July 18, 2024

Innovation & Tech Today

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This Week’s Top 5 Tech Stories We’re Following- June Week 3

Lots has happened this past week in the tech world! With Amazon set to eliminate its plastic air pillows, Kinetic Automation launching a new robotic system, new comments from TikTok about the U.S. ban, and more, there’s much to catch up on. So, let’s get started! 

Amazon Set to Eliminate Plastic Air Pillows

On June 20, Amazon announced that it has eliminated 95% of plastic air pillows from its packaging in North America, replacing them with paper fillers made from 100% recycled content. This initiative represents Amazon’s most significant effort to reduce plastic packaging and will eliminate nearly 15 billion plastic pillows annually.

“We aim to completely eliminate plastic air pillows in North America by the end of the year and will continue to innovate, test, and scale up the use of curbside recyclable materials,” said Pat Lindner, VP of Mechatronics and Sustainable Packaging, in the announcement.

Kinetic Automation Launches New Robotic System

Kinetic Automation, which has about 40 full-time employees, has created a robotic system that leverages computer vision and machine learning software to quickly identify issues with a vehicle’s digital systems.

Kinetic CEO and co-founder Nikhil Naikal noted that many new tech models, particularly battery electric vehicles, are equipped with numerous advanced features such as touchscreens, sophisticated infotainment software, and various cameras and sensors. These technologies support functionalities ranging from rapid charging to driver safety features like forward collision avoidance, lane-keeping, and adaptive cruise control.

New Comments From TikTok About US Ban

On June 20, TikTok and ByteDance requested that a U.S. court overturn a law set to ban the popular short video app in the United States on Jan. 19. They claim the U.S. government has not engaged in any serious settlement discussions since 2022.

The legislation, signed by President Joe Biden in April, requires ByteDance to divest TikTok’s U.S. assets by January 19 next year or face a tech ban on the app, which is used by 170 million Americans. ByteDance asserts that such a divestiture is “not possible technologically, commercially, or legally.”

Oracle Invests in Artificial Intelligence

Oracle announced that it will invest over $1 billion in artificial intelligence and cloud computing in Spain over the next 10 years, aiming to meet the growing demand for its services in the country.

The investment will fund the establishment of a new cloud region, enabling customers to transfer workloads from their data centers to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. This initiative will also assist clients in complying with regulations such as the European Union’s Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) and the European Outsourcing Guidelines.

New AI Model By Anthropic

Anthropic, a startup backed by Google and Amazon, announced the release of an updated artificial intelligence model and a new layout designed to enhance user productivity, continuing the industry’s rapid advancement in tech. Just three months after introducing its Claude 3 family of AI models, Anthropic is now launching Claude 3.5 Sonnet.

This new system outperforms Claude 3 Opus, which CEO Dario Amodei described in March as the “Rolls-Royce of models.” Claude 3.5 Sonnet scores higher on benchmark exams, operates at about twice the speed and is priced for software developers at one-fifth the cost.

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