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Smartphone with Google search

IMAGO/Filippo Carlot via Reuters Connect

Google Search is making things up

Google has begun adding artificial intelligence-generated answers when users type questions into its search engine. Many people have found the AI-generated answers ranging from simply bizarre to flat-out wrong. The search engine’s AI Overviews feature has told users to put glue on pizza to keep the cheese from falling off, that elephants only have two feet, and that you should eat one rock per day for nutritional value. It even told me that, in fact, dogs have played in the National Football League.
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Courtesy of Midjourney

Section 230 won’t be a savior for Generative AI

In the US, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act has been called the law that “created the internet.” It provides legal liability protections to internet companies that host third-party speech, such as social media platforms that rely on user-generated content or news websites with comment sections. Essentially, it prevents companies like Meta or X from being on the hook when their users defame one another, or commit certain other civil wrongs, on their site.

In recent years, 230 has become a lightning rod for critics on both sides of the political aisle seeking to punish Big Tech for perceived bad behavior.

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Jess Frampton

Who pays the price for a TikTok ban?

It’s a tough time to be an influencer in America.

TikTok’s future in the United States may be up against the clock after the House voted in favor of banning the popular social media app if its Chinese owner, ByteDance, doesn’t sell. President Joe Biden said he’d sign the bill if it reaches his desk, but it’s unclear whether the Senate will pass the legislation.

Biden and a good chunk of Congress are worried ByteDance is essentially an arm of the Chinese Communist Party. Do they have a point, or are they just fearmongering in an election year amid newly stabilized but precarious relations between Washington and Beijing?

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Canada's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland takes part in a press conference in Ottawa, Canada, on Jan. 29, 2024.

REUTERS/Blair Gable/File Photo

Canada’s threatened tax on tech giants risks trade war

Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland plans to unveil the federal budget on April 16, a release that will be keenly watched north and south of the border. Big Tech companies, in particular, will be looking for clues about when Canada will implement its long-promised digital services tax.

Justin Trudeau’s cash-strapped Liberal government hopes to raise up to $2.5 billion over five years by imposing a 3% tax on companies like Alphabet, Meta, Uber, Amazon, and Airbnb. First promised in the 2021 budget, the Trudeau government said it would implement the tax on Jan. 1, 2024, retroactive to 2022.

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Gemini AI controversy highlights AI racial bias challenge
title placeholder | GZERO AI

Gemini AI controversy highlights AI racial bias challenge

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Fellow, Stanford Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, and former European Parliamentarian, co-hosts GZERO AI, our new weekly video series intended to help you keep up and make sense of the latest news on the AI revolution. In this episode, she questions whether big tech companies can be trusted to tackle racial bias in AI, especially in the wake of Google's Gemini software controversy. Importantly, should these companies be the ones designing and deciding what that representation looks like?

This was a week full of AI-related stories. Again, the one that stood out to me was Google's efforts to correct for bias and discrimination in its generative AI model and utterly failing. We saw Gemini, the name of the model, coming up with synthetically generated images of very ethnically diverse Nazis. And of all political ideologies, this white supremacist group, of course, had few, if any, people of color in them historically. And that's the same, unfortunately, as the movement continues to exist, albeit in smaller form today.

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Annie Gugliotta

Exclusive Poll: AI rules wanted, but can you trust the digital cops?

A new poll on AI raises one of the most critical questions of 2024: Do people want to regulate AI, and if so, who should do it?

For all the wars, elections, and crises going on, the most profound long-term transition going on right now is the light-speed development of AI and its voracious news capabilities. Nothing says a new technology has arrived more than when Open AI CEO Sam Altman claimed he needs to fabricate more semiconductor chips so urgently that … he requires $7 trillion.

Seven. Trillion. Dollars. A moment of perspective, please.

$7 trillion is more than three times the entire GDP of Canada and more than twice the GDP of France or the UK. So … it may be pocket change to the Silicon Valley technocrat class, but it’s a pretty big number to the rest of us.

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A Microsoft sign at the tech giant's offices in Issy-les-Moulineaux, near Paris.

REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Governments sniff around Microsoft’s OpenAI deal

Are they playing fairly? That’s the question American and British antitrust regulators have about Microsoft’s $13 billion backing of OpenAI. The US Federal Trade Commission and the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority are gathering information about the nature of the deal between the two companies, but neither has yet launched a formal investigation.
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Courtesy of Midjourney

EU lawmakers make AI history

It took two years — long enough to earn a Master's degree — but Europe’s landmark AI Act is finally nearing completion. Debates raged last week, but EU lawmakers on Friday reached a provisional agreement on the scope of Europe’s effort to rein in artificial intelligence.

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