Hashtag Trending Oct.17 – Generative AI gives surge to “AI washing”; LinkedIn announces it’s laying off over 660 employees; New York State Assembly introduces bill to regulate 3D printed firearms

It’s not “AI washing” it’s fraud, according to a US regulator. LinkedIn announces key layoffs. You might need a background check before you get that 3D printer And a financial crash brought about by AI is “nearly unavoidable” according to the chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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

Generative AI is rapidly gaining traction in the tech industry, with many businesses eager to capitalize on its potential. However, this surge in interest has given rise to “AI washing,” where companies falsely claim to incorporate AI into their products or services. 

But some regulators are taking a dim view of this. A recent lawsuit by the Federal Trade Commission highlighted this issue, where a company named Automators AI (previously Empire Ecommerce LLC) allegedly deceived consumers by promoting AI-driven business opportunities claiming to integrate AI machine learning into its automation process, boosting revenue and bolstering business success. In reality, they did nothing of the sort.

Regulators point out that this is not simply “marketing spin” – it’s fraud and in this case the defendants are accused of scamming their victims out of $22 million. 

Sources: Zdnet 

LinkedIn has announced its decision to lay off over 660 employees due to efficiencies generated by their use of AI. The layoffs span engineering, product, talent, and finance teams. They represent a three per cent reduction in the company’s global workforce.

This is the second major round of layoffs for LinkedIn this year, with the company previously cutting 716 jobs, not due to AI or efficiencies, but because of discontinuing its Chinese app, InCareer. 

These changes come as part of a broader restructuring strategy, with a focus on optimizing the platform around artificial intelligence (AI). Recently, LinkedIn introduced several AI-driven product features, including AI-assisted candidate discovery for recruiters and AI-powered coaching for premium subscribers. 

LinkedIn is one of the oldest continuing social media platforms and it remains a dominant force in the social networking space, boasting a user base of 950 million and still growing across over 200 countries.

Sources: Axios 

The New York State Assembly has introduced a bill that seeks to regulate the sale of three-dimensional printers capable of producing firearms. The proposed legislation mandates that any retailer selling such 3D printers in the state must request and obtain criminal history information about the purchaser from the Division of Criminal Justice Services. The Division of Criminal Justice Services will be authorized to submit fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a national criminal background check. The bill aims to prevent individuals with felony convictions, serious offenses, or outstanding arrest warrants related to such crimes from purchasing 3D printers that can produce firearms or their components.

Sources: NYsenate 

Gary Gensler, the chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has voiced concerns about the potential risks associated with the rapid adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) by Wall Street. In an interview with the Financial Times, Gensler stated that it is “nearly unavoidable” for AI to cause a financial crash by the late 2020s or early 2030s. He emphasized the dangers of over-reliance on models developed by tech companies, suggesting that such dependence could lead to economic turmoil. Gensler highlighted the need for regulations that address both the AI models created by tech firms and their application by Wall Street banks. He described the situation as a “cross-regulatory challenge.” Notably, while Wall Street has been quick to integrate generative AI, with Morgan Stanley launching an AI assistant based on OpenAI’s GPT4, some banks like Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, and Bank of America have restricted the use of ChatGPT.

Sources: Business Insider 

Microsoft is actively seeking a team manager with expertise in robotics to spearhead the automation of its datacenter operations. This move comes shortly after the tech giant attributed an outage at its Australian facility to a lack of adequate staffing. The job listing, which appeared on Microsoft’s official site, emphasizes the role’s significance in “shaping the future of datacenter operations.” The ideal candidate should possess over three years of hands-on experience in “automation and robotics for hardware equipment.” 

This push for enhanced datacenter automation might be linked to a recent incident in Australia where a power supply issue led to an Azure cloud region outage. The infrastructure failed to restart automatically, revealing a staffing shortage during the incident. Datacenter operators have been exploring robot-assisted site management for years. Rising personnel costs and a demand-supply gap for skilled staff have been concerns in the industry.

The position, while based in Microsoft’s Redmond location, offers up to 100 per cent remote work. The salary range posted is between $133,600 to $256,800 not for the robots 

Sources: The Register 

A groundbreaking achievement has been made by a 21-year-old computer-science student, Luke Farritor from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. He has successfully read the first text inside a carbonized scroll from the ancient Roman city of Herculaneum, which had been unreadable since the volcanic eruption in AD 79 that also buried Pompeii. Farritor developed a machine-learning algorithm that detected Greek letters on the rolled-up papyrus, including the word πορϕυρας (porphyras), meaning ‘purple’. This monumental discovery could potentially unveil hundreds of texts from the only intact library from Greco-Roman antiquity. The Vesuvius Challenge, which was set up to encourage such discoveries, awarded Farritor the ‘first letters’ prize of $40,000 for his achievement.

Sources: Nature.com 

That’s the top tech news stories for today. For more fast reads on top stories, check us out at TechNewsDay.com or ITWorldCanada.com on the homepage. 

Hashtag Trending goes to air 5 days a week with a special weekend interview show we call “the Weekend Edition.”

You can get us anywhere you get audio podcasts and there is a copy of the show notes at itworldcanada.com/podcasts 

I’m your host, Jim Love – have a Terrific Tuesday.

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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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