FedEx Launching a New Turn-Key B2B E-Commerce Solution

FedEx is launching a single platform e-commerce solution called fdx that offers end-to-end e-commerce solutions for any size business. “FedEx is transforming into a digitally-led business powered by our extensive physical transportation network, leveraging our scale and insights from moving 15 million packages per day,” FedEx President and CEO Raj Subramaniam said, announcing the unit from the National Retail Federation’s Big Show in Manhattan. “Through fdx, we will enhance our longstanding relationships with merchants of all sizes to help them optimize and grow their businesses through digital intelligence.” Continue reading FedEx Launching a New Turn-Key B2B E-Commerce Solution

CES: FTC Commissioner Rebecca Slaughter on AI Regulation

In a CES conversation with Consumer Technology Association Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs Rachel Nemeth, FTC Commissioner Rebecca Slaughter discussed the Commission’s work on AI-enabled impersonation fraud, privacy, and right of repair. Taking the stage just after FDA Commissioner Robert Califf, Slaughter said she wanted to co-sign his plea for “full visibility of the work we do.” “We have responsibility to all Americans to make sure they are represented in the substance of the work we do,” she said. “The same is true for industries that want to reach all Americans.” Continue reading CES: FTC Commissioner Rebecca Slaughter on AI Regulation

SageMaker HyperPod: Amazon Accelerates AI Model Training

Amazon has launched five new capabilities to its SageMaker service, including Sagemaker HyperPod, which accelerates large language and foundation model training and tuning. Sagemaker HyperPod is said to shorten the training time by up to 40 percent using its purpose-built infrastructure designed for distributed training at scale. By optimizing acceleration, SageMaker Inference reduces foundation model deployment costs by 50 percent and latency by 20 percent on average, Amazon claims. “SageMaker HyperPod removes the undifferentiated heavy lifting involved in building and optimizing machine learning infrastructure,” said Amazon. Continue reading SageMaker HyperPod: Amazon Accelerates AI Model Training

Bill Gates Imagines Agents as the Human-Computer Interface

Bill Gates has published his thinking about the future of computing, and fascinatingly, it’s the same as his prediction from decades ago: agents. No mere bots — and certainly not anthropomorphized paperclips — agents (to Gates) will abstract almost all HCI to a natural language conversation with systems that have our permission to take meaningful actions. Gates makes a highly specific prediction: within five years, the very idea of an app itself will seem as outdated as a rotary phone dial does next to an iPhone. A conversational UI will sit on top of a language model that has access to as much of our private data as we wish to give it. Continue reading Bill Gates Imagines Agents as the Human-Computer Interface

Startup Flip AI Creates Custom LLM to Address Observability

Startup Flip AI has built a custom LLM to run its observability platform. Observability is the act of monitoring corporate IT systems, ferreting out issues or identifying potential problems before they occur. It’s a 24/7 process, and can slow down sites or apps, sometimes causing crashes. Not to be confused with the PDF reader app, Flip AI has trained an LLM specifically to monitor new and emerging challenges. Concurrently, Flip AI has announced $6.5 million in seed funding led by Factory with participation from Morgan Stanley Next Level Fund and GTM Capital. Continue reading Startup Flip AI Creates Custom LLM to Address Observability

Facial Recognition Firm Clearview AI Wins Appeal of UK Fine

New York-based facial recognition software company Clearview AI has had a $9.1 million fine and order to delete UK citizen data reversed by Britain’s General Regulatory Tribunal. The case against Clearview was brought by the UK Information Commissioner’s Office, which scored a victory round in May 2022, claiming Clearview violated privacy laws under the General Data Protection Regulation because it did not inform or gain consent of UK citizens before collecting their data. Clearview appealed, and the tribunal found that the selfie-scraping AI firm was not subject to the ICO’s jurisdiction due to a loophole for firms servicing foreign law enforcement. Continue reading Facial Recognition Firm Clearview AI Wins Appeal of UK Fine

Newsom Makes California ‘Delete Act’ Data Protections Law

Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 362, also known as the Delete Act, into law on Tuesday, giving California consumers the ability to demand all data brokers delete their personal information with a single request. The Delete Act expands privacy controls for state residents, giving the California Privacy Protection Agency more power to regulate data brokers, who will face strict penalties for failing to comply. The new law, authored by state Senator Josh Becker, makes California the first U.S. state to create a convenient deletion mechanism for consumers who don’t want their personal information held or sold by data brokers. Continue reading Newsom Makes California ‘Delete Act’ Data Protections Law

