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  • Microsoft Quits OpenAI’s Board Amid Antitrust Scrutiny

Microsoft Quits OpenAI’s Board Amid Antitrust Scrutiny

Also: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip 6 arrive with Galaxy AI and Google Gemini


In today’s newsletter, we delve into key developments in the AI industry. Microsoft has stepped down from OpenAI’s board amid antitrust scrutiny in the U.S. and Europe, following a period of significant changes at OpenAI. Amazon’s AWS has launched a series of new AI products, intensifying competition in the cloud sector. The Washington Post introduces an AI-driven chatbot focused on climate change, reflecting its commitment to AI integration. In the educational sphere, AI tools are enhancing but not replacing traditional teaching methods, emphasizing the irreplaceable human element. Samsung unveils its Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip 6 with advanced AI capabilities, marking a notable step in its AI-driven strategy. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s VALL-E 2 speech generator achieves human parity, but remains unreleased due to ethical concerns. Lastly, AMD’s acquisition of Finnish startup Silo AI for $665 million underscores its ambition to strengthen its position in the AI race.


  • 🚨 Microsoft Quits OpenAI’s Board Amid Antitrust Scrutiny

  • 🆕 Amazon's cloud launches blitz of new AI products

  • 👩🏻‍🏫 AI Can’t Replace Teaching, but It Can Make It Better

  • 🤳🏼 Samsung Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip 6 arrive with Galaxy AI and Google Gemini

  • ⚠️ AI speech generator 'reaches human parity' — but it's too dangerous to release, scientists say

Microsoft has resigned from its observer role on OpenAI’s board amid antitrust scrutiny from regulators in the U.S. and Europe. This decision follows the realization that the observer position had unsettled some antitrust officials. Microsoft had initially gained the nonvoting observer seat during a tumultuous period for OpenAI, marked by significant board changes and the reinstatement of CEO Sam Altman. The company stated that OpenAI’s board has now stabilized, making Microsoft’s role unnecessary. This move comes as the Federal Trade Commission and the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority investigate whether the partnership between Microsoft and OpenAI constitutes a de facto merger, while the European Union continues to monitor the relationship for potential regulatory concerns.

The Washington Post has launched “Climate Answers,” an AI-driven chatbot designed to respond to user queries about climate change using information from the publication’s articles. Developed in collaboration with AI firms like OpenAI and Meta’s Llama, the chatbot leverages a large-language model to provide answers grounded in the Post’s reporting. Initially focused on climate, there are plans to expand its scope to other topics. The chatbot declines to answer if it cannot adequately respond based on available data, ensuring the reliability of its outputs. This initiative, along with AI-generated article summaries, reflects the Post’s ongoing efforts to integrate AI under the leadership of new CEO Will Lewis.

AI tools are increasingly integrated into educational environments, providing various forms of support without replacing human teachers. These AI applications, such as voice-activated assistants and chatbots, assist with tasks like summoning educational content, generating quizzes, and offering feedback. However, AI still struggles with engaging and motivating students, a critical aspect of effective teaching. Experts suggest that AI’s best role is to augment human teachers, enhancing their ability to manage classrooms and personalize instruction. Successful implementations, like Origin and Khanmigo, show potential in assisting teachers, but maintaining the human element remains crucial for student engagement and motivation.

Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Z Flip 6 have been launched with enhanced AI capabilities powered by Galaxy AI and Google Gemini. These devices, priced at USD$1,900 and USD$1,100 respectively, are equipped with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip and boast features such as improved photo editing, real-time translation, and voice transcription. The Galaxy AI system also supports tasks like summarizing voice recordings and translating PDFs, while the Google Gemini integration offers advanced functions including detailed travel planning and educational content assistance. This launch marks a significant step in Samsung’s AI-driven strategy, aiming to enhance user experience without drastically changing hardware dynamics.

Microsoft’s VALL-E 2, a groundbreaking AI speech generator, achieves a significant milestone by reaching human parity in text-to-speech synthesis. Capable of convincingly reproducing human voices from just a few seconds of audio, VALL-E 2 utilizes advanced techniques like Repetition Aware Sampling and Grouped Code Modeling to produce natural and fluid speech. Despite its impressive performance, Microsoft has withheld VALL-E 2 from public release due to potential risks associated with misuse, such as voice spoofing and deepfakes. Researchers emphasize that while the technology has promising applications in education, entertainment, and accessibility, safeguards are necessary to ensure ethical use.

🛠️ AI tools updates

The Washington Post has introduced “Climate Answers,” an AI-driven chatbot designed to address user queries about climate change by drawing information from the publication’s extensive reporting. Developed collaboratively by the Post’s product, engineering, and editorial teams, the chatbot utilizes technology from AI firms including OpenAI and Meta’s Llama. The tool aims to ensure all responses are backed by the Post’s journalism, declining to answer queries if sufficient information isn’t available. This initiative, part of a broader push under new CEO Will Lewis, represents the Post’s ongoing efforts to integrate AI into its offerings, with future plans to expand the chatbot’s scope beyond climate topics.

💵 Venture Capital updates

AMD has announced its acquisition of Finnish AI startup Silo AI for $665 million, a strategic move aimed at enhancing its AI chip capabilities and competing with industry leader Nvidia. This acquisition will bolster AMD’s ability to develop and deploy AI models powered by its hardware and improve its software development capabilities. Silo AI specializes in end-to-end AI solutions and serves notable clients like Philips, Rolls-Royce, and Unilever. The acquisition is part of AMD’s broader strategy to expand its AI footprint, following previous acquisitions of AI firms Mipsology and Nod.ai. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2024.

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