The race to deploy AI is as fast as it is to contain it, as two key moments this week demonstrate.
On May 10, Google announced plans to deploy new large language models that use machine learning techniques to generate text in its existing products. “We are reimagining all of our core products, including search,” Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google parent company Alphabet, said at a press conference. The move is widely seen as a response to Microsoft adding similar functionality to its Bing search engine.
A day later, politicians in the European Union agreed on new rules governing how and when AI can be used. The bloc’s AI law has been in the making for years, but has been rapidly changing to stay current: Last month, lawmakers drafted and enacted rules mandating the use of generative artificial intelligence, which has skyrocketed in popularity over the past six months. This includes the requirement to disclose the use of any copyrighted material in training such AIs. The draft text will be put to a vote in the European Parliament in June.
But Google, like Microsoft and other tech giants, seems to be paying little attention to what could soon become the world’s most dominant form of AI legislation. While EU laws only apply in member states, the block size means companies can end up complying with its rules globally, as has generally happened with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
How can we resolve this contradiction? “Hopefully I’m wrong, but it seems to me that these companies ignoring copyright issues are a power move,” says Carissa Veliz at Oxford University. “They’re betting that their products are so compelling that governments will have to adapt to them, unlike these companies who adapt their products to the rule of law.”
While some AI companies have entered into licensing agreements for copyrighted material, others seem to be asking for forgiveness rather than permission. The EU AI law may eventually force companies to formalize the use of copyrighted material, but exactly how this will happen is not yet clear.
Michael Veal at University College London, they believe companies like Google will develop something similar to their content identification system for YouTube, allowing copyright holders to claim content and choose to either remove it or monetize it. “I suspect that AI firms are looking at similar models today that would allow them both to play the compliance game, minimizing costs while remaining price-setters, not price-takers,” he says. Google did not respond to a request for comment.
Whatever happens, it is clear that the adoption of AI is unlikely to slow down. “The speed at which companies are moving shows the strategic advantage that AI will bring today,” says Benedict Macon-Cooney at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, UK. “This race has the potential to open up huge opportunities as once-in-a-generation technology begins to be applied to accelerate science, health care and industry both old and new.”
But the divergent paths taken by the tech giants and the EU are creating “a struggle between titans, a clash between cultures,” Veliz says. She believes that “humanity is at a crossroads” and the rules we set now – or our failure to do so – will determine the future direction for years to come.
LAGUNA HEIGHTS, Texas– One person died when his mobile home was crushed by a powerful tornado that swept through a community near the southern tip of Texas before dawn on Saturday, damaging dozens of homes and downing power lines, authorities said.
At least 10 people were hospitalized, including two in critical condition, according to Tom Hushen, emergency coordinator for Cameron County. Many residents also received cuts and bruises.
The tornado hit about a magnitude 4 as most people slept in their homes in the unincorporated community of Laguna Heights, located on the mainland across from South Padre Island, off the Gulf of Mexico. The county has one of the highest poverty rates in Texas and has a lot of substandard housing.
There was no prior warning. Instead, the first tornado warning “went out at the same time it hit the ground,” said Barry Goldsmith, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service’s warning coordination in Brownsville.
“In the case of hurricanes, we have the advantage of early warning; we know it’s probably on its way,” Eddie Treviño Jr., Cameron County Judge, said during a press conference Saturday. “With tornadoes, as Barry mentioned, this is not a common scenario unless we have a hurricane/tropical cyclone in the area. So we didn’t have the benefit of a warning.”
“An hour didn’t help,” added Treviño.
Roberto Flores, 42, has died after being “practically crushed by damage to his motorhome,” Treviño said.
The storm was recorded with winds of 86-110 mph (138-177 km/h) and was classified as an EF1 tornado, according to the weather service. It lasted only about two to four minutes, but devastated the area.
60 houses damaged. A district judge signed a disaster statement, and a temporary shelter in the nearby city of Port Isabel helped 38 people.
“Obviously he went right through this community,” County Sheriff Eric Garza said. “People do not want to leave their homes because they are afraid that someone will enter there and start stealing things.”
Garza said his department is helping to keep the area safe, and Treviño said officials are considering imposing a nighttime curfew to help hurricane victims who fear their property will be looted if they leave their property.
Laguna Heights is about 20 miles (32 km) northeast of the US-Mexico border at Brownsville and is not prone to tornadoes, although it has been active this spring, weather service meteorologist Angelica Soria said. The area is also preparing for the start of the hurricane season.
The Texas tornado followed the outbreak of dozens of tornadoes in Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado that caused damage but reported no deaths.
Gonzalez reported from McAllen, Texas and Miller reported from Oklahoma City.
While annual Memorial Day laptop sales are just around the corner, those looking for a premium machine might consider buying the excellent Dell XPS 13 Plus. for only $899 (was $1399) (will open in a new tab) in the official Dell store today.
