Top tech stories today: January 12, 2024

Skip the online hunt; we’ve rounded up the must-know global tech scoop for January 12, 2024. Check them out!

1. Mercedes-Benz’s best-in-class voice assistant is getting an AI boost

Mercedes-Benz enhances its MBUX voice assistant with generative AI, promising more natural interactions and personalized experiences. The upgraded assistant, part of the next-gen MB.OS system, aims for human-like interfaces and predictive behaviors. The company remains tight-lipped about its AI technology provider. (the Verge)

2. OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, US House Speaker Mike Johnson discuss AI’s risk

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman met with U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson to discuss AI risks on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. The meeting explores balancing AI’s potential benefits with mitigating risks. The Biden administration pushes for AI regulation amid concerns, while Europe leads in drafting AI rules. (Reuters)

3. Microsoft briefly overtakes Apple as world’s most valuable company

Microsoft briefly surpasses Apple as the world’s most valuable company, driven by strong growth and investments in generative AI, particularly through OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Microsoft’s market valuation reaches $2.859 trillion, outpacing Apple amid concerns over iPhone demand. (Reuters)

4. Chilean government partners with Google to launch Asia-Pacific fiber optic link

The Chilean government collaborates with Google on the Humboldt Cable Project, an undersea fiber-optic link spanning 14,800 km from Valparaiso, Chile, to Sydney, Australia. With a 144 terabyte capacity and 25-year lifespan, it aims to position Chile as a digital hub in South America. (Reuters)

5. Tesla to raise pay for US factory workers – Bloomberg News

Tesla informs U.S. production workers of a pay raise, following the trend set by other automakers. Material handlers, production associates, and quality inspectors at Tesla’s Fremont facility receive a “market adjustment pay increase,” with the exact magnitude unspecified. CEO Elon Musk has been vocal against unionization. (Reuters)

6. UK to make Big Tech give rivals access to data under new plans

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) plans to enforce greater data access for rivals and restrict big tech firms like Meta, Alphabet, Amazon, and Apple from promoting their products. The new digital markets competition regime aims to foster innovation and consumer choices. (Reuters)

7. Microsoft offers to store all personal data of cloud customers in EU

Microsoft announces that its EU cloud customers can process and store all personal data within the region, addressing privacy concerns. This includes system-generated logs, with plans to expand to temporary data transfers and introduce a paid EU-based support option. (Reuters)

8. Google Cloud removes data transfer fees when clients switch to rivals

Google Cloud announces the elimination of data transfer fees for customers switching to other cloud providers, aiming to ease migration. The move responds to concerns about such fees discouraging customers from changing providers, though challenges with restrictive licenses still hinder flexibility. (Reuters)

9. US bitcoin ETFs see $4.6B in volume in first day of trading

US-listed bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) witness $4.6 billion in trading volume on their first day. Eleven ETFs, including offerings from BlackRock and Grayscale, compete for market share, with Grayscale becoming the world’s largest bitcoin ETF. Regulatory approval sparks intense competition, slashing fees. (Reuters)

10. Spot bitcoin ETFs may face uphill battle to widen token’s appeal

The approval of U.S. bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) is hailed as a new asset class by crypto enthusiasts. However, broadening acceptance beyond believers may be challenging due to bitcoin’s volatility and perceived risks, with estimates of first-year inflows ranging widely. Issuers, including BlackRock and Fidelity, aim to overcome investor wariness. (Reuters)


Cassie Gong

Cassie is a news reporter at BTW media focusing on company profiles, interviews, podcasts, networking, sustainability, and AI. She graduated from Newcastle University, UK with a Master’s degree in Translating & Interpreting and now works in London and Hangzhou. Send tips to

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *