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  • Writer's pictureDima Krieger

📬 News of the Day for March 9, 2023

In today’s edition:

  • Daylight savings time costs the U.S. more than $400 million annually in lost productivity, according to a new study;

  • Russia conducted operations seeking to affect the U.S.’s 2022 elections, and will continue to seek to influence future elections, according to a top U.S. intelligence agency;

  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is calling for the regulation of artificial intelligence, as it predicts that nearly every company will use some form of the technology in 20 years;

  • Meta’s large language model, LLaMA, has leaked online and is available for download;

  • and more.

AI tools see uptick in adoption by brands, despite risks

  • Although some AI experts are warning that businesses should carefully consider potential harms to customers, society, and their reputations, many companies are adopting AI in their processes.

  • Mattel and Coca-Cola are using AI tools to create ideas for new Hot Wheels toy cars.

  • In addition, CarMax, Snapchat, and Instacart are among companies using generative AI tools.

  • Google pioneered advancements in generative AI but has been cautious about introducing them to the public.

  • Amazon has taken a more muted tone, but makes its ambitions clear through partnerships.

ChatGPT being used to automatically write emails; Microsoft, Salesforce hopping on the trend

  • Generative AI and tools using large language model (LLM) techniques like ChatGPT have led to a boom as big tech companies and startups alike race to integrate software capable of producing content that resembles something a human would write.

  • Microsoft and Salesforce announced new products this week with that exact feature.

  • Some startups are working on using these bots to write marketing copy or computer code.

  • However, companies still are wary of the technology, as it is prone to errors.

  • To address that concern Microsoft said it would use data from its software to ground the replies in facts.

Meta's mega language model files leak

  • LLaMA, Meta's latest large language model, has leaked online and is available for download.

  • Meta in February announced it was releasing the model in a limited fashion to select academics, government types, and companies to test.

  • The leak comes after Meta's recent attempts to release large language models did not go smoothly.

  • Last year, its chatty BlenderBot was criticized for spreading misinformation and anti-Semitic views.

Microsoft's AI-powered Bing has crossed 100M daily active users

  • Bing has crossed 100 million daily active users a month after the launch of its chatbot AI.

  • One-third of Bing's daily users are new to the search engine.

  • Bing's AI chatbot on mobile has led to a six-time increase in users from before it became available.

  • On average, Microsoft is seeing three chats per session, with over 45 million chats since the launch.

Google may be falling behind in the race for artificial intelligence

  • The notion among tech observers that Google might be falling behind in the area of artificial intelligence has caused anxiety at the company.

  • A new internal directive requires “generative artificial intelligence” to be incorporated into all of its biggest products.

  • Meanwhile, Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have gotten more involved in the company than they have in years.

  • Some teams already working on generative AI projects are hopeful that they will now be able to “ship more and have more product sway,” says one of the people with knowledge of the matter.

  • The notion may also be misdirected, as a recent analysis found that among top 100 most cited AI research papers from 2020 to 2022, Google dominated the field.

Ford files patent for system to repossess cars remotely

  • The U.S. Patent Office has published an application by Ford Motor Company for a system and methods to remotely repossess a vehicle.

  • The application describes a system that would allow a bank or leasing company to disable a vehicle if the payments are not made.

  • It would even allow the lienholder to disable certain features, like the air conditioning and radio.

  • Ford claims they have no active plans to market the system.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce calls for AI regulation

  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce in a new report has called for regulation of artificial intelligence technology.

  • The report argues policymakers and business leaders must ramp up their efforts to establish a "risk-based regulatory framework."

  • The report asserts that within 20 years, "virtually every" business and government agency will use AI.

  • AI is projected to add $13 trillion to global economic growth by 2030.

Google to pay $391.5M in location tracking settlement with 40 states

  • Google has agreed to a $391.5 million settlement with 40 state attorneys general over its location tracking practices.

  • The settlement outlines that Google misled its users into thinking they had turned off location tracking even as the company continued to collect their location information.

  • The investigation was co-led by Oregon and Washington.

  • Google said it already has addressed and corrected some of the issues detailed in the settlement.

Study: Daylight saving time costs US almost $434M in productivity

  • The U.S. loses nearly $434 million in productivity annually due to the change in clocks prompted by daylight savings time.

  • The amount was calculated based on findings from peer-reviewed academic journals that showed how the time change can lead to an increase in heart attacks, workplace injuries, and increased time wasted on the internet.

  • The area with the highest amount of lost productivity was New York, northern New Jersey, and Long Island, where the amount was $29,682,674.

Study: COVID’s effect on mental health not as great as first thought

  • The COVID pandemic resulted in “minimal” changes in the mental health of the general population, according to a review of 137 studies from around the world led by researchers at McGill University in Canada.

  • Some experts disputed this, warning such readings could obscure the impact on individual groups such as children, women, and people with low incomes or pre-existing mental health problems.

  • Meanwhile, a separate study found that COVID can significantly increase the risk of developing long-term gastrointestinal symptoms and conditions.

  • The study examined medical records of 154,000 people who had the virus between March 2020 and January 2021.

  • Researchers said It is unclear how the viral infection leads to gastrointestinal problems in the year after infection.

Russia tried to influence U.S. elections in 2022 and will do it again, top intel agency says

  • Russia conducted influence operations in the 2022 U.S. midterm elections, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said in a new report.

  • Russia also is expected to work to "strengthen ties" to Americans in media and politics as it works to carry out "future influence operations," the report said.

  • The agency's warning about Russian election meddling was starker and more certain than a previous assessment it conducted on the matter.

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