Hashtag Trending Sep.19- Microsoft chief product officer leaves company ahead of Surface event; UK regulator sets out seven AI governance principles; TikTok devises new RTO strategy

Microsoft’s chief product officer quits ahead of Surface event, UK regulator lays out seven principles guiding AI regulation and companies, TikTok takes its RTO strategy to the next level and Twitter’s rival/clone announces rebrand.

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Microsoft’s head of Surface hardware and leader of the Windows operating business, Panos Panay announced via an official tweet that he is leaving the company. 

Intriguingly, his abrupt resignation comes just days ahead of Microsoft’s upcoming Surface-centric event, an event that Panay said he was “pumped” to attend, only weeks ago.

Bloomberg reports that Panay is being hired by Amazon to run the team that builds the Alexa voice assistant, Echo smart speakers, Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets and streaming sticks. Ironically enough, Amazon has its own event this week, on Wednesday.

Panay became the chief product officer in 2018 after he led the development of Windows 11 and shepherded the Surface product line. In 2021, he was promoted to executive vice president and eventually became involved in a leadership team that directly advised CEO Satya Nadella.

Panay said that he has “decided to turn the page and write the next chapter,” but gave no reason for his departure.

In a statement to the press, Nadella thanked Panay for his  19 years of service and announced that Yusuf Mehdi, the company’s current corporate vice president of modern life, search and devices, will take Panay’s place as the head of the Windows and Surface divisions.

He stressed that “[Microsoft’s] commitment to Surface and M[ixed] R[eality] remains unchanged.”

Source: IT World Canada, Tom’s Hardware, Engadget

Cloud security researchers at Wiz discovered that Microsoft accidentally leaked 38 terabytes of data via an unsecured Azure storage.

According to Microsoft, the exposed data included backups of personal information belonging to Microsoft employees, including passwords for Microsoft services, secret keys, and an archive of over 30,000 internal Microsoft Teams messages originating from 359 Microsoft employees.

The company reassured that no “customer data was exposed, no other internal services services were put at risk and that no customer action is required in response.

Bleeping Computer revealed that the leak started in 2020 with the Microsoft AI research division accidentally leaking dozens of terabytes of sensitive data, while contributing open source AI learning models to a public GitHub repository.

Wiz CTO & Cofounder Ami Luttwak told BleepingComputer, “AI unlocks huge potential for tech companies. However, as data scientists and engineers race to bring new AI solutions to production, the massive amounts of data they handle require additional security checks and safeguards.”

Source: Bleeping Computer

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (the CMA) has set out seven specific principles designed to help guide AI regulations and companies.

The regulatory body said the principles are necessary to protect competition and prevent low-performing AI systems from proliferating.

The regulator focused its attention on foundation models like Open’s AI GPT-4, Meta’s Llama 2 and other large language models that underpin many generative AI use cases.

As part of the seven principles, the companies making the foundation models should ensure developers and businesses using the models are accountable for the output consumers are given; they should ensure broad access to chips, processors and training data needed to develop these AI systems; and offer both open and closed models.

The CMA also said companies should offer a choice for businesses to decide how to use the model, offer flexibility or interoperability to switch to other models or use multiple models at the same time. Additionally, companies are required to avoid anti-competitive actions like bundling or self-preferencing, and offer transparency into the risks and limitations of generative AI content.

The UK regulator developed the principles following an initial review before it launched a series of dialogues with consumer and civil society groups as well as foundation model developers like Google, Meta, OpenAI, Microsoft, Nvidia and more.

Source: The Verge

Rumours that the new USB-C charging port in Apple’s newly launched iPhone 15 does not deliver faster charging are swirling.

That comes as criticisms poured in after the launch, pummeling the lack of new features and innovation in the new iPhone.

The new USB-C charging port, however, unanimously buoyed hopes. 

Yet, Mac Rumors and Apple Insider both wrote about a new report from the Japanese blog Mac Otakara that claims that the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro will be limited to 27W charging, which is the same as the iPhone 14 Pro models.

These reports are unconfirmed but if they turn out to be true, Apple users would be disappointed especially since the iPhone has long been behind its competitors in charging speeds.

Source: Mashable

Companies like Zoom, IBM, and Amazon have made it clear they want folks back to the office desk. 

Reportedly, TikTok also told its employees in the United States that as of October they will be required to be in the building at least three days per week and that some teams will need to be there every day.

Leaving no stone unturned though, the company has devised a new tool, an app called MyRTO, built into the company’s internal software, capable of monitoring in-office attendance by monitoring badge swipes. Anyone found to have a “deviation” – an absence on a day they were meant to be in the office – will be asked to explain it.

There will also be a dashboard where the attendance data is visible to employees, supervisors, and the company’s human resource division. 

Moreover, employees in TikTok’s New York office have reportedly been told that a lunch stipend will be linked to the app, requiring a check-in from the office to access the funds.

Reportedly workers in ByteDance’s Asia-Pacific region have largely been back in the office, usually full-time, for well over a year.

Source: Tech Spot

Salesforce announced it is hiring 3,300 in the engineering, data and sales departments after it axed 8000 jobs or 10 per cent of its workforce in a restructuring earlier this year.

Chief executive officer Marc Benioff said last week in an interview at Dreamforce, the company’s annual conference in San Francisco, “Our job is to grow the company and to continue to achieve great margins. “We know we have to hire thousands of people.”

He explained that many of the hires will be “boomerangs” or people who worked at Salesforce before going to a different company. He believes that attracting boomerangs is a new success metric for the company.

Benioff also said he held an “alumni event for people who are employed in other companies to say — it’s OK, come back.”

The January cuts were made in a bid to boost profits. Executives maintained at Dreamforce that similar, further strategic cuts may still occur.

Source: Data Center Knowledge

T2, a social media platform that vouched, back in January to take on Twitter, amid Elon Musk’s chaotic takeover, has rebranded as Pebble. 

The company said the name T2 was “never meant to be permanent,” adding that it was “uninspired and derivative”. At its launch, the name did indicate a desire to build a Twitter clone.

The name Pebble, the company said, represents something small, unassuming that can be tossed into the vast ocean like a tiny message sent out into the world.

Along with the renaming, Pebble has a new look that features its logo and a new “Ideas” section that offers suggestions of posts based on what you’ve been chatting about, your bio and who you follow.

But Pebble has already cloned many of Twitter’s former features in the months since its debut, including the classic verification checkmark — even giving people their “legacy” verification back — as well as other features like quote posts, DMs and its own For You feed.

Founded by Gabor Cselle, who sold his prior companies to Twitter and Google, and Sarah Oh, Twitter’s former human rights advisor, Pebble is backed by $1.1 million in funding.

Source: Tech Crunch

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.

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