Techmeme
May 22, 2024, 4:05 AM

Top News

Tom Warren / The Verge:
Microsoft will soon let businesses build custom Copilot AI agents to automate tasks, and unveils Team Copilot to help with tasks in Teams, Loop, and Planner  —  Microsoft will soon allow businesses and developers to build AI-powered Copilots that can work like virtual employees and perform tasks automatically.
Sean Hollister / The Verge:
Microsoft unveils the developer preview of Windows Volumetric Apps, letting developers access an API to put Windows apps in 3D space on Meta Quest headsets  —  You can already beam your flat Windows desktop and its VR games onto your Meta Quest headset — but what if Windows could send HoloLens …
Frederic Lardinois / TechCrunch:
Bloomberg:
Sources: Humane is seeking a buyer for its business, after the rocky launch of its Ai Pin; a source says the startup is seeking a price between $750M and $1B  —  - Humane's AI pin was billed as an alternative to smartphones  — AI hardware product received poor reviews after its launch
Glenn Rifkin / New York Times:
Gordon Bell, who helped design several influential minicomputers at Digital Equipment Corporation, including the 12-bit PDP-8, died on May 17 at age 89  —  It cost $18,000 when it was introduced in 1965, but it bridged the world between room-size mainframes and the modern desktop.
Imran Rahman-Jones / BBC:
The UK ICO is “making enquiries with Microsoft” over the company's Recall feature, which some privacy campaigners have called a potential “privacy nightmare”  —  The UK data watchdog says it is “making enquiries with Microsoft” over a new feature that can take screenshots of your laptop every few seconds.
Charlie Warzel / The Atlantic:
OpenAI's Scarlett Johansson debacle is merely a reminder of AI's manifest destiny philosophy: “This is happening, whether you like it or not”, consent be damned  —  The Scarlett Johansson debacle is a microcosm of AI's raw deal: It's happening, and you can't stop it.
Louise Matsakis / Wired:
Google is rolling out a new AI-powered ad format that shows shoppers how items of clothing would look on different skin tones and body types  —  A new breed of online ad allows brands to pay Google to offer shoppers AI-generated images that show how items of clothing would look on different skin tones and body types.
Paresh Dave / Wired:
Ken Yeung / VentureBeat:
Microsoft announces the general availability of its Phi-3 models, including Phi-3-Silica, a 3.3B parameter model that will be embedded on all Copilot+ PCs  —  Microsoft is making more investments in the development of small language models.  At its Build developer conference …
Kevin Okemwa / Windows Central:
Steven Levy / Wired:
Anthropic researchers detail attempts to peer inside the “black box” of LLMs, learning which combinations of neurons evoke specific concepts  —  What goes on in artificial neural networks work is largely a mystery, even to their creators.  But researchers from Anthropic have caught a glimpse.
Bradley Keoun / CoinDesk:
Farcaster, an Ethereum-based social media project, raised $150M led by Paradigm, with participation from a16z and others, and reports “350,000 paid sign-ups”  —  Dan Romero's Farcaster made waves earlier this year with the introduction of “Frames,” a feature allowing apps to run within posts …
Michael Nuñez / VentureBeat:
Generative AI music startup Suno raised $125M from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Nat Friedman, Daniel Gross, Matrix, Founder Collective, and others  —  Suno, a trailblazing music AI startup, announced today that it has raised a staggering $125 million in its latest funding round …
Christopher Barnard / New York Times:
A look at Paperless Post, a New York-based software company for sending online invitations and events that launched in 2009 and has sent ~650M invitations  —  James Hirschfeld and his sister, Alexa Hirschfeld, at the Paperless Post office in Manhattan's Financial District.Jonah Rosenberg for The New York Times
Bloomberg:
Sources: Snowflake's talks to acquire Reka AI, which builds LLMs for businesses, for more than $1B have broken down  —  Snowflake Inc.'s talks to acquire startup Reka AI for more than $1 billion have broken down, dashing an effort by the software company to bring more generative AI muscle in-house.
More: Tech in Asia
Mimi Billing / Sifted:
London-based LabGenius, which uses ML to find and design antibody therapies to treat cancer, raised a £35M Series B led by Merck's VC arm, M Ventures  —  It's robotic platform is using machine learning to create new molecules to tackle cancer  —  UK drug discovery startup LabGenius …
Wired:
An investigation into online ticketing service Eventbrite found 7.4K+ illicit listings, including illegal drug sales, some of which its algorithm recommended  —  A WIRED investigation found thousands of Eventbrite posts selling escort services and drugs like Xanax and oxycodone …
Kris Holt / Engadget:
Microsoft unveils Copilot+ PCs as a new class of AI-capable Windows PCs that have at least 40 TOPs of NPU performance, with several OEMs and chipmakers on board  —  The aim is to handle more AI processing locally rather than in the cloud.  —  We've been hearing rumblings for months …
Ben Thompson / Stratechery:

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