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By Michelai Graham
Boardroom's Tech Reporter
November 12, 2023

This is the first Tech Talk edition in a while that won’t have a section dedicated to SBF but don’t hold your breath because he might be heading back to court to face additional fraud charges. Regardless of that, SBF will be sentenced in March 2024.

A peek into today’s edition:

  • New AI models at Samsung, Amazon, and
  • Google vs. Epic Games heads to court
  • Bad news from Yuga Labs‘ Ape Fest


Samsung, Amazon, and X Unveil New AI Models and Offerings

There was a lot of news coming out of the generative AI sector this week. Most notably, Samsung, Amazon, and X all announced that they are internally developing models to integrate into their flagship products and platforms.

Samsung unveiled Samsung Gauss, a three-pronged AI model equipped with language, coding, and image generation capabilities. The tech giant announced its latest foray into AI at the Samsung AI Forum earlier this week, and we could see Samsung Gauss integrated into future products, including the Galaxy S24 mobile device slated to drop in early 2024.

Reuter’s Krystal Hu broke the news that Amazon is spending millions of dollars to train and build an AI model codenamed Olympus. Former Alexa lead Rohit Prasad is spearheading the team behind Olympus and is working on incorporating the new AI model into Alexa products.

Elon Musk’s AI company, xAI, unveiled a new AI system called Grok that only X Premium+ subscribers can access when its beta phase ends. Grok is a conversational AI chatbot weaved with responses that mirror Musk’s own humor. The platform will also have real-time access to content on X’s platform.

The real question here is, which one of these platforms will rival OpenAI, if at all? I’ll be testing them out, reporting my findings, and watching to see who moves up in the generative AI race.


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Google vs. Epic Games

While Google continues to fight an antitrust lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice, the Big Tech company entered another courtroom to defend its Android Play Store practices against more antitrust claims from Epic Games. Google and Epic Games’ face-off began on Monday in a federal court in San Francisco after game developers accused Google of taking too much revenue from in-app payments and making it hard for app creators to connect with customers. Google tacks on a 15% to 30% fee to in-app purchases, so Epic Games is pushing to allow app creators to handle direct billing, essentially overriding those high fees.

The trial is expected to last a few weeks, and if Epic Games wins, Google will be forced to restructure its app store offering on Android devices.

OpenAI's ChatGPT Hit New Milestones and Experienced an Outage

OpenAI experienced some gains and some setbacks this week with ChatGPT. The AI company hosted its first in-person event, the OpenAI DevDay conference, on Nov. 6 in San Francisco to announce new platform offerings. OpenAI CEO Sam Altman delivered a keynote where he unveiled GPT-4 Turbo, the company’s latest AI model that’s trained on data up to April 2023 and can handle a lot more input. Altman also announced a new offering that lets developers build custom ChatGPT bots, and the company is opening a GPT-specific app store for developers to make their AI chatbots available for public download. Eventually, OpenAI will begin paying developers based on how much traction their versions of ChatGPT gain.

Coming off a successful event, ChatGPT went dark for as long as 90 minutes on Wednesday due to an API glitch. OpenAI’s DALL-E 3 platform also glitched earlier this week following an upgrade.

By the numbers, ChatGPT attracts an estimated 100 million users a week. I’ll have more on ChatGPT soon as the platform comes up on its first birthday on Nov. 30.

  • Yuga Labs is under fire after several Ape Fest attendees left the Hong Kong event with severe eye-burning conditions from excessive exposure to UV lights. The prominent Web3 brand likely installed the wrong type of light bulbs, sending over a dozen of its holders to the ER.
  • TikTok is shuttering its $2 billion creator fund on Dec. 16 in favor of creating a more robust ecosystem of monetization offerings for creators. The TikTok fund launched in 2020 with a commitment to disperse $1 billion over three years to micro-influencers with at least 10,000 followers and who accumulate at least 100,000 views each month.
  • Meta announced a new policy that requires advertisers to disclose when they use AI or other similar digital methods in political and social issue ads on Facebook or Instagram. The global policy goes into effect in 2024.
  • Microsoft announced a multi-year partnership with Inworld AI to develop tools to bring AI-powered characters, storylines, and quests to Xbox consoles. The deal includes an AI design copilot system for Xbox developers.
  • CBS is launching a fact-checking news unit called “CBS News Confirmed” to examine misinformation and AI deepfakes. The unit will produce segments on its findings and inform its audience about the evolving role of generative AI in media.
  • Rockstar Games is celebrating 25 years in business next month by debuting the trailer for the next chapter of the Grand Theft Auto franchise. GTA 6 still has no release date, even though it’s been a decade since Grant Theft Auto V dropped.

Despite Epic Games losing in a similar antitrust case with Apple back in 2021, I’m going to bet that the video game developer will prevail with a few wins in its antitrust trial against Google since the Big Tech giant is fighting multiple court battles right now.