Hashtag Trending January 30- Big Tech face pressure over AI; Intel’s devastating earnings call; American computer chips for China’s nuclear weapons

Big Tech forced to react and ignore safety as ChatGPT gains foothold, Intel reports historically bleak earnings and China’s top nuclear weapons uses American chips.

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That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Monday, January 30, and I am your host, Ashee Pamma.

According to a report by the Washington Post, ChatGPT’s growing popularity is forcing Big Tech to move faster and potentially ignore safety concerns with new AI technologies. At Meta, employees have recently shared internal memos urging the company to speed up its AI approval process to take advantage of the latest technology. Google, which helped pioneer some of the technology underpinning ChatGPT, recently issued a “code red” around launching AI products and proposed a “green lane” to shorten the process of assessing and mitigating potential harms, according to a report in the New York Times. A Google employee said that people feel like OpenAI is newer and fresher, more exciting and has fewer sins to pay for and they can get away with this now. Meta’s Blenderbot and Galactica and Microsoft’s Tay either folded or gained low public interest after their launch. Microsoft seemingly has resorted to  embracing ChatGPT with its recent 10 billion investment in OpenAI and announcements to integrate the AI into its services.

Source: Washington Post

Intel saw $8 billion wiped off its market value on Friday after the U.S. chipmaker reported historic dismal earnings projections, as the personal-computer market faces an unprecedented slump. Its revenue forecast was also $3 billion below estimates as it struggled with slowing growth in the data center business. Intel shares closed 6.4% lower, while rival Advanced Micro Devices (AMD.O) and Nvidia (NVDA.O) ended the session up 0.3% and 2.8%, respectively. Reuters reported that Intel has been losing market share to rivals which have used contract chipmakers such as Taiwan-based TSMC to make chips that outpace Intel’s technology. Analysts also claim that AMD data center chips have a strong price-performance advantage compared to Intel’s processors which would further drive down its share gains.

Source: Reuters

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, China’s top nuclear weapons research institute has bought sophisticated U.S. computer chips, despite long standing export restrictions aimed at limiting the use of any U.S. products for atomic-weapons research by foreign powers. A Journal review of research papers published by the China Academy of Engineering Physics  CAEP, one of the first Chinese institutions put on the U.S. blacklist, found that at least 34 over the past decade referenced using American semiconductors in the research. Most of the chips procured by the academy ranged in size from 7 nanometers to 14 nanometers, many of which are difficult for China to mass produce. They are widely available on the open market. Versions of Intel’s Xeon Gold and Nvidia’s GeForce RTX chips purchased by CAEP can be bought off Taobao, one of China’s largest e-commerce marketplaces.

Source: WSJ

Decreased advertising spend and revenue is driving the mass layoffs, a report by The Conversation revealed. Advertising revenue decreased last year – in part due to fears over a global recession triggered by the pandemic, leading to decreased expenditure on staffing. Large numbers of employees have been laid off from major tech companies, since the end of the pandemic hiring spree,  including Alphabet (12,000 employees), Amazon (18,000), Meta (11,000), Twitter (4,000), Microsoft (10,000) and Salesforce (8,000). The report reveals that these figures don’t include the downstream layoffs, such as advertising agencies laying off staff as ad spend reduces, or manufacturers downsizing as tech product orders decrease– or even potential layoffs yet to come. This does not mean much for consumers or the overall economy as work on tech products and services is still expanding, and layoffs, though striking, still represent a fraction of the total tech workforce.

Source: The Conversation

Microsoft is seeking to redesign and introduce a more touch-friendly navigation interface to the File Explorer app in Windows 11, according to a report from Windows Central. The new Explorer will reportedly have better photo viewing with larger previews, keyword and color tagging for organizing files as well as tighter integration with Microsoft 365 and OneDrive. An internal mock-up of the new interface features a new “recommended” section of files alongside the existing areas for pinned and recent files, with large previews of various documents and information about where the files are located (OneDrive, SharePoint, and the local Downloads folder are all listed). The new look will also come with “more modern code” under the hood, Ars Technica wrote.

Source: Ars Technica

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash briefings or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Thursday morning. If you have a suggestion or a tip, drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thank you for listening, I’m Ashee Pamma.


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Ashee Pamma
Ashee Pamma
Ashee is a writer for ITWC. She completed her degree in Communication and Media Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa. She hopes to become a columnist after further studies in Journalism. You can email her at [email protected]

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