The privacy paradox with AI

Also: Google DeepMind boss hits back at Meta AI chief over ‘fearmongering’ claim


In today’s digest, we explore the evolving landscape of artificial intelligence and its complex relationship with privacy laws, as well as pivotal movements shaping the future of AI governance and industry adaptation. The tension between the need for ethical oversight and the drive for technological advancement is underscored by a potential UK-US AI safety partnership and corporate giants AMD and BlackRock strategizing to harness AI's transformative power. Meanwhile, controversies emerge as Google DeepMind’s head rebuts allegations of regulatory overreach, and Microsoft-backed research forecasts substantial cost savings for Indonesian business operations via generative AI. On the innovation front, Canva unveils AI-driven educational tools, and venture capital firm Section 32 bets on AI's expansive role across diverse sectors, signaling a broader embrace of AI’s disruptive potential. This convergence of policy, investment, and technology paints a dynamic picture of AI's role in shaping our digital and economic future.


  • 🔏 The privacy paradox with AI

  • 🤝 UK, US slated to announce AI safety partnership

  • 💰 AMD gives soft fourth-quarter guidance, but expects to sell $2 billion of AI chips next year

  • 🔥 Google DeepMind boss hits back at Meta AI chief over ‘fearmongering’ claim

  • 🏦 BlackRock: The investment industry is not immune to AI disruption

  • 🌴 Indonesia to save $243.5 billion in business operations with generative AI, finds new report

As AI technology pervades various industries, it brings into question the adequacy of existing privacy laws, which were created before the rise of AI and its unique data processing capabilities. The article highlights the challenges of AI in terms of data storage, usage, access, and the technology's potential to infer sensitive information. It emphasizes the need for ethical guidelines and proactive legal measures to manage AI's privacy risks, citing initiatives by industry leaders and international bodies advocating for responsible AI development and governance. The call for a sophisticated approach to AI regulation underscores the collective push towards ensuring AI's compatibility with privacy, transparency, and accountability.

The UK and US are set to announce a partnership focused on AI safety that aligns the White House's new AI development guardrails with the UK's Frontier AI Taskforce. The initiative includes establishing AI Safety Institutes in both countries, tasked with creating standards and best practices for AI risk mitigation, ranging from catastrophic risks to societal harms such as bias and misinformation. This collaboration will also involve information sharing and research collaboration between the nations and with other safety institutes globally. The White House has issued an executive order requiring AI developers to share safety test results with the US government to ensure AI systems are safe before public release, further highlighting the proactive approach both countries are taking towards AI safety governance.

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) reported third-quarter earnings that surpassed analyst expectations, citing a 4% revenue increase from the prior year to $5.6 billion. Despite this, AMD issued a cautious fourth-quarter guidance, with a sales forecast of about $6.1 billion, which falls short of the analysts' expectations of $6.37 billion. The initial reaction saw AMD's stock dip by roughly 4% in extended trading. Nonetheless, optimism was restored following AMD's optimistic forecast for 2024, especially in the AI chip sector. The company is uniquely positioned as one of the few capable of producing the high-end GPUs required for training and deploying generative AI models. With these GPUs, AMD anticipates sales could exceed $2 billion in 2024, bolstered by a projected $400 million in data center GPU revenue in the fourth quarter alone. This data center category encompasses AMD’s server processors and AI GPUs, showcasing the company's significant stake in the rapidly growing AI technology market.

In a clash of views between the heads of two tech giants, Google DeepMind’s Demis Hassabis refuted allegations made by Meta's AI chief Yann LeCun, as reported by CNBC. Hassabis denied that his company was seeking "regulatory capture" to dominate the conversation on AI regulation. LeCun had criticized Hassabis, along with executives from OpenAI and Anthropic, accusing them of "massive corporate lobbying" to ensure that AI remains under the control of a few big tech firms. Hassabis emphasized the urgency of discussing the regulation of potentially superintelligent AI now, rather than later, to prevent dire consequences. This conversation is part of a broader narrative on AI governance as DeepMind advises the UK government ahead of a significant summit on AI. The debate reflects the tension between fostering innovation and ensuring ethical oversight in the development of advanced AI technologies.

BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, acknowledges that the investment industry is undergoing a significant transformation due to generative AI and big data. Jeff Shen of BlackRock predicts an abrupt change in investment processes as more sophisticated AI tools are adopted by market participants, allowing for the measurement and analysis of data at unprecedented levels. Examples include the use of geospatial data to replace physical visits and tracking anonymized truck movement to gauge economic activity. BlackRock's own Systematic Active Equity team has developed a finance-specific AI tool based on a large language model trained on financial texts to enhance data analysis and decision-making in investments.

A report by Access Partnership, funded by Microsoft, projects that generative AI could save Indonesia $243.5 billion in business operations. This saving is attributed to Gen AI's capabilities in streamlining data interactions such as summarizing text, detecting anomalies, and recognizing images. Microsoft Indonesia emphasizes the importance of democratizing AI access, enhancing risk management, and spurring innovation. The company advocates for responsible AI practices and compliance with legal frameworks, pledging to collaborate with governments and the private sector to foster an environment where AI aids human tasks without replacing them.

🛠️ AI tools updates

Canva, the Australian startup known for its cloud-based graphic design and digital multimedia tools, is making significant strides in the education technology sector with the introduction of "Classroom Magic," a variant of its AI-powered Magic Studio tailored specifically for the educational needs of teachers and students. This initiative builds upon Canva for Education, launched in 2019, which has already reached 50 million users globally. Classroom Magic incorporates AI features aimed at enabling educators to save time, engage students more effectively, and foster creativity. Jason Wilmot, Head of Education at Canva, highlighted that these AI tools are designed to support teachers in content creation and assist students in embracing creativity.

💵 Venture Capital updates

Section 32, a venture capital firm led by ex-Google executives, is strategically investing in AI across various sectors, including infrastructure, enterprise services, cybersecurity, and notably, health care and life sciences. It seeks to address complex problems beyond the scope of big tech companies, aiming for long-term viability and competitive advantage. The firm's investments include Cohere for large language models, Inceptive for biological software, and BigHat Biosciences for protein therapeutics, among others. Emphasizing the role of AI in driving real return on investment, Section 32 is at the forefront of leveraging AI's evolution, such as the Transformer model, for applications like drug discovery and molecular engineering, signaling a transformative impact on healthcare and computational biology.

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