tool that creates or modifies images based on textual input. Available for AWS customers in its preview stage, the model, trained on various datasets, includes inbuilt solutions for toxicity and bias. The images produced will come with a non-tamperable watermark to curb the dissemination of AI-generated misinformation.

Microsoft has officially launched its Cocreator image-generating AI feature in Paint for Windows 11. Utilizing OpenAI’s DALL-E 3 model, the feature produces three image options based on user descriptions. Previously exclusive to Windows Insiders, its availability has now broadened for all users.

Markets & Money

U.S. stock indexes concluded mixed on Wednesday, leaning on stabilizing Treasury yields and faith in the interest rate forecast. A surge in Salesforce's stock propelled the Dow Jones Industrial Average to a near four-month high. Investors are waiting for the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) report this Thursday to determine the Federal Reserve's policy direction amidst expectations of rate cuts. Multiple companies like CrowdStrike Holdings, Dollar Tree, Fluence Energy, and General Motors saw substantial stock price changes due to quarterly earnings and relevant news.

Snowflake Inc.'s stock surged 8% post-market on Wednesday after stellar Q3 earnings and an optimistic outlook. With a lesser net loss of $214 million compared to $201 million last year, an EPS increase to 25 cents, and revenue growth to $734 million, the cloud-based software company outperformed analysts' expectations. CEO, Frank Slootman credited the strong performance to a stable macro environment. Snowflake anticipates a product revenue between $716 million to $721 million for the next fiscal quarter.

Tola Capital, an investor in AI-enabled enterprise software, has closed its largest fund yet, securing $230M. The new fund takes Tola Capital's total funds raised to date to $688M. The firm plans to invest in startups innovating the enterprise software industry through AI, particularly focusing on ""enterprise scaffolding"" of AI, such as responsible AI and app layer AI.

Rover Group shares saw a 28% rise following an announcement that Blackstone will acquire it in a $2.3 billion cash deal. Shareholders will get $11 per share, a 29.4% premium on the last closing price. This acquisition is estimated to finalize by the first quarter of 2024.

Insights & Analysis

Charlie Munger's five key business investment principles for amassing a $2.4 billion personal fortune include focusing on what you understand, deciphering the incentives that drive management decisions, and seeking safe investments below inherent value to guard against unexpected losses.

Apps & Gadgets

Mailchimp has announced the discontinuation of its subsidiary service, TinyLetter, from February 29th, 2024. As part of the closure, Mailchimp encourages current TinyLetter users to export their data and consider migration to Mailchimp. Following Mailchimp's acquisition by Intuit in 2021, this decision comes amidst the firm's evolving business priorities heavily slanting towards serving marketers and aiding small business growth.

Mozilla is set to launch over 400 extensions for Firefox on Android, substantially expanding its current library. The extensions, compatible with Android, will be available from December 14, giving Firefox users a wider selection. This move also opens a path for developers to port desktop extensions to Android.

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