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Government Commits $285 Million for ‘Digital Twin’ Research

The Biden Administration has opened a call for applications for $285 million in funding for a national research institute that will develop semiconductor “digital twins,” software representations of semiconductor hardware that live in the cloud, where teams can collaborate remotely to design, test and analyze the components, allowing engineers to discover and address problems before the manufacturing process begins. The CHIPS Manufacturing USA institute will be the hub for companies and organizations advancing this work, which is meant to decrease domestic reliance on foreign-sourced chips as a matter of national security. Read more

X Premium Intros News Blurbs Generated by Musk’s Grok AI

Social platform X, formerly Twitter, has added news summaries generated by Grok, the chatbot of Elon Musk’s xAI, exclusively for Premium subscribers. The personalized trending “Stories” appear in the For You tab of the app’s Explore section. The feature is available on the web and for iOS users for now. For You consists of trending items shared across the platform and within individual networks, along with recommended posts. Grok essentially becomes the voice of X’s news aggregator, teasing articles with short blurbs that link to what X users are saying on the subject. Critics are concerned about Grok’s tone, interpretation of information, and potential for creating fake news. Read more

Yelp Assistant Joins Movement to Add AI Consumer Services

As part of its spring product release, Yelp has added Yelp Assistant, an AI feature designed to connect consumers with relevant business professionals. The chatbot leverages OpenAI language models along with Yelp data to find the right fit and can interactively quiz users to learn more about their project and needs. Available on iOS (with plans for Android later this year), Yelp’s move is part of a trend using artificial intelligence to provide operational help managing households and life tasks. For example, the California-based energy intelligence firm Bidgely is now using AI to generate individualized consumer profiles on energy usage. Read more

Microsoft Doubles Down on Security Following Cyberattacks

Responding to a government assessment of recent cyberattacks, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella issued a company-wide memo prioritizing security. “If you’re faced with the tradeoff between security and another priority, your answer is clear: Do security,” the executive wrote. “In some cases, this will mean prioritizing security above other things we do, such as releasing new features or providing ongoing support for legacy systems,” Nadella added. The escalation sees Microsoft expanding the scope of its Secure Future Initiative based on government recommendations and insights gained from breaches linked to state-sponsored Russian hackers. Read more

Samsung Chip Rebound Sends Q1 Net Profit Up 400 Percent

Samsung Electronics grew net profit by more than 400 percent in Q1, to $4.91 billion, on revenue of about $52.3 billion, a nearly 13 percent increase year-over-year. The results were credited mainly to higher memory chip prices resulting from AI demand buoying the company’s semiconductor business. Solid performance in smartphones — with the launch of its Galaxy S24 series, the first to pack AI-optimized chips — supported the stellar performance. It was a dramatic rebound from 2023, when post-COVID economic fallout drove Samsung to a 15-year profit low and semiconductor losses of almost $11 billion. Read more

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