Hashtag Trending Sep 20-Microsoft responsible for massive Xbox leak?; X behind a paywall; Toyota teaches robots how to make breakfast

Microsoft continues to suffer a bumpy week with an Xbox leak, Elon Musk could soon put X, formerly Twitter, behind a paywall and Toyota is making AI-trained breakfast bots.

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I’m your guest host, James Roy.

Microsoft’s future plans for its gaming console, Xbox have been published online. 

The files were uploaded Friday to a website hosted by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, where the FTC is suing to block Microsoft’s acquisition of the video game company Activision Blizzard.

The files have over 100 documents, including information about a refreshed Series X Xbox, an updated Xbox controller, plans to support cloud-hybrid games with the next-gen Xbox, as well as aspirations to buy Nintendo.

It’s not clear if the files were intended to be accessible to the public, but Douglas Farrar, director of the FTC’s office of public affairs, told NBC News that “Microsoft was responsible for the error in uploading these documents to the court.”

Following the leak, the District Court has now deleted all of the evidence in the FTC v. Microsoft case from its website.

Source: NBC News, The Verge, Engadget

There’s no end in sight for the AI race as Google launches the first update to its chatbot, Bard, right as ChatGPT has been seeing a decrease in activity.

Google has been trailing behind OpenAI and Microsoft since the AI brouhaha started, but continued to rain AI updates on its products.

In this new update, users can now ask Google’s Bard chatbot to double-check its answers.

English-language Bard users will also be able to add Bard Extensions when they use the chatbot.

The opt-in Extensions plug-in connects Bard to Google products such as Gmail, Docs, Drive, Maps, YouTube, and Google Flights. The service could, for example, summarize unread emails or construct a draft trip itinerary combining material from your Gmail, Docs and Google Flights.

Intriguingly, Google promised that “your content from Gmail, Docs and Drive is not seen by human reviewers, used by Bard to show you ads or used to train the Bard model.”  This comes as a number of companies including Microsoft and  OpenAI’s ChatGPT, have been facing a bevy of criticism for scraping consumer data to train AI models.

Source: Axios

TikTok announced a new way for creators to label content made from artificial intelligence tools. 

The platform’s user guidelines already require creators to disclose when content is made using AI tools. So the new feature will prompt a creator to turn on the labeling feature so users know when videos were created using AI.

The prompt also includes a reminder that content could be removed if it’s not disclosed that AI tools were involved.

TikTok also said that it will begin testing a way to automatically label content as AI-generated.

Source: The Verge

The parents of Sam Bankman Fried, the founder of bankrupt firm FTX are being sued for allegedly holding millions of “fraudulently transferred” dollars and for turning a blind eye to misconduct at the company.

The legal action was filed on behalf of those owed money after the firm’s failure last year.

According to the filing, Bankman Fried’s parents received a $10 million gift in cash from funds that belonged to FTX’s partner company, while FTX also gave them a $16.4 million property in the Bahamas.

Managers at the bankrupt crypto trading firm also said it was used by Bankman-Fried and other “insiders” as a “piggy bank” and that his parents “helped perpetuate or benefited from this fraudulent largesse”.

Attorneys for his parents said the claims against them were “completely false” and designed to hurt their son’s chances at trial.

Source: BBC News

And on our continuing series, the X Files, here’s the latest from the artist formerly known as Twitter.

Elon Musk has suggested in a conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu  that all users of X, formerly called Twitter, may have to pay for access to the platform. So much for freeing the bird…

A paywall, he says, is the only way to counter bots. He previously said that charging for verification is the solution for getting rid of bots and fake accounts on the social media platform.

And then he continued to look for new ways to incentivize users to pay for an enhanced service. But X has remained free till now.

Musk said “This is a longer discussion, but in my view, this is actually the only defence against vast armies of bots.”

He also reiterated to Netanyahu that he was against antisemitism after the Anti-Defamation League campaign group (the ADL) accused him of not doing enough to stop antisemitic content. Musk has promised to sue the ADL to clear the platform’s name.

Source: BBC News 

Meanwhile, Musk’s SpaceX is suing the U.S. government after the Department of Justice accused the rocket and satellite company last month of routinely refusing to hire people who were not US citizens or green card holders between 2018 and 2022.

SpaceX called the case unconstitutional and said that the DOJ administrative judges, who hear cases involving employment bias against immigrants, are not properly appointed, and that keeping the case out of court deprives the company of its constitutional right to a jury trial.

SpaceX said that DOJ administrative judges are appointed by the U.S. attorney general but have powers that should be reserved only for officials appointed by the president.

The company also said that, in fact, it hired hundreds of non-US citizens, but that some of its projects have national security implications and it could face steep fines for employing foreign workers.

But regardless of the merits of the DOJ’s claims, SpaceX argues that the administrative case is not allowed under the Constitution.

Source: New York Post

One Musk company, one chaos at a time; Starlink, which is currently mired in another investigation over the role it played in hindering a Ukraine attack on Russia, has apparently lost over 212 satellites in the period spanning July 18th and September 18th.

Data shows the number of burned-up satellites steadily increasing over the past three years, but a significant spike can be observed starting the month of July.

It’s unclear whether these satellites were scheduled to de-orbit or whether the burn-ups were a result of a failure.

Source: CyberNews

The Toyota Research Institute (TRI) is using generative AI in a “kindergarten for robots” to teach robots how to make breakfast. 

Researchers accomplished this by giving robots a sense of touch, plugging them into an AI model, and then, as you would a human being, showing them how.

Technically, the model can “feel” what it’s doing which gives it more information. That makes difficult tasks easier to carry out than with sight alone. Researchers say that the model learns in the background “over a matter of hours” after being taught a set of skills.

The goal is to create Large Behaviour Models or LBMs for robots. Similar to how LLMs are trained by noting patterns in human writing. Toyota’s LBMs would learn by observation, then “generalize, performing a new skill that they’ve never been taught.”

The researchers say they’ve trained over 60 challenging skills, like “pouring liquids, using tools, and manipulating deformable objects.” They want to up that number to 1,000 by the end of 2024.

Source: The Verge

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, James Roy. Have a Wonderful Wednesday!

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