Tech News of the Week: Intel, Apple & Meta Join the AI Chip Race

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Intel, Apple, and Meta race to the top of our newsfeeds with chips that run AI models.
  • Tech leaders challenge Musk with a $10 million wager on AI's future.
  • Amazon's futuristic stores aren't as robotic as you think.
  • X users are unhappy they cannot hide their blue ticks.
  • Apple plans to introduce AI-optimized M4 chips in Next-Gen Macs.
  • Campaigners slam Meta's decision to lower WhatsApp age limit.

What is happening in the tech industry today? It has been another busy and occasionally bizarre few days with users voicing their displeasure over X’s decision to make blue checkmarks non-removable. Ironically, checkmarks symbolizing online status are a not-so-subtle flex that users would prefer to hide.

In more serious news is that the tech industry is grappling with a fiercely competitive AI chip market. Due to escalating demands for powerful, custom AI processors, Nvidia’s valuation has soared to $2 trillion. These narratives underscore a dynamic week in technology, reflecting the fast-evolving nature of digital identities and the critical need for specialized hardware to power AI advancements.

Here is this week’s roundup of the big tech stories you might have missed.

Next-Gen Macs to Feature AI-Enhanced M4 Chips

Have you debated whether an M3 Macbook is worth the hype or if an M3-enabled new iPad Pro would be a good purchase? Bloomberg made this story much harder with revelations that Apple plans to overhaul its entire Mac line with AI-focused M4 Chips.

The strategic overhaul, which will begin late this year and end early next year, seeks to address sluggish sales by upgrading every Mac model, potentially altering its competitive stance in AI technology.

Apple’s first M4 Macs reportedly arrive this fall with a focus on AI (Techopedia)

Introducing Intel’s AI Accelerator Chip

Intel unveiled its Gaudi 3 AI accelerator at the Vision 2024 event, positioning it as a competitor to Nvidia’s H100 by boasting a 50% faster training time for major AI models.

This new chip promises superior performance. However, it also aims to address the persistent market issue of H100 shortages, potentially reshaping competition in the AI hardware landscape.

Is Intel’s Gaudi 3 AI Chip a Market Disruptor or Too Little, Too Late? Expert Analysis (Techopedia)

Meta’s New Super Fast AI Chips

In yet another AI chip story, Meta’s latest development in AI hardware, the next-generation Meta Training and Inference Accelerator (MTIA), promises significant enhancements in speed and capacity for training AI models.

Positioned to refine Meta’s AI-driven services further, this upgraded chip underscores the tech giant’s commitment to evolving its infrastructure to support advanced AI functionalities, including generative models.

Meta’s new AI chips run faster than before (The Verge)

X Removes the Ability to Hide Blue Tick

At the beginning of the month, X began granting free blue ticks to influential users with more than 2,500 verified followers.

However, the new policy has sparked complaints from some users who are frustrated with the inability to hide these verification checkmarks. Ironically, it’s much cooler to be seen online without the infamous blue checkmark.

X’s Premium users can no longer hide their blue checks (The Verge)

Concerns Mount as Meta Lowers WhatsApp Age Limit

Campaigners have criticized Meta’s decision to lower WhatsApp’s minimum use age from 16 to 13, with some likening the messaging app to a “gateway drug” for young social media users.

Many also argue that the move is tone-deaf, disregarding widespread concerns about the mental health and safety of children, who are increasingly exposed to harmful content and potential exploitation on the platform.

Nine-year-olds added to malicious WhatsApp groups (BBC)

OpenAI & Meta to Release AI Capable of Reasoning

Meta AI has introduced OpenEQA, an open-source benchmark designed to test artificial intelligence systems on “embodied question answering,” where AIs interpret and respond to queries about their environment using natural language.

This initiative, testing over 1,600 questions across varied real-world settings, seeks to advance AI’s ability to understand and interact with its surroundings, a step forward in creating more intuitive and practical AI applications.

Meta AI releases OpenEQA to spur’ embodied intelligence’ in artificial agents (VentureBeat)

The Importance of Open Source Across Europe

At this year’s critical open-source event in Europe, the landscape of open-source technology was examined amidst a shifting tide of decreased venture capital funding and increased demand for sustainable business models.

The discussions highlighted emergent themes such as AI ethics, the environmental impacts of technology, and the essential need for robust project sustainability and governance, illustrating a community poised to redefine its trajectory in response to evolving challenges.

The State of Open Source in Europe (TNW)

CEOs Place $10 Million Bet That Elon Musk’s AI Prediction Is Wrong

Top tech CEOs are placing multimillion-dollar bets against Elon Musk’s bold assertion that AI will surpass human intelligence by next year, challenging the pace of AI development he anticipates.

As skepticism mounts, industry leaders are questioning Musk’s timeline and calling for a more measured discussion on AI technology’s realistic advancements and ethical implications.

CEOs bet up to $10 million to prove Elon Musk’s AI prediction wrong (Business Insider)

Why Amazon’s Cashier-Free Stores Still Need Humans

Despite Amazon’s promotion of its ‘AI-powered’ cashier-free shops as a pinnacle of technological advancement, these stores surprisingly depend heavily on human labor.

The reality that many human reviewers are necessary to ensure the functioning of these automated systems underscores a persistent reliance on traditional human oversight in supposedly futuristic retail environments.

Amazon’s ‘AI-powered’ cashier-free shops use a lot of … humans. Here’s why that shouldn’t surprise you (The Guardian)

IMF Report Shows $12B Lost in US Financial Sector

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued a stark warning this week, revealing that cyberattacks have caused approximately $12 billion in losses to the US financial sector since 2004.

The IMF urges immediate and robust governmental action to prevent potential economic destabilization, including bank runs, highlighting these incidents’ escalating frequency and severity.

Cybersecurity Crisis: IMF Report Shows $12B Lost in US Financial Sector (Techopedia)

Why European Users Are Turning to Smaller Browsers

In a week when DuckDuckGo expanded its privacy services, smaller browser companies were also experiencing a significant surge in user numbers across Europe. This is mainly due to new EU regulations encouraging competition and making it easier for users to switch from dominant players like Google and Apple.

As the EU Digital Markets Act takes effect, promoting an open digital market, these alternative browsers are gaining traction by offering privacy-focused and innovative browsing solutions, challenging Chrome and Safari’s long-standing dominance.

Small browser companies like DuckDuckGo and Ecosia see user surge in Europe (ReadWrite)

The Bottom Line

From the ironic discontent among X users over the indelible blue checkmarks — once a coveted status symbol — to the intensifying race in the AI chip market, this week’s stories reflect a broader narrative of change and adaptation.

As companies like Apple, Intel, and Meta aggressively innovate to enhance AI capabilities within their products, and European users increasingly favor smaller, privacy-centric browsers, the tech world continues navigating the complex interplay between advancement and user expectations.

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