Techmeme
February 15, 2024, 2:01 PM

Top News

Steven Levy / Wired:
OpenAI unveils its first text-to-video model, Sora, which can create up to a minute of 1080p video, as a research product for some creators and security experts  —  OpenAI's entry into generative AI video is an impressive first step.  —  We already know that OpenAI's chatbots can pass the bar exam without going to law school.
David Pierce / The Verge:
Google launches Gemini 1.5 for developers and enterprise users, with a context window of up to 1M tokens, and says Gemini 1.5 Pro is on par with Gemini Ultra  —  Barely two months after launching Gemini, the large language model Google hopes will bring it to the top of the AI industry, the company is already announcing its successor.
Frederic Lardinois / TechCrunch:
Google makes Gemini 1.0 Pro and Gemini 1.0 Ultra generally available, adds support for adapter-based tuning in Vertex, and rolls out new developer tools  —  Google is expanding the range of Gemini large language models it is making available to developers on its Vertex AI platform today.
Emma Roth / The Verge:
Meta plans to start charging a 30% fee for boosting Facebook and Instagram posts on iOS later in February, after Apple extended its 30% cut to boosting in 2022  —  Meta said Thursday that it will start charging a 30 percent fee when advertisers pay to boost the visibility of their posts in Facebook's and Instagram's iOS apps.
Ashley Belanger / Ars Technica:
The European Court of Human Rights rules backdoors that weaken E2EE can undermine human rights, after Russia began forcing Telegram to decrypt messages in 2017  —  Cops have alternative means to access encrypted messages, court says.  —  The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) …
Leander Kahney / Cult of Mac:
Many Apple Vision Pro users are returning their devices for being too expensive, heavy, or isolating, as the 14-day return window closes for launch day buyers  —  Many early adopters seem set on returning their Apple Vision Pro headsets.  As the 14-day return window approaches for people …
Jon Porter / The Verge:
Michael Nienaber / Bloomberg:
Microsoft President Brad Smith says the company plans to invest €3.2B in German AI infrastructure over the next two years, its biggest investment in Germany yet  —  - President Brad Smith says investments planned over two years  — Microsoft is investing heavily in data centers to fuel AI boom
Jon Brodkin / Ars Technica:
X removes paid checkmarks from some accounts after a watchdog group found 28 verified accounts allegedly tied to Hezbollah and other US-sanctioned entities  —  X (aka Twitter) accused of violating sanctions by taking payment from terrorists.  —  A watchdog group's investigation found …
Dan Primack / Axios:
Filings: Sam Altman is the sole owner of the OpenAI Startup Fund, which reported $175M in total commitments in May 2023; Microsoft is an outside limited partner  —  - By last May it reported $175 million in total commitments, and a portfolio that included video editor Descript and legal tool Harvey.
Ashley Gold / Axios:
NYC sues ByteDance, Meta, Snap, and Google to hold the companies accountable “for fueling the nationwide youth mental health crisis” by manipulating young users  —  New York City filed a lawsuit against TikTok, Meta, Snap and Google's YouTube to hold the companies accountable …
Cristiano Lima-Strong / Washington Post:
Richard Blumenthal and Marsha Blackburn announce an updated Kids Online Safety Act and say 60+ US senators support the bill; KOSA faces uncertainty in the House  —  With more than 60 backers, an updated Kids Online Safety Act finally has a path to passage in the Senate but faces uncertainty in the House.
Arsheeya Bajwa / Reuters:
Google plans to let businesses install its auto-updating ChromeOS Flex on Windows 10 devices, to help prevent millions of PCs from hitting landfills in 2025  —  Google will allow businesses to install an auto-updating version of the Chrome operating system to Windows devices …
Oliver Darcy / CNN:
Meta seems unable to define political content, vaguely mentioning laws, elections, and social topics, after saying Threads would not amplify political content  —  What constitutes “political” content?  —  It's an important question that Meta has conspicuously left unanswered …
The Information:
Joanna Stern / Wall Street Journal:
A look at The Shotline, a project that uses ElevenLabs' tech to create audio deepfakes of kids killed in shootings, to place AI-generated calls to US lawmakers  —  Grieving parents made these audio deepfakes to stir the emotions of lawmakers.  But they also mark a new era for artificial intelligence.
Chainalysis:
In 2023, crypto money laundering fell 29.5% YoY to $22.2B, 109 addresses got $10M+ in illicit crypto each, and five off-ramp services got 71.7% of illicit funds  —  Coming soon  —  The goal of money laundering is to obscure the criminal origins of funds so that they can be accessed and spent.
Devin Coldewey / TechCrunch:
Amazon researchers detail BASE TTS, the largest text-to-speech model yet, which they claim exhibits “emergent” qualities improving its natural speaking ability  —  Researchers at Amazon have trained the largest ever text-to-speech model yet, which they claim exhibits “emergent” …

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