Welcome to this week’s roundup of the latest tech news! From new product launches to industry updates, we have all the latest news from the world of technology. Get ready to stay up to date on all the big developments in the tech space, as we look back at the news from the week of 14 – 20 January 2023.
Microsoft plans to add ChatGPT to suite of products
Microsoft has announced that the full capabilities of ChatGPT, the innovative chatbot based on OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 large language AI model, will soon be accessible through its Azure cloud platform as part of a range of AI solutions. Microsoft was an early supporter of OpenAI and may intensify its investment in the firm in light of the success of ChatGPT, giving it an advantage over other public cloud providers.
Microsoft declared on Monday the general availability of its Azure OpenAI Service. Since November 2021, the service has been in the testing phase, and MSFT declared that the new development will let more corporations access OpenAI’s state-of-the-art AI models, such as GPT-3.5, the AI coding assistant Codex, and DALL•E 2, which can craft images from a simple text input.
Eric Boyd, the company’s corporate vice president for AI said: “Customers will also be able to access ChatGPT—a fine-tuned version of GPT-3.5 that has been trained and runs inference on Azure AI infrastructure – through Azure OpenAI Service soon,” without putting a timeline on when this might happen.
Over the past year, Microsoft has been steadily increasing the number of choices available through its Azure OpenAI platform as OpenAI has fine-tuned its offerings. According to Boyd, the most logical progression was to make the service generally accessible.
“We debuted Azure OpenAI Service in November 2021 to enable customers to tap into the power of large-scale generative AI models,” Boyd said.
TikTok agrees to greater transparency
As numerous US states contemplate forbidding TikTok on government-owned devices, and politicians consider claims that the app has been utilized to track US correspondents/journalists, ByteDance, the parent organization of TikTok, is said to be willing to offer substantial compromises in its agreement with US administrators, attempting to prevent a prohibition in the area.
For months, ByteDance has been in negotiations with the Committee for Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS), aiming to reach an agreement that will enable TikTok to keep functioning in the US. The talks have principally centered around user data storage and how to restrain access to US user data by ByteDance personnel from China. This could result in a partnership with Oracle for a local data center for US users. However, recently more worries have been raised about how TikTok’s algorithm works and whether it could be used to control users in the application.
On this front, ByteDance is proposing a restructuring of its US operations, as well as the implementation of transparency measures to allow the US authorities more oversight and possibly even control.
According to The Wall Street Journal, “The talks with US officials and lawmakers have become more urgent for TikTok in recent months as federal and state politicians have made moves to ban the app on government-issued devices. TikTok is hoping that details of its planned reorganization – and promised measures to ensure oversight of its content-recommendation algorithms – will convince potential allies in Washington of its ability to operate independently of its parent company, China-based ByteDance Ltd.”
TikTok has previously indicated its intent to be more open about the company’s algorithm. Back in 2020, TikTok declared its intention to open a Transparency Center in Los Angeles as part of its attempt to allay any fear of interference from the Chinese Government.
YouTube is testing free streaming hub
YouTube is reportedly in negotiations with media companies to feature their TV shows and films in a hub of channels with ad-supported content. It is currently gauging viewers’ interest by trialing the concept. It is thought that the platform may introduce the hub to more users during the course of this year, The Wall Street Journal suggests.
If YouTube progresses with that idea, it could become a competitor in the Free Ad-Supported Streaming Television (FAST) space. This industry is currently occupied by Roku, Tubi (operated by Fox) and Pluto TV (owned by Paramount Global, formerly known as ViacomCBS). Depending on the content and structure of the potential channels, YouTube could potentially draw more focus from these services.
YouTube already provides ad-supported movies, but this hub could provide a broader collection of free films and shows for viewers to watch. Its channels could be structured in a comparable way to Pluto TV, which has channels devoted to reruns of certain programs like CSI, Doctor Who, South Park, and Frasier, reality series, live news, and sports.