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Tech news for the week 18-24 February 2023

4 min readArticles

Twitter is removing text-message two-factor authentication (2FA) for people who are not signed up for the platform also known as subscribers.

2FA is a way of verifying the identity of the person who is trying to access an account, in addition to a password, by sending a code via SMS or using an authentication app. At the start of Saturday, the Twitter Support account declared that only those who subscribed to Twitter Blue would be able to use text-message authentication from the 20th of March.

Some text-message 2FA users were sent an alert within the app asking them to delete the method before the due date to avoid losing access to their accounts.

Elon Musk, Twitter owner and chief executive tweeted its authenticator app, which would remain free, was more secure. Twitter had been “scammed” by telecom providers, resulting in it paying out over $60 million annually for “false two-factor authentication (2FA) SMS messages”, he told a critic of the move.

According to Twitter, “We encourage non-Twitter Blue subscribers to consider using an authentication app or security-key method instead.”

“These methods require you to have physical possession of the authentication method and are a great way to ensure your account is secure.”

AI Chatbots Are Invading Internet Search!

ChatGPT being able to respond to any query is something that tech businesses have wholeheartedly embraced, evidenced by the backlash Google’s Bard generated in its launch. It is a disturbing thought that search engines may be powered by AI-powered chatbots, yet this is already occurring.

OpenAI’s ChatGPT has certainly earned a great deal of notoriety, but there are numerous other lesser known chatbots that are being crafted solely for search engine applications. Compared to search engine-generated random blue links that provide related responses, these bots have the potential to be more versatile and articulate, providing context-sensitive answers.

Despite the hype that AI-based tools have received, can they really be trusted given their limited capability to simply detect patterns in language rather than validate facts? Is it possible that the technology is being overhyped, leading to an unjustified level of trust in their abilities?

The new and advanced AI search engines must deal with trustworthiness and openness. Consumers find the transactions they can have with LLM-based search engines to be appealing and dependable as they are more personal than the typical responses given by traditional search engines, which leave room for scepticism.

A study conducted at the University of Florida in Gainesville revealed that when people interacted with Amazon and Best Buy’s chatbots, they felt the discussion was more human-like and they had more faith in the company. This can be seen as a good development for AI since the trust users have can make the interaction process smoother. However, there is an inherent trade-off.

The heightened trust placed in chatbots has the potential to compromise their objective purpose. Bard has demonstrated that chatbots can fabricate answers to questions they lack knowledge about – a major concern for search engines. Google suffered a $100 million loss due to Bard’s mistake, illustrating the importance of early perception and thorough testing.

The lack of transparency in traditional search engines may lead to inaccurate results, leaving users to make the final decision. However, AI chatbots such as chatGPT provide citations, albeit fabricated ones, which is worrying. It is essential that tech companies take into account the potential dangers posed by such tools, before they are released, particularly if users are lacking the knowledge or resources to mitigate any potential risks.

Realme is working on a Dynamic Island copycat

An executive at Realme, a sub-brand of Chinese phone maker Oppo, recently suggested that the company might be the first Android OEM to imitate Apple’s Dynamic Island. This comes amid indications that Apple’s UI feature, which was until recently mostly ornamental, is now gaining more substantial third-party support, suggesting it could be worth replicating.

This isn’t really a shock. 9to5Google noted that all the way back in September, Realme had basically declared their intention to mimic Dynamic Island. Since then, they have been working on a feature termed the “Mini Capsule”. An image within the now-deleted tweet illustrated a pill-shaped UI element on the top of the screen, with the Oppo’s SuperVOOC charging logo being visible. OnLeaks via Smartprix shared an animation which demonstrated the capsule growing and shrinking to show charging status info.

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