Hashtag Trending Jul.20-Gartner predicts IT spending will continue to grow; Microsoft responds to pressure to release more log information; Meta says it’s AI is safer as it’s not that smart

Gartner says IT spending will continue to grow in 2023, Microsoft responds to pressure to release more log information and Meta says their AI is safer because it’s not as smart (well not exactly, but not far off either) and what do your dad and AI have in common? 

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These and more top tech news stories on Hashtag Trending.  

I’m your host Jim Love, CIO of IT World Canada and Tech News Day in the US.

Gartner, a leading research and advisory company, forecasts that total worldwide IT spending will grow by 4.3 per cent in 2023, reaching a total of $4.7 trillion. This growth is driven by the ongoing digital business transformations and the shift in IT projects from external-facing deliverables such as revenue and customer experience, to more inward-facing efforts focusing on optimization.

The software segment is expected to see double-digit growth in 2023 as organizations increase utilization and reallocate spending to core applications and platforms that support efficiency gains. However, devices spending is projected to decline by 8.6 per cent in 2023 due to the ongoing impact of inflation on consumer purchasing power.

Despite the buzz around generative AI, it is not yet significantly impacting IT spending levels. Most enterprises are expected to incorporate generative AI in a slow and controlled manner through upgrades to tools that are already built into IT budgets.

Sources include: Gartner 

Microsoft has announced it will offer customers wider access to security logs for free starting in September. This move is aimed at helping customers better identify hackers on their networks. Good for you Microsoft for listening.

The announcement follows recent criticism over Microsoft’s tier-priced logging practices after a disclosure that a China-based espionage group hacked government Exchange email accounts.  

Microsoft plans to make more than 30 different log data types available for free to customers who have a license for Microsoft’s lower-cost cloud services. Previously, this information was only offered to premium license holders of Microsoft Purview Audit. Microsoft will also start storing up to 180 days of logging activity by default, double the previous limit of 90 days. Good for you Microsoft for listening.

Sources include: Axios 

Meta has unveiled its latest open-source AI model, Llama 2, which is now available for commercial use for free. This move is part of Meta’s strategy to compete with OpenAI’s ChatGPT. The new model has been adopted by industry giants such as Microsoft, Amazon, and Qualcomm, with Microsoft being the preferred cloud partner.

However, the release of Llama 2 has raised concerns about potential misuse. While users must agree to an acceptable use policy, enforcing these rules could be challenging once the code is out there. Government experts are particularly worried that freely available, powerful AI models could accelerate the emergence of threats, such as genetically engineered bioweapons.

Despite these concerns, Meta’s policy chief, Nick Clegg, downplayed Llama’s capabilities in an Axios interview, stating that Llama models are “much, much dumber” than frontier models, which are highly capable models in risky fields. He also noted that while Llama 2 is designed to run on devices as well as in the cloud, Meta will have to deal with whatever Llama produces, including potential misinformation.  Well, I feel better about that, don’t you?

Sources include: Axios 

A Canadian government program designed to attract highly skilled tech workers from the U.S. reached its maximum capacity of 10,000 applicants within a day of its launch. The program, aimed at H-1B visa holders in the U.S., is part of a broader federal strategy to attract talent from abroad. The H-1B visa allows foreign nationals to work temporarily in the U.S. in specialized occupations, including the tech sector.

The rapid filling of the program drew attention from industry figures, including Elon Musk, who expressed surprise on Twitter.  Don’t worry, Elon, some Canadians wonder why anyone would want to be part of your anti-woke culture. Oops. Was that my non-objective inside voice?

The Council of Canadian Innovators has suggested that the government should consider expanding the program due to the high demand.

However, the application process has been criticized for its complexity and lack of clear instructions, with some applicants reportedly abandoning their applications due to the burdensome process.

Sources include: CBC 

Maybelline New York has partnered with Microsoft to launch an innovative virtual makeup application within Microsoft Teams. The Maybelline Beauty App allows users to apply virtual makeup during Teams meetings, offering a quick and easy way to adjust personal style. The app is powered by Modiface AI and was developed in collaboration with the Geena Davis Institute to ensure a broad and diverse representation.

The app provides 12 makeup looks that users can apply with a simple click. Each look includes a product breakdown, allowing users to understand which Maybelline New York product and shade make up the virtual look and how to recreate it in real life. The virtual makeup looks are now globally available as an option in Teams video calls to those with a Teams enterprise license.  

This collaboration is seen as a step towards democratizing makeup and empowering people with self-confidence, especially in the workplace. It also marks Maybelline New York’s latest venture into the digital makeup world.  And I’m waiting for the hair club for men to jump in. Inside voice again? Outside? Who knows.

Sources include: Newswire 

Apple is reportedly testing generative AI tools to rival OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard, according to Bloomberg News. The tech giant’s move into the AI space is seen as a strategic step to compete with other major players in the industry. However, specific details about Apple’s AI offerings and their potential applications remain undisclosed. This development could mark a significant shift in Apple’s AI strategy, potentially leading to new products and services. We’re watchin’ for you Siri.

Sources include: Reuters 

And hey, dads don’t look so stupid now, do they? Researchers Sophie Jentzsch and Kristian Kersting have found that OpenAI’s ChatGPT-3.5 tends to repeat the same 25 jokes when asked to generate humour. In their study, they found that 90 per cent of 1,008 generated jokes were the same 25 jokes, suggesting that the AI model’s responses were learned and memorized during training rather than being newly generated.

The researchers also found that ChatGPT could explain the humour in these jokes, indicating an understanding of stylistic elements like wordplay and double meanings. However, it struggled with sequences that didn’t fit into learned patterns and couldn’t tell when a joke wasn’t funny. Instead, it would make up plausible-sounding explanations.

Despite these limitations, the researchers believe that ChatGPT’s focus on content and meaning in humor indicates progress toward a more comprehensive understanding of humour in language models or a better understanding of your dad. Okay, I added the last part.

Sources include: Ars Technica

And that’s the top tech news stories for today. I didn’t make these up, it was just one of those days.

Hashtag Trending goes to air five days a week with a special weekend interview episode called Hashtag Trending, the Weekend Edition.  You can follow us on Google, Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. 

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Jim Love
Jim Lovehttp://www.itworldcanada.com/
I've been in IT and business for over 30 years. I worked my way up, literally from the mail room and I've done every job from mail clerk to CEO. Today I'm CIO of a great company - IT World Canada - Canada's leading ICT publisher.

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