May 26, 2024

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This Week’s Top 5 Tech Stories You Must Know- September Week 3

With the rapid changes in the tech world, staying up to date with the latest news is essential. This week has seen a lot of developments across various sectors, from Microsoft’s special event to unveil new tech, Google’s AI microscopes aiding with cancer detection, TikTok fines for lack of child protection, and more. So, let’s get started! 

Microsoft Plans Special Event to Unveil New Releases

On Sept. 21, Microsoft will host a “special” Surface and AI event in New York City. The event’s predicted focus is AI features for Bing, Windows, Office, and more. In an exclusive interview with The Verge, Steven Bathiche, the technical fellow and vice president at Microsoft, stated that AI “will have a potentially profound impact on how you use your computer and how it will essentially evolve in regards to its form.” 

In addition to exploring AI features, others speculate the special event will debut three new Surface devices: the Surface Laptop Studio 2, Surface Go 4, and the Surface Laptop Go 3. With leaked visuals already revealing details of these supposed releases, the special event will likely release more information about this new tech. 

Google’s AI Microscopes to Aid in Early Cancer Detection

Partnered with the Department of Defense, Google built an AI-powered microscope that’s said to help medical professionals identify cancer early. With its official name being the Augmented Reality Microscope, the new tech costs between $90,000 to $100,000. While not yet actively utilized in a medical setting, officials believe that the Augmented Reality Microscope will give unprecedented support to doctors who deal with employment shortages and overwhelming workloads. 

Dr. Nadeem Zafar told CNBC, “AI is here, and it’s going to keep developing. The point is not to be afraid of these technologies, but to triage them to the best use for our medical and health care needs.”

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TikTok Fined $368 Million for Lack of Child Protection

A major European tech regulator expects $368 million in fines from TikTok due to the lack of child protection. On Sept. 15, the Irish Data Protection Commission stated that TikTok violated the bloc’s signature privacy law. According to the report, TikTok’s default settings were inadequate to protect children since their profiles were public immediately after making an account. Additionally, TikTok did not make these privacy risks clear to new users. 

In a response on their blog, TikTok states, “Most of the criticism we had addressed well before the investigation even began, such as setting all 13-15-year-old accounts to private by default. We’ve also made it easier for younger users to understand our privacy policy through our Privacy Highlights for Teens videos and Help Centre materials. We’ll continue to further strengthen protections for teenagers on TikTok.”

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Amazon Reveals New AI Features for Alexa

On Sept. 20, Amazon held the fall Devices & Services event, and the new AI features for Alexa debuted. Moving forward, Character AI will become integrated with Alexa so that users can choose from a large selection of virtual characters, such as fitness coaches, historical figures, fictional characters, and more! Additionally, Amazon announced that the AI music platform Splash will help tech users create music with their voices. 

Amazon’s Vice President Rohit Prasad stated at a press briefing what these developments will look like moving forward: “The LLM is tuned for voice, but it has thousands of devices and services connected to it and your context as in what do you watch, what do you listen to and what do you eat. And on top of that, a suite of responsible AI techniques that makes Alexa that trusted AI assistant and yet a fun personality.”

On Sept. 19, 17 authors, including the creator of Game of Thrones, filed to sue ChatGPT-Owner OpenAI for “flagrant and harmful infringements of plaintiffs’ registered copyrights.”

CEO Mary Rasenberger of the Authors Guild put out a statement about the issue: “It is imperative that we stop this theft in its tracks or we will destroy our incredible literary culture, which feeds many other creative industries in the U.S. Great books are generally written by those who spend their careers and, indeed, their lives, learning and perfecting their crafts. To preserve our literature, authors must have the ability to control if and how their works are used by generative AI.”


Picture of By Lindsey Feth

By Lindsey Feth

Managing Editor, Innovation & Tech Today

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