Yasa-1: Startup Reka Launches New AI Multimodal Assistant

Startup Reka AI is releasing in preview its first artificial intelligence assistant, Yasa-1. The multimodal AI is described as “a language assistant with visual and auditory sensors.” The year-old company says it “trained Yasa-1 from scratch,” including pretraining foundation models “from ground zero,” then aligning them and optimizing to its training and server infrastructures. “Yasa-1 is not just a text assistant, it also understands images, short videos and audio (yes, sounds too),” said Reka AI co-founder and Chief Scientist Yi Tay. Yasa-1 is available via Reka’s APIs and as docker containers for on-site or virtual private cloud deployment. Continue reading Yasa-1: Startup Reka Launches New AI Multimodal Assistant

Meta Develops Computer Vision AI That Learns Like Humans

Meta Platforms continues to make progress on a mission to develop artificial intelligence that can teach itself to learn how the world works. Chief AI Scientist Yann LeCun has taken a special interest in developing the new model, called Image Joint Embedding Predictive Architecture, or I-JEPA, which learns by building an internal representation of the outside world and analyzing image abstracts instead of comparing pixels. The approach allows AI techto learn more like humans do, with their ability to figure out complex tasks and adapt to new situations. Continue reading Meta Develops Computer Vision AI That Learns Like Humans

Meta Is Fined $1.3 Billion for Facebook’s EU Privacy Violation

Meta Platforms has been hit with a record $1.3 billion fine for violating European Union rules that prohibit transferring the data of EU citizens to other countries. Ireland’s Data Protection Commission, the agency of record in the region in which Meta was sued, said that the tech giant continues to operate outside of compliance with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) after a 2020 ruling by the bloc’s highest court found that Facebook user data was being shipped to America without adequate protection from U.S. spy agencies. Continue reading Meta Is Fined $1.3 Billion for Facebook’s EU Privacy Violation

Big Tech Braces for Potential Impact of EU Digital Markets Act

The European Union’s Digital Markets Act, applicable as of May 1, finds tech giants scrambling to anticipate regional compliance. The regulatory framework aims to ensure tech giants don’t abuse their clout by taking advantage of consumers and smaller companies. Within two months, companies providing core platform services will have to notify the European Commission and provide all relevant information. The Commission will then have two months to identify companies that fit the DMA definition of “gatekeeper.” Those that do will be subject to DMA rules and have six months to conform. Continue reading Big Tech Braces for Potential Impact of EU Digital Markets Act

OpenAI Previews ChatGPT Business, Unveils Privacy Controls

OpenAI is readying ChatGPT Business, a new subscription tier “for professionals who need more control over their data as well as enterprises seeking to manage their end users.” Pricing plans have yet to be disclosed for ChatGPT Business, which will be rolling out in the coming months, but OpenAI said it will adhere to the company’s API’s data usage policies, which means that by default end users’ data would not be used to train its models. The business plan was mentioned as part of an announcement disclosing that all ChatGPT users now have the ability to turn off their chat history. Continue reading OpenAI Previews ChatGPT Business, Unveils Privacy Controls

Google’s MusicLM AI Can Generate Tunes from Text Prompts

Google is introducing a new artificial intelligence app called MusicLM that creates music in any style or genre based on text prompts and can translate a whistled melody or casually hummed snipped into instrument sounds. TechCrunch calls the technology “impressive” but says the Alphabet company “fearing the risks, has no immediate plans to release it,” in recognition of the controversy surrounding AI models trained using copyrighted material. MusicLM was created using a dataset of 280,000 musical hours, resulting in the ability to generate minutes-long songs of “significant complexity.” Continue reading Google’s MusicLM AI Can Generate Tunes from Text Prompts

New Ad Certification Group Seeks Support of Major Agencies

The new joint industry committee, or JIC, formed by major TV networks and media firms has begun actively pursuing major advertising agency members, offering the buy side to pull up a seat at the table. The goal: “to enable multiple currencies with the primary focus of creating a measurement certification process to establish the suitability of emerging cross-platform measurement solutions in advance of the 2024 upfronts,” the JIC says. Founding members include FOX, NBCUniversal, Paramount Global, TelevisaUnivision, Warner Bros. Discovery, analytics-driven ad firm OpenAP and the Video Advertising Bureau (VAB). Continue reading New Ad Certification Group Seeks Support of Major Agencies

Meta $725M Cambridge Analytica Settlement Moves Forward

Meta Platforms has agreed to pay $725 million to settle a 2018 class action lawsuit initiated by Facebook users who said their personal data was breached in an incident involving UK-based political consultancy Cambridge Analytica. The proposed amount would reportedly be the largest settlement in a U.S. data privacy class action. Although Meta is not admitting to any wrongdoing as part of the settlement, the firm says it has over the past three years “revamped” its approach to privacy. Lawyers for the plaintiffs called the proposal a “historic settlement” that will provide meaningful relief in a “complex and novel” case. Continue reading Meta $725M Cambridge Analytica Settlement Moves Forward