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.
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’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 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.
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. “