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The best Dell XPS 13 deal to date
More of today’s best laptop deals
Too expensive? Just below, we’ve rounded up some more of today’s best laptop deals. While you’re here, don’t forget to bookmark our page for this year’s upcoming Memorial Day sales if you’re thinking of holding out until the end of May for a great deal.
HBCUniversal’s advertising director Linda Iaccarino will lead Twitter, where she will have to deal with the exodus of marketers who left the social media platform after Elon Musk took over.
“I’m delighted to welcome Linda Iaccarino as the new CEO of Twitter!” Musk wrote in tweet Friday after NBCUniversal announced they were leaving. “Looking forward to working with Linda to turn this platform into X, the Universal App.” The billionaire said he would become chief technology officer and executive chairman.
Iaccarino may be in a unique position to deal with the aftermath of Musk’s takeover of Twitter last year. Musk said in March that despite a modest increase in daily users since early 2022, Twitter’s revenue has fallen 50% since October as a result of a “dramatic reduction” in ads. At NBC, Iaccarino helped launch advertising streaming service Peacock and formed partnerships with various tech companies, including Snapchat, YouTube and, of course, Twitter.
“She’s probably just what Elon needs to win over advertisers,” said Martin Sorrell, chairman of S4Capital Plc and former CEO of WPP Plc. “She’s going to have to do something to make sure everything is in order from an operational standpoint.”
Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion last October and has indicated that he will only be in charge for a limited time to complete the organizational overhaul he believes the company needs to thrive. In December, Musk asked his Twitter followers if he should step down as CEO, and 57.5% said yes.
As CEO of Tesla Inc. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp., Musk complained that he had “too much work” and was sleeping at Twitter headquarters in San Francisco while he implemented sweeping changes.
Musk has come under fire for sweeping policy changes on Twitter and neglecting his other business. He also changed the corporate name of Twitter’s parent company to X Holdings, an entity that could eventually become the umbrella for all of his ventures, an idea he has publicly speculated about. Musk also said he wants to make Twitter not only a social network, but an app for everything, including financial services.
Read more:A brief history of how Elon Musk said one thing and did another on Twitter
During his tenure, Musk has cut thousands of jobs, reduced moderation of the company’s content, and allowed reversions to accounts previously banned for violating rules. The controversial Twitter Blue subscription plan fails, attracting less than 1% of the user base. Twitter needs to boost sales to pay off the $12.5 billion debt the company took on when Musk bought it. Annual interest income is expected to exceed $1.2 billion.
“I can say that she will be my first choice and my only choice to save the platform from the hands of its owner,” said Lou Pascalis, who advises marketers as director of strategy at Ad Fontes Media, on Twitter. “However, I still can’t figure out why she submitted to @elonmusk!”
Iaccarino will be busy with operations from day one, as well as interacting with the fickle Musk, who has almost single-handedly run the company since he took over and once joked that “no one wants to work who can actually keep Twitter alive.”
Musk already has a friendly relationship with Iaccarino, who interview last month at a major promotional conference in Miami and called him a “friend” and “buddy” on stage. Twitter and NBCU recently expanded their partnership at the Olympics.
Iaccarino repeatedly stressed in her interview with Musk that advertisers seek protection on Twitter. At one point, she candidly asked Musk if he thought he had “removed the risks” of the platform enough to reassure advertisers that their campaigns wouldn’t end up in “terribly hateful places.”
She was not afraid to drag Musk’s own tweets into this conversation. In her position at NBC, which has a large distribution partnership with Twitter, Iaccarino said: “Are there days when I see some of your tweets and I want to say, ‘Stop helping the situation?’ She nodded her head.
On Thursday, Musk tweeted that he had found a new CEO, but did not name the person. This sparked immediate rumors about Iaccarino – at an awkward time for NBCUniversal. The company plans to hold its annual advertiser presentation at Radio City Music Hall in New York on Monday. The so-called pre-events, which span a week, are when the big media companies start selling ads for the fall TV season. Iaccarino would normally play an important role in NBCU presentations, but he is not expected to appear at this time, said a person familiar with the discussions.
Read more: Thousands have joined Mastodon since Twitter changed hands. Its founder has a vision for democratizing social media
This year’s presentations have already been overshadowed by a writers’ strike that could have caused serious delays in TV production and schedules. The NBCUniversal event is expected to focus heavily on online advertising as the company promotes its line of movies and TV shows on Peacock. NBCUniversal, a division of Comcast Corp., was shocked just last month by the firing of its CEO Jeff Schell following a sexual harassment complaint filed by an employee.
Mark Marshall will become interim chairman of NBCUniversal’s global advertising and partnerships group, the company said.
“We are grateful to Linda Iaccarino for NBCUniversal’s leadership in advertising sales and for the innovative team and platform she has built,” said Comcast President Mike Kavanagh. “Linda has made an invaluable contribution to the development of the company over the 12 years of her work, and we wish her all the best.”