Top tech stories today: January 17, 2024

Searching individual articles seems like a hassle? Instead, we’ve gathered the essential global tech updates for January 17, 2024. Dive in to stay informed about today’s trending topics!

1. Microsoft CEO supports OpenAI amid Altman ouster crisis

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella expresses confidence in OpenAI’s governance after the temporary ouster of CEO Sam Altman. Microsoft’s non-voting observer position on Microsoft’s non-voting observer position on OpenAI’s board is also highlighted. Under the watchful eye of the competition authority, Nadella emphasizes the pro-competitive nature of their partnership, citing Microsoft’s unconventional and risky bet on OpenAI’s AI development. (The Star)

2. Elon Musk seeks 25% voting control for Tesla’s AI leadership

Elon Musk insists on securing 25% voting control at Tesla to lead its AI and robotics initiatives. With a current 13% stake, Musk warns of exploring AI outside Tesla if the condition isn’t met, raising concerns about potential conflicts with his CEO role. Tesla’s shares reflect market uncertainties, down over 11% this month. Musk proposes a dual-class share structure for voting control, highlighting disparities with other tech giants. Amid a compensation lawsuit, he denies a board feud, attributing delays to the pending verdict. (Reuters)

3. OpenAI CEO Altman emphasizes need for eergy breakthrough in future AI

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, speaking at Davos, underscores the critical role of an energy breakthrough for the future of artificial intelligence, which is expected to consume substantial power. Altman advocates for climate-friendly sources like nuclear fusion and affordable solar power to drive AI advancements. (The Star)

4. BYD unveils Xuanji smart car technology

China’s BYD launches its Xuanji smart car system, aiming to compete with rivals through features like automated parking and voice recognition. With over 90,000 employees, including 4,000 focused on smart driving, BYD intensifies efforts to bolster its technological offerings, aligning with industry competitors such as Tesla, Nio, Xpeng, and Huawei. (U.S. News)

5. Former Google researchers secure $30M for Tokyo AI lab

Tokyo-based startup Sakana AI, founded by ex-Google researchers David Ha and Llion Jones, raises $30 million in a seed round led by Lux Capital. The company aims to position Tokyo as an AI hub, focusing on innovative approaches to AI systems and developing models tailored for the Asian market’s character-based languages. The founders, known for their contributions to the transformative “transformer” architecture, plan to pioneer advancements in generative AI. (Reuters)

6. Apple Vision Pro: Launching with 3D Disney movies

Apple’s Vision Pro debuts with 3D content from Disney Plus and offers immersive experiences. Notable apps include ESPN, MLB, and others, but Netflix is notably absent. Blockbuster movies like Avatar and Avengers. Endgame will be available in 3D through the Apple TV app. The headset aims to enhance the 3D experience with advanced features. (The Verge)

7. Apple Vision Pro unveils ‘Guest’ mode for sharing

Apple’s Vision Pro headset introduces a ‘guest’ mode, allowing friends to experience select apps without registration, bypassing the Optic ID requirement. Restricting access to sensitive data, the feature confirms a previously rumored ‘Guest Mode.’ The headset also offers a travel mode for enhanced stability during plane use. Launching on February 2nd, Vision Pro includes 3D content from Disney Plus and supports streaming apps like Amazon Prime Video and Paramount Plus. (The Verge)

8. Google Maps enhances tunnel navigation with Bluetooth beacons

Google Maps on Android introduces a feature using Bluetooth beacons for improved navigation inside tunnels. These beacons transmit signals to track location where GPS signals may struggle. The app combines this data with mobile connectivity to offer real-time traffic information. Users can enable this feature by toggling on “Bluetooth tunnel beacons” in Navigation Settings, provided the tunnel has installed Bluetooth beacons. The rollout follows initial sightings in October 2023, and it’s unclear if it will extend to Google Maps on iOS. (The Verge)

9. Vodafone inks $1.5B Microsoft deal for AI, Cloud

Vodafone and Microsoft enter a decade-long partnership, with Vodafone investing $1.5 billion in AI, digital, and cloud services across Europe and Africa. Microsoft becomes an equity investor in Vodafone’s IoT platform and scales the mobile financial platform in Africa. The collaboration aims to enhance customer services using Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI and Copilot technologies, introducing generative AI capabilities for intelligent financial decisions. (CNBC)

10. Binance Thailand launches cryptocurrency exchange

Binance Thailand introduces Gulf Binance, a joint venture with Gulf Innova, opening a cryptocurrency exchange for trading in Thailand. The platform, licensed by Thailand’s finance ministry, allows users to buy and sell digital assets with local currency pairings. This move adds to the growing number of crypto exchanges in Southeast Asia, where Coinbase, Zipmex, and Gemini have also established their presence. (Nasdaq)


Elma Yuan

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

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