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  • Pentagon steps on AI accelerator as age of lethal autonomy looms

Pentagon steps on AI accelerator as age of lethal autonomy looms

Also: AI Adoption to Soar in Asia/Pacific Japan: IDC Predicts 80% of CIOs Will Harness AI by 2028


Today’s newsletter covers a range of developments in the AI field, highlighting the Pentagon's significant investment in AI-enabled autonomous vehicles under the "Replicator" project to compete with China's advancements. In contrast, OpenAI's internal turmoil and leadership changes underscore the challenges and debates surrounding the pace and control of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) development. Japan's decision to issue guidelines for generative AI without penalties reflects a regulatory approach prioritizing innovation while safeguarding privacy and personal information. Meanwhile, IDC's FutureScape report predicts a substantial increase in AI adoption among CIOs in Asia-Pacific Japan by 2028, emphasizing its transformative impact across industries. In AI tools updates, Bard's new YouTube integration showcases its ability to extract key information from videos, and WhatsApp's latest beta features AI assistants with unique personas, marking a notable advance in AI's integration into communication apps. Finally, in venture capital news, Japan's Toppan Holdings announces a significant investment in the AI-driven semiconductor industry, indicating the growing importance of AI in diverse sectors.


  • 🪖 Pentagon steps on AI accelerator as age of lethal autonomy looms

  • ⚠️ The ‘AI doomers’ have lost this battle

  • ⛔ Japan's generative AI guidelines to carry no penalties

  • 🌏 AI Adoption to Soar in Asia/Pacific Japan: IDC Predicts 80% of CIOs Will Harness AI by 2028

The Pentagon aims to deploy thousands of AI-enabled autonomous vehicles by 2026, a project known as "Replicator," to keep pace with advancements in China. This initiative reflects a broader shift in military innovation towards more cost-effective, intelligent, and numerous platforms. The Pentagon's portfolio includes over 800 unclassified AI projects, focusing on assisting human decision-making rather than autonomous operation. However, experts predict that fully autonomous lethal weapons will soon be a reality, raising concerns about the ethical implications and control of such technology. Despite the challenges, the U.S. military is committed to advancing AI in various domains, including space warfare and predictive maintenance for aircraft. The article highlights the Pentagon's struggle to adapt to AI advancements and the ongoing debate about the responsible and ethical use of autonomous lethal weapons.

OpenAI recently experienced significant turmoil, with four CEOs changing in five days, accusations against Sam Altman, and an eventual reinstatement of Altman as CEO. This upheaval reflects internal conflicts over the pace and control of AGI development. OpenAI was founded to develop AGI quickly, acknowledging its potential benefits and dangers, and calling for governmental oversight. Critics, however, see these moves as potentially anti-competitive. The article argues that AGI remains an abstract concept without a clear theoretical model, leading to diverse opinions on its development and risk. The recent events at OpenAI have accelerated the AI field, with companies seeking alternatives to OpenAI's APIs and increasing reliance on open-source projects. This rapid progression counters the more cautious approach advocated by some, illustrating the complex dynamics and uncertainties surrounding AGI and its impact on society.

Japan's government, in its approach to regulating generative artificial intelligence (AI), has decided not to impose penalties on businesses that do not comply with new guidelines. These guidelines, which are expected to be finalized later this year, aim to foster the development and use of generative AI while safeguarding personal information. They will outline ten principles including adherence to the Constitution, respect for human dignity, privacy protection, and transparency in data processing. Additionally, the government plans to introduce measures to prevent over-reliance on AI by users and prohibit the unauthorized sharing of personal information. A certification system may also be established to ensure personal information protection and transparency among AI developers. The guidelines will primarily target businesses and are not meant for general users, with particular attention to industries like finance, healthcare, and broadcasting, where AI use poses significant risks.

According to IDC's 2023 FutureScape report, by 2028, 80% of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) will leverage organizational changes to harness AI for automation and analytics, thus driving agile, insight-driven digital businesses. The report emphasizes the expansion of AI in the digital business landscape and the associated challenges and considerations for its effective implementation. It predicts that by 2026, half of R&D staffing and capital expenditures in tech companies will be allocated to AI/automation. The article also highlights IDC's predictions for the region's AI evolution from 2023 to 2028, including productivity enhancements, customer engagement, and the introduction of new business models. Key predictions include the increasing use of GPUs and specialty processors by developers, the reliance on interwoven digital infrastructures, the emergence of self-discovery healing software, AI-influenced product design, and enhanced data privacy through AI. This report illustrates the transformative impact of AI on various industries and the region's digital future.

🛠️ AI tools updates

Bard's integration with YouTube has been enhanced to analyze individual videos and extract specific information, such as key points or recipe ingredients, without the need to play the video. This upgrade, described using the example of an Espresso Martini recipe, demonstrates Bard's ability to provide accurate ingredients and instructions, though minor discrepancies exist. The article also delves into the implications of this technology, particularly concerning content creators and publishers. It raises concerns about the potential impact on platforms like America's Test Kitchen, which relies on viewership for revenue. Currently, this feature is in an experimental phase, and the article discusses the possible future scenarios where such AI tools could challenge traditional content monetization models. The update signifies a stride in AI's capacity to parse and summarize video content, posing both opportunities and challenges in the digital media landscape.

Meta's integration of generative AI into WhatsApp allows beta testers to interact with AI avatars, each with different personas to cater to various user needs. These include a Snoop Dogg-styled Dungeon Master, a career coach named Leo, and a motivational character called Scarlett. There's also a generic virtual assistant, similar to ChatGPT and Google Bard, capable of providing advice on a range of topics. The AI conversations appear in the user's chat list as if they were real people, and they are accessible from the desktop version of WhatsApp despite being a mobile update. The article indicates that this feature is still in the experimental phase, with a limited rollout to some beta testers and plans for a broader release over time. This development represents a significant step in Meta's vision for the future, blending advanced AI capabilities into everyday communication apps.

💵 Venture Capital updates

Toppan Holdings, a Japanese printing and materials company, plans to invest approximately 60 billion yen ($400 million) over the next three years in its electronics segment, particularly targeting the AI-driven semiconductor industry. This investment marks a 10 billion yen increase from the previous period and accounts for 30% of Toppan's planned growth investments for fiscal 2023-25. The company aims to double its production capacity for FC-BGA substrates, crucial for chip packaging, compared to fiscal 2022. This move is in response to steady demand, especially from generative AI chip applications. Toppan, which recently transitioned to a holding company structure and changed its name from Toppan Printing, also plans to expand its photomask investment and overseas partnerships. Additionally, 40% of its growth investments will focus on its living and industry segment, including packaging materials, and 30% on information and communications, encompassing smart cards and passports.

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