Google testing AI news writing tool

Google collaborates with news publishers to develop an AI-powered tool, called Genesis, to assist journalists with reporting and writing. The tool is not intended to replace journalists but to serve as a co-pilot, offering headline and writing style options.

Musk launches xAI to rival OpenAI, Google

Elon Musk launched xAI, his own AI company, to rival OpenAI. The goal is to understand reality and tackle life’s biggest questions. The team includes former researchers from OpenAI, Google DeepMind, Tesla, and the University of Toronto. Musk criticizes OpenAI’s political bias and irresponsibility.

France fines Google over search, app store results

French authorities fined Google €2 million (US$2.2 million) for incomplete search results and app store information. Google has made some corrections but remains open to cooperation with regulators.

Google answers ChatGPT challenge with Bard expansion

Google announced the launch of Bard, a competitor to Microsoft’s ChatGPT, in 180 countries. The company aims to integrate generative AI into its core products, including search. Google’s expansion follows Microsoft’s push into AI despite concerns about its societal impact and job displacement.

US regulator targets AI ahead of White House confab

US regulators warn about the risks of artificial intelligence ahead of a White House meeting with tech companies. The lack of rules has given Silicon Valley the freedom to put out new products rapidly, raising concerns that AI technologies will wreak havoc on society before the government can catch up. The risks from AI include it being used to “turbocharge” fraud with voice clones, deep-fake videos, and convincing written messages.

Montana lawmakers vote to ban TikTok in US state

Lawmakers in Montana voted in favour of a total ban on TikTok due to accusations that the app is a tool of the Chinese Communist Party. The bill would require Apple and Google to remove TikTok from their app stores and impose daily fines of US$10,000 for violations. The proposed ban would take effect in 2024 and faces almost certain legal challenges, given its unprecedented nature in the United States. This bill is the latest conflict in the ongoing feud between TikTok and several Western governments.

Huawei reports huge drop in profits as US sanctions bite

Huawei’s net profit fell almost 69% last year to 35.6 billion yuan ($5.2 billion), due to US sanctions and international economic uncertainty, according to the company. The CFO described the results as a “low point” in the company’s history but said the company was moving “back to business as usual” despite US restrictions becoming its “new normal”. Huawei has moved to diversify its revenue streams, focusing on consumer tech such as smartwatches and boosting its footprint in the auto sector as a supplier.

Google launches ChatGPT rival in US and UK

Google has invited people in the US and UK to test its AI chatbot, Bard, which can churn out essays, poems or computing code on command. CEO Sundar Pichai said the chatbot had been tested with 80,000 Google employees, and would now be tested with the public as a “first step” before going out to more countries in other languages. Unlike Microsoft-backed ChatGPT, Bard can “access and process information from the real world through Google Search and keep my response consistent with search results”, the bot said.

StarHub customer alleges being ‘taiji-ed’ over unauthorised Google Play transactions totaling over S$1,500

A StarHub customer in Singapore received a bill of over S$1,500 for unauthorized Google Play transactions, leading to frustration and confusion as StarHub and Google provided unclear guidance for resolution. Despite reporting the issue, the customer received a lawyer’s letter from StarHub demanding payment. The telco advised her to clarify the matter with Google for possible charge reversal. The victim shared her ordeal on the Complaint Singapore group, and expressed her regret that she should have brought this up on social media earlier. “Naive as I was, I thought I could trust big organisations like StarHub, Google and CASE to help make this right for their loyal customers but instead got thrown in the face with a lawyer’s letter. “

Tech rivals chase ChatGPT as AI race ramps up

WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES — Chasing Microsoft, global tech giants have rolled out…