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By Michelai Graham
Boardroom's Tech Reporter
September 24, 2023

Neuralink, the Elon Musk-owned biotech startup building brain implants, opened recruitment for its first human trial, even though an investigation revealed multiple animal deaths due to the company’s implants. If you haven’t looked into Musk’s biotech venture yet, now would be a good time to start learning.

A peek into today’s edition: 

  • Microsoft‘s new products and data leaks
  • Another lawsuit and new crypto token at ChatGPT
  • Apple tops list of most future-proof brands

Microsoft Announces New Products Following Major Data Leaks

Microsoft showcased the next generation of its Surface computers, the new Windows 11 operating system, and shared updates on its Microsoft 365 Copilot AI tool at an event in New York. The tech leader unveiled the Surface Laptop Studio 2, Surface Laptop Go 3, Surface Go 4, and Surface Hub 3, all of which will hit the market on Oct. 3. Microsoft also announced enterprise availability for Microsoft 35 Copilot, its supplemental AI tool that can embed with Word, Excel, and other productivity apps. The new offering will be available to businesses starting Nov. 1 and will cost $30 per person per month on top of the existing Microsoft 365 monthly fee.

Microsoft’s legacy product chief, Panos Panay, was missing from the event, and that’s because he announced his departure from the business on Monday. He is headed to Amazon to run the division that oversees Alexa and Echo devices. Panay was with Microsoft for 20 years and is most known for leading the Microsoft Windows team and helping push the tech firm’s Surface computers to market.

Microsoft is also one step closer to closing in on acquiring Activision Blizzard after Britain’s antitrust regulator signed off on the deal. Amid all these new updates this week, news of two separate data leaks at Microsoft took over top headlines, as well.

First, AI researchers at the Big Tech firm accidentally exposed 38 terabytes of sensitive data, including private keys and passwords, while trying to publish some other data on GitHub. Secondly, leaked court documents detailed Microsoft’s plans for an all-digital Xbox Series X refresh that is expected to hit the market next year. The cylindrical device has a new look, lower power usage, expanded internal storage, and no disc drive. The documents came from Microsoft’s trial with the FTC over the summer, but the commission said Microsoft accidentally uploaded these docs to the court itself, and someone got ahold of them.


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OpenAI Hit With Another Lawsuit, Plus More Updates From ChatGPT

OpenAI was hit with another copyright infringement lawsuit filed by 17 authors claiming ChatGPT is using their copyrighted works without permission. Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin, novelist Josh Grisham, and My Sister’s Keeper author Jodi Picoult are some of the top names in the claim organized by the Authors Guild. OpenAI responded to the lawsuit and said it has been working with authors and creators to understand their concerns about AI and misconceptions around the scope of copyrighted works. The lawsuit comes after a string of similar complaints filed against OpenAI earlier this year.

Despite the legal troubles, OpenAI is rolling out new tech after unveiling Dall-E 3 earlier this week. The latest version of OpenAI’s text-to-image tool that leverages ChatGPT comes with more safeguards and an easier process for users to turn their ideas into images. The AI giant will allow creators to decide if they want their work to be a part of this new offering. The possibilities seem endless with ChatGPT, and an anonymous Ethereum developer proved that when he combined his code with ChatGPT’s API to create a real digital coin named AstroPepeX. ChatGPT suggested all aspects of the coin’s creation, down to its name and imagery. AstroPepeX is available for trading on Uniswap’s exchange, and the memecoin generated $12.9 million on its opening day.

Google is Making Strides With AI

It’s been a busy week for Google. The Big Tech firm is inching closer to releasing its enterprise conversational AI system named Gemini, Jon Victor at The Information reported. Gemini is a collection of large language models that can perform various tasks, and it will be available to businesses through Google Cloud. Google has reportedly given a group of companies access to an early version of the platform with select offerings.

Now, Gemini is completely different from Google’s consumer AI chatbot, Bard, which will stay on the market when Gemini launches. To continue expanding Bard, Google is connecting the AI chatbot to its flagship consumer services, including YouTube and Gmail. YouTube Shorts is getting a generative AI feature called Dream Screen, allowing users to create AI-generated videos and image backgrounds using text descriptions. This new feature comes nearly a month after Snapchat launched a generative AI feature called “Dreams” that allows users to turn photos into more imaginative backgrounds. Coincidence or?

  • As Apple rolls out an iPhone 12 software update to address radiation concerns, the Big Tech giant topped the 2023 FutureBrand Index as the most future-proof brand over top tech competitors like Samsung, Microsoft, Intel, and Amazon.
  • Amazon announced a slate of new software and devices at its annual fall event, including the addition of generative AI in its voice assistant Alexa.
  • Airbnb listings will get a verification symbol as the platform launches a process to shake out fake listings in the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, and France to start. Airbnb is also using an AI system to flag users who may be booking a property for a party.
  • As TikTok rolls out its new AI-generated content label, the social network will also use AI to detect AI content to slap a label on. The new update comes as TikTok is working to bring its employees back into the office, and the company is using an app to track attendance.
  • Square CEO Alyssa Henry will depart the Block-owned financial services platform on Oct. 2 following an outage that spanned two days and didn’t allow sellers to process payments. Block Co-founder Jack Dorsey will take over as CEO after Henry’s exit.
  • Run Tech Club Foundation hosted a gala celebrating the impact of sports and projects launched by athletes, entrepreneurs, and creatives. Angel City FC‘s Kara Nortman, Trevor McFedries of Friends With Benefits, and Saysh’s Wes Felix are some honorees awarded at the event.

Snapchat+ hit a new milestone with 5 million paying subscribers, and while this is impressive, I’m going to bet that the subscription program will see a massive dip in interest by next summer.