Top tech stories today: February 2, 2024

Are you tired of scrolling through endless pages of tech news? Well, look no further! Here, you can get a quick and exciting summary of the latest global tech highlights.

1. Tim Cook confirms Apple’s generative AI features are coming ‘later this year’

Apple CEO, Tim Cook, has confirmed that the company is working on generative AI features, although he did not provide specific details. Cook highlighted Apple’s responsible approach to AI and suggested that product advancements will be seen in the future. (Business Standard)

2. OpenAI says there’s only a small chance ChatGPT will help create bioweapons

OpenAI’s report states that there is only a slight chance ChatGPT could aid in creating biological threats. While GPT-4 offered a small improvement, it did not pose a significant risk. However, future models may have more potential for malicious actors. (BUSINESS INSIDER)

3. Amazon debuts ‘Rufus,’ an AI shopping assistant in its mobile app

Amazon has launched Rufus, an AI shopping assistant, in its mobile app to help customers find products, compare options and receive recommendations. Rufus will initially be available in beta to select US customers before expanding in the coming weeks. (TECHCRUNCH)

4. ETF multiplier effect’ to spark BTC frenzy, Swan Bitcoin CEO predicts

Swan Bitcoin CEO Cory Klippsten anticipates that the approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs will have a “multiplier effect,” driving more capital directly into Bitcoin. He also expects an Ethereum ETF to be approved soon, but notes that Ethereum will still be considered centralized compared to Bitcoin. (COINTELEGRAPH)

5. EU Data Act risks pushing crypto innovation overseas

The EU Data Act’s clause to shut off smart contracts could push crypto innovation overseas, says 21Shares’ “State of Crypto” report, highlighting jurisdictional competition and uncertain regulation in the US and EU. Hong Kong and the UK are considered well-positioned for industry innovation. (COINTELEGRAPH)

6. Intel delays $20 bln Ohio project, citing slow chip market

Intel is postponing its $20 billion chipmaking project in Ohio due to market challenges and slow grant distribution. The construction timeline has been pushed back, with completion expected in late 2026. Uncertain demand and competition from Nvidia and AMD have affected Intel’s revenue forecasts. (Reuters)

7. YouTube now has more than 100 million Premium subscribers

YouTube has hit 100 million global subscribers for its paid music and video tiers, including YouTube Music and YouTube Premium. While subscriptions are a growing revenue source, advertising remains YouTube’s primary income. (The Verge)

8. Google Maps experiments with generative AI to improve discovery

Google Maps is introducing a generative AI feature that analyzes over 250 million locations and input from Local Guides to provide personalized recommendations. The feature aims to enhance the discovery of new places and will initially be available to select Local Guides in the US. (TECHCRUNCH)

9. Google’s Bard chatbot gets the Gemini Pro update globally

Google’s chatbot, Bard, is now powered by the Gemini Pro model globally and supports over 40 languages, including Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hindi, Japanese, and more. Additionally, Google introduced image generation support through Imagen 2, currently only available in English. (TECHCRUNCH)

10. Facebook parent Meta declares first dividend, shares soar

Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, issued its first dividend and reported strong revenue and profit, exceeding expectations. Shares rose over 14% after the announcement, increasing the company’s market valuation by over $140 billion. Meta is the first of its tech generation to issue a dividend. (U.S.News)

11. TikTok users losing access to Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish songs

TikTok and Universal Music Group failed to reach a new agreement, resulting in the loss of access to songs from Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, and other UMG artists for TikTok users. (Reuters)

12. Meta is paying first-ever dividend, authorizes $50 billion buyback

Meta, formerly known as Facebook, will pay its first-ever dividend of 50 cents per share and has authorized a $50 billion share buyback program. The move follows strong fourth-quarter financial results and aims to provide a balanced capital return program for shareholders. (CNBC)

13. Meta’s Reality Labs loses $4.65b in quarter ahead of Apple Vision Pro launch

Meta’s Reality Labs unit reported a loss of $4.65 billion in Q4 2023, despite generating over $1 billion in revenue. The metaverse market saw a 40% sales drop, and Meta faces competition from Apple’s Vision Pro headset. (CNBC)

14. Amazon Fund for rainforest received $640 mln in new pledges in 2023

Brazil’s Amazon Fund received $640m in pledges, including $500m from the Biden Administration, in 2023. The fund aims to prevent deforestation and promote sustainability projects. Deforestation rates have decreased under President Lula da Silva compared to his predecessor. (Devdiscourse)

Cassie-Gong

Cassie Gong

Cassie is a news reporter at BTW media focusing on company profiles, interviews, networking, and AI. She graduated from Newcastle University, UK and now works in London and Hangzhou. Send tips to c.gong@btw.media.

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