Has Apple embraced open source for its foray into AI? Google insists that political campaigns disclose their use of AI. The IRS is using AI to go after high roller tax fraud. And a blockbuster revelation from the X files – Elon Musk prevented a Ukrainian attack on the Russian fleet by denying them connectivity through Starlink.
These and more top tech stories on Hashtag Trending
I’m your host Jim Love, CIO of IT World Canada and Tech News Day in the US.
In a surprising move, Apple has taken a step towards embracing the open-source community. While the tech giant has been known for its closed-source and even secretive approach to product development, it recently uploaded the code for its AI training framework AXLearn onto GitHub.
AXLearn, developed by Apple over the past year, is a machine-learning framework designed for training Ajax GPT, a powerful generative AI tool. This software serves as a pre-built tool for swiftly training machine-learning models. Notably, AXLearn has components optimized for Google TPUs and is a derivative of JAX, an open-source framework by Google. Apple’s decision to open-source AXLearn marks a significant departure from its traditional secrecy and some industry analysts are saying this could encourage collaboration and innovation in the AI research realm.
This move, combined with the hiring of AI experts from Google and Meta, suggests Apple’s commitment to not just ramping up its AI initiatives but that it is also adopting a more open and collaborative approach to that development.
Source included: Analytics India Mag
Google announced that starting in November, election advertisers must disclose if their ads contain digitally altered or generated content, particularly when they depict real or realistic events or individuals. This move is in response to the surge in generative AI and its potential to create misleading content in an online political space already burdened with misinformation. Michael Aciman, a Google spokesperson, stated, “This update builds on our existing transparency efforts — it’ll help further support responsible political advertising.” The policy will be strictly enforced through a mix of human review and technology. Advertisers not adhering to the guidelines risk penalties, including potential account suspension.
Sources include: Axios
Microsoft has offered to protect its AI users from copyright infringement claims.
AI-powered tools for content and software development have sparked concerns about potential IP infringement claims from the use of generative AI outputs. OpenAI and others have been sued for breach of copyright on the materials used to train the models.
Addressing these concerns, Microsoft has unveiled its Copilot Copyright Commitment. This assures customers who use Microsoft’s Copilot services don’t have to worry about copyright claims. If faced with a claim, Microsoft pledges to take on the potential legal liability.
The coverage applies to Copilot services and Bing Chat Enterprise. It includes Microsoft 365 Copilot for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and also includes GitHub Copilot.
Brad Smith, vice chair and president, and Hossein Nowbar, CVP and chief legal officer, emphasized the company’s dedication to transparency and copyright respect. They highlighted built-in guardrails in Copilots to uphold authors’ copyrights and the commitment to tackle emerging AI-related legal challenges collaboratively with stakeholders. And apparently, Microsoft is prepared to put its money where its mouth is on this issue but, the company notes that this is only for users of the paid versions of their products.
Sources include: Microsoft
Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, is reported to have personally intervened to prevent the use of the company’s Starlink satellite broadband service in certain parts of Ukraine, thwarting a significant offensive operation by Ukraine against Russia, as revealed in a recent biography about Musk.
The book, written by Walter Isaacson, discloses that in 2022, Ukraine had planned an attack on Russian naval ships near Crimea using explosive-laden submarine drones. However, these drones lost connectivity and were unable to navigate, became functionally useless and many simply ended up washing up on the shore.
The Ukrainian government reportedly pleaded with Musk to allow them connectivity with no success.
Musk claims his decision to cut off Starlink connectivity was driven by fears of a “mini-Pearl Harbor” scenario and concerns that Russia might retaliate with nuclear weapons. This revelation follows comments by SpaceX COO Gwynne Shotwell that Ukraine had “leveraged [Starlink] in ways that were unintentional and not part of any agreement.”.
The biography does, however, also convey what might be termed Musk’s ambivalence regarding support to Ukraine as reported by interactions on Twitter.
Sources include: The Register
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is harnessing the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to target potential tax violations among the ultra-wealthy. Announced on Friday, the IRS is focusing on high-income taxpayers, specifically those earning over $1 million, who may have used intricate methods to evade taxes. The AI tools will prioritize these taxpayers and identify individuals with over $250,000 in recognized tax debt. The IRS aims to enhance its detection capabilities, identify emerging compliance threats, and refine its case selection tools. The agency has also emphasized that individuals earning less than $400,000 annually won’t see an increase in audit rates. Furthermore, AI will initiate investigations into large U.S. partnerships, targeting entities like hedge funds, real estate investment partnerships, and law firms. IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel highlighted the agency’s commitment to holding the wealthy accountable and ensuring middle- and low-income filers face no change in their audit rates.
With this focus on the very wealthy, the IRS may want to check if any of its services are dependent on Starlink. Just a thought.
Sources include: Gizmodo
That’s the top tech news stories for today. Hashtag Trending goes to air 5 days a week with a special weekend interview show we call “the Weekend Edition.”
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I’m your host, Jim Love. Have a Marvelous Monday!