Techmeme
February 8, 2023, 7:35 AM

Top News

James Vincent / The Verge:
Microsoft unveils an updated Bing search engine and Edge browser powered by a next-gen custom OpenAI LLM, calling the duo an “AI-powered co-pilot for the web”  —  Microsoft has announced a new version of its search engine Bing, powered by an upgraded version of the same AI technology that underpins chatbot ChatGPT.
Tom Warren / The Verge:
A recap of Microsoft's event, where the company detailed the new Bing and Edge powered by OpenAI's next-gen model, AI progress, OpenAI partnership, and more  —  Microsoft is holding a surprise event at its Redmond headquarters today, where it's expected to focus on its OpenAI partnership and introduce a version of Bing with ChatGPT.
Joanna Stern / Wall Street Journal:
Hands-on with the new AI-powered Bing, which, when asked for the 2023 Grammys winners, made a list with citations in a minute; search will never be the same  —  Our columnist got an early look at the software's new ChatGPT-like powers  —  Bing with AI: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on Why Search Is Changed Forever
Todd Bishop / GeekWire:
Thomas Claburn / The Register:
Mozilla says the company is doing “exploratory work” for a Gecko-based browser on iOS in case Apple drops its WebKit requirement, after a similar move by Google  —  Work on a Gecko-based version of Firefox for iOS is underway, again  —  UPDATED Mozilla is planning for the day when Apple …
Jack Schickler / CoinDesk:
The Bank of England publishes two papers on a new digital pound, seeming to favor centralized databases over a blockchain and imposing a £10K limit per person  —  The Bank of England has set out technical features of its central bank digital currency, which officials have said is likely to be needed.
Katharine Gemmell / Bloomberg:
The UK CMA finds Microsoft's proposed $69B Activision Blizzard acquisition will harm competition in the UK's gaming market and asks Microsoft for remedies  —  Microsoft Corp.'s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard Inc. will harm competition in the UK gaming market, Britain's antitrust watchdog has provisionally found.
Makena Kelly / The Verge:
At the State of the Union, Biden called for Congress to strengthen data privacy protections and antitrust enforcement to stop Big Tech from self-preferencing  —  President Joe Biden threw his support behind tougher rules regulating Silicon Valley during his Second State of the Union speech Tuesday night.
Ashley Capoot / CNBC:
Zoom plans to cut ~1,300 staff, or ~15% of its workforce, offering US employees up to 16 weeks severance, including salary, health care, and bonus; ZM jumps 5%+  —  - Zoom on Tuesday announced plans to cut about 1,300 workers, or 15% of its workforce, according to a blog post shared to the company's website.
Joseph Cox / VICE:
Voice actors are increasingly being asked to sign away rights to their voices so clients can make synthetic AI versions that may eventually replace them  —  Motherboard spoke to multiple voice actors and advocacy organizations, some of which said contracts including language around synthetic voices are now very prevalent.
Bloomberg:
Sources: Meta asks many of its managers and directors to transition to individual contributor jobs or leave the company, “flattening” the organization  —  Meta Platforms Inc. is asking many of its managers and directors to transition to individual contributor jobs or leave …
New York Times:
Long an AI leader, Meta has been cautious with chatbots, closing Galactica in November over toxic content and misinformation, letting OpenAI take center stage  —  It has long had technology to rival chatbots like ChatGPT, but can't afford to back artificial intelligence that can spread misinformation and toxic content.
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Qustodio: kids aged 4 to 18 used TikTok for 107 minutes per day on average in 2022, up from 82 minutes in 2020, and 60% longer than YouTube's 67 minutes per day  —  For another year in a row, TikTok has found itself as the social app kids and teens are spending the most time using throughout the day, even outpacing YouTube.
Politico:
UK PM Rishi Sunak creates the standalone Department of Science, Innovation & Technology, led by Michelle Donelan, stripping the DCMS of its tech oversight  —  LONDON — British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is creating a standalone science, innovation and technology department as part …

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Reuters:
Jess Weatherbed / The Verge: