Top tech stories today: December 14, 2023

No need to sift through the web for crucial stories – we’ve got you covered. Here are the key global technology highlights for December 14, 2023.

1. OpenAI CEO Sam Altman faces allegations

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman was accused of psychological abuse and divisive behavior by senior leaders. The board, initially dismissing complaints, later conducted a review leading to Altman’s firing. His reinstatement followed a staff-backed letter, but internal divisions persist, prompting an internal investigation amid uncertainties about co-founder Ilya Sutskever’s role. (The Washington Post)

2. MIT releases AI governance framework

MIT leaders suggest extending regulations, defining AI tools’ purpose to enhance U.S. leadership, minimize harm, and encourage societal benefits. Papers address regulatory issues, content labeling, large language models, and explore AI’s potential to aid workers, aligning with global interest in AI regulations. (MIT News)

3. Google’s kicks off AI life story project

Google explores “Project Ellmann,” using large language models for an AI life story teller. The initiative aims to offer insights into users’ lives, habits, and preferences through mobile data and photos. Potential integration into Google Photos aligns with the tech industry’s race in personalized memories, with a strong emphasis on prioritizing user privacy and safety. (CNBC)

4. French startup quietly releases superior AI LLM

French AI startup Mistral surprises by dropping its latest powerful model, Mixtral-8x7B, through a Torrent link. Benchmarks in a later blog post reveal its superiority over competitors like Meta’s Llama 2 and OpenAI’s GPT-3.5, earning praise for speed and performance. (GIZMODO)

5. Apple sells USB-C AirPods Pro case for $99

Apple now offers a standalone MagSafe USB-C AirPods Pro 2 Case, allowing users with the Lightning case to upgrade to USB-C for $99. Available on Apple’s online store, orders placed today will be delivered between December 27 and January 2, post-Christmas. The USB-C case supports MagSafe charging and enhances dust resistance. (MacRumors)

6. Google maps boosts privacy controls

Google Maps enhances privacy with new features. Tapping the blue dot now provides shortcuts for device location and history settings. Location data will be stored locally by default, with the option to manually back up to the cloud. Users can soon delete all data related to a specific location for increased privacy. (The Verge)

7. Meta tests threads on Mastodon

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announces testing to integrate Threads posts on Mastodon and other ActivityPub services, demonstrating Meta’s commitment to interoperability and expanding content reach across diverse platforms in the decentralized social media landscape. (The Verge)

8. Instagram unveils AI backdrops

Instagram introduces Backdrop, an AI-powered editing tool allowing users to transform image backgrounds easily. Users can choose prompts like ‘chased by dinosaurs’ or ‘surrounded by puppies’ to generate creative and whimsical Story backgrounds, enhancing the visual storytelling experience on the platform. Available in the U.S. for now. (The Verge)


Elma Yuan

Elma Yuan was a junior reporter at BTW media interested in media and communication.

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