Microsoft is integrating ChatGPT into a new security product, Alibaba announces it will split into six divisions and Google employees laid off in Ireland have been offered more than $300,000 in severance pay.
These stories and more on Hashtag Trending for Wednesday, March 29th
I’m your guest moderator for this week, James Roy – here’s today’s top tech news.
Thanks to Microsoft, ChatGPT has a new fight; Internet security.
The tech giant unveiled its first generative AI cybersecurity tool called Microsoft Security Copilot during its virtual Microsoft Secure event.
The tool aims to help network defenders optimize information about new threats and ongoing attacks on their networks.
Chang Kawaguchi, vice president of AI security architect at Microsoft, told Axios, “This is really about simplifying the complex for defenders and helping them find things that others might miss.”
Specifically, the tool will weed out alerts and flag those an organization needs to prioritize, giving defenders more time to protect networks from attacks.
Security Copilot looks almost identical to the ChatGPT interface, but currently only pulls information from Microsoft’s own threat intelligence and products, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and NIST’s National Vulnerability Disclosure Database.
Users can also provide feedback on answers that would help train the AI models running Security Copilot. But Microsoft’s vice president of security, Vasu Jakkal, says Microsoft doesn’t use searches to train its AI.
However, the risk of intellectual property and trade secret leakage remains an issue.
So is the notorious tendency of AI bots to invent false information. And Security Copilot already screwed up in his demo, which doesn’t exist, citing “Window 9”.
The product is currently being tested with a limited number of clients for feedback, but will be offered as a separate offering to Microsoft customers in the near future.
Chinese tech giant Alibaba announced it will split into six companies to conduct independent fundraising and initial public offerings (IPO).
This disruption comes as big tech faces pressures from increased competition and regulation.
In fact, the company has a market cap of $228 billion.
Alibaba has spun off businesses in the past, but this is a more significant split.
The six business areas will be Cloud Intelligence, Global Digital Commerce, Domestic E-Commerce, Local Services, Logistics and Entertainment/Media.
Is Twitter dying?
Five months and countless debacles after the takeover by Elon Musk, this question remains central.
Natasha Lomas writes in a TechCrunch article that “Twitter was the place where pundits and celebrities could find a community and an engaged audience — without the need for layers of middlemen filtering news.” But it was also a place for raw, unfiltered opinions.
Twitter was this huge information network with this secondary social element that could even give you a sense of a person’s personality.
The interactions there were phenomenal, made headlines and weren’t seen anywhere else.
And not to be outdone, it was free!
Not anymore. Ever since Musk took over, everything that made Twitter valuable has been taken down. Pundits and celebrities were deterred, and tyrannical reporters, spammers, and toadlicks thrived in this new information vacuum.
The final phase of destruction will arrive on April Fool’s Day, when Musk eliminates the final layer of legacy verification and allows anyone to pay $7.99 to deafen the conversation on Twitter.
That means anyone who pays for that meaningless blue tick gets increased algorithmic visibility of their tweets and the ability to drown out the tweets of non-paying users. Fakes and scammers will therefore thrive
Meanwhile, remaining users who want to find quality information will have a harder time getting hold of them.
Additionally, only paying users will get a vote in future Twitter policy polls, which will likely rig all decision-making. But that doesn’t matter, because Musk doesn’t seem to follow the results of polls he doesn’t like anyway.
And money is apparently the least of his worries. It’s safe to say that his goal of making Twitter a billion-user platform has failed massively so far.
Lomas writes: “That our system allows wealth to be weaponized to destroy things of broad societal value is a harsh lesson to be learned from the debris of fallen turquoise feathers.”
Cerebras Systems, an artificial intelligence startup, announced yesterday that it has released ChatGPT-like open-source models for research and business communities to use for free.
This project aims to encourage more collaboration and innovation.
Andrew Feldman, Founder and CEO of Cerebras said, “There’s a big movement to shut down what was open source in AI… it’s not surprising given that there’s huge money in it now. The excitement in the community, the progress we’ve made, was in large part because it was so open.”
Cerebras released seven models, all trained on its AI supercomputer called Andromeda, ranging from smaller language models with 111 million parameters to a larger model with 13 billion parameters.
In comparison, OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot has 175 billion parameters.
According to Cerebras, the smaller models can be used on phones or smart speakers, while the larger ones run on PCs or servers.
Most AI models today are trained on Nvidia chips, but more and more startups like Cerebras are looking to capitalize on this market.
You could call this the luck of the Irish.
According to British newspaper The Sunday Times, Google employees in Ireland who have been with the company since 2003 and were laid off by 12,000 as part of the company’s latest global cuts could be offered severance packages worth more than $320,000.
So if I did my math correctly, a Google employee who was laid off during childbirth said she was with Google for 9 years. She would be paid 16 weeks plus two weeks per year (another 18 weeks). That’s thirty-four weeks.
A nine-year Google employee in Ireland is paid 6 weeks per year or 54 weeks severance pay.
If she had been Irish it would have taken another 20 weeks.
It gets better or worse depending on which side of the ocean you’re on. If someone has been there since 2003, that’s 120 weeks versus the US equivalent of 16 plus 40 weeks, or 56 weeks – almost half what a 20-year-old Irish employee would get.
While Google employees in Ireland might not be lucky enough to be fired, the Irish team certainly found a four-leaf clover in this case.
Source: Business Insider
That’s the top tech news for today. Hashtag Trending airs five days a week with the daily tech news, and we have a special weekend edition where we do an in-depth interview with an expert about some tech developments that are in the news.
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I’m your host, James Roy, have a wonderful Wednesday!