July 19, 2024

Innovation & Tech Today


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This Week’s Top 5 Tech Stories You Must Know- February Week 1

Lots has happened this past week in the tech world! With the FCC making AI-generated robocallers illegal, the Biden Administartion investing more than $5 million in semiconductor research and development, and more, there’s much to catch up on. So, let’s get started! 

FCC Makes AI-Generated Robocallers Illegal

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has recently made it illegal for robocallers in the United States to utilize AI-generated voices. In a unanimous decision, the FCC has extended the coverage of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to include robocall scams featuring AI voice clones. This new regulation is effective immediately and empowers the commission to impose fines and block service providers engaged in such calls.

FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel emphasized the necessity of this tech measure, stating that bad actors have been exploiting AI-generated voices in unsolicited robocalls to exploit vulnerable individuals, impersonate celebrities, and disseminate misinformation to voters. The FCC aims to send a clear message to fraudsters involved in these activities.

Biden Administration Invests $5 Million+ in Semiconductor R&D

On Feb. 9, the Biden Administration announced a plan to allocate over $5 billion from the CHIPS Act funds to support research in the field of semiconductors, with a primary focus on addressing workforce requirements. Almost all of this funding is reserved for establishing the National Semiconductor Technology Center, reflecting the administration’s commitment to advancing the United States’ prominence in semiconductor research and development. 

The stated objectives of this substantial investment include accelerating progress in semiconductor R&D, reducing the time and expenses associated with bringing new technologies to market, enhancing national security, and fostering the connection and support of workers pursuing careers in the semiconductor industry. 

Walt Disney Adopts AI as an Advertising Tool

Walt Disney has introduced a groundbreaking advertising AI tech tool called “Disney’s Magic Words,” designed to enable brands to customize their commercials based on the emotional tone of specific scenes in movies or TV series. This innovative tool, tailored for Disney+ and Hulu streaming services, utilizes a combination of AI and machine learning to analyze scenes within the content library, discerning content, brands, images, and mood. Brands can then utilize the generated metadata, known as descriptive tags, to pinpoint particular scenes or moods and craft personalized messaging accordingly.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Removed From Instagram and Facebook

Meta has taken down the Facebook and Instagram accounts associated with Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. These accounts have been permanently removed, as confirmed by a Meta spokesperson. 

The removal is attributed to repeated violations of Meta’s Dangerous Organizations & Individuals tech policy, which prohibits the presence of entities or individuals endorsing violence or associated with violent missions. This policy extends to those glorifying, supporting, or representing terrorist organizations recognized by the US government. In the case of Iran, allegations of arming groups like Hamas, designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) by the US State Department, contribute to the enforcement of these content removal measures. 

OpenAI CEO Asks for Trillions for AI Chip Project

According to reports, Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, is actively pursuing trillions of dollars in tech investments to revamp the global semiconductor industry. Altman has consistently highlighted the challenge of meeting the demand for AI chips, asserting that the scarcity hampers OpenAI’s expansion. As disclosed in a recent Wall Street Journal report, Altman is contemplating a project aimed at boosting global chip manufacturing capacity and is engaging in discussions with various investors, including the government of the United Arab Emirates.

Estimates suggest that Altman might need to secure between $5 trillion and $7 trillion for this ambitious initiative, although CNBC has not independently verified this figure. OpenAI has not provided any official comments in response to inquiries.

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By I&T Today

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