Top tech stories today: January 22, 2024

Skip the internet search for tech news! We’ve got a quick and engaging roundup of global tech highlights. Dive in now!

1. Musk denies report his AI company secures $500 million toward $1 billion funding goal

Elon Musk denies reports that his AI company, xAI, secured $500 million towards a $1 billion funding goal, calling it inaccurate. xAI, valued at $15-20 billion, is reportedly in talks with investors, with discussions expected to finalize in the coming weeks. Musk launched xAI in July to address concerns about Big Tech’s AI efforts. (CNBC)

2. Sam Altman seeks to raise billions for network of AI chip factories

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is reportedly fundraising for a chip venture, seeking billions of dollars to establish a global network of semiconductor factories to address AI chip shortages. Potential investors include G42 and SoftBank. Altman believes the industry must act now to meet the increasing demand for AI-related chips. (Fortune)

3. OpenAI suspends bot developer for Congressman Dean Phillips – The Washington Post

OpenAI, backed by Microsoft, bans the developer of a political bot mimicking Congressman Dean Phillips, citing a violation of AI usage policies. The bot, Dean.Bot, created by a super Political Action Committee (PAC) supporting Phillips, was powered by ChatGPT. OpenAI also suspends AI start-up Delphi’s account. (Reuters)

4. BlackRock’s spot bitcoin ETF first to hit $1 bln in assets

BlackRock’s spot bitcoin ETF, the iShares Bitcoin ETF, becomes the first among recently approved ETFs tracking spot bitcoin prices to reach $1 billion in assets within the initial four days of trading, drawing substantial investor interest. (Reuters)

5. Bankman-Fried’s FTX to get bankruptcy examiner to probe collapse – US appeals court

A U.S. appeals court orders an independent bankruptcy examiner to probe the November 2022 collapse of FTX, the cryptocurrency exchange led by convicted Sam Bankman-Fried. The court cites the alleged misappropriation of $10 billion and the significant public interest in the case. (U.S.News)

6. Binance to face off against US securities regulator in court

Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, is set to face the U.S. SEC in court on January 22. The SEC alleges rule violations, market manipulation, and unlawful trading, a case that may impact crypto regulation. Binance seeks dismissal, arguing the SEC lacks authority over crypto assets. (Yahoo)

7. Microsoft says Russian state-sponsored hackers spied on its executives

Microsoft revealed a Jan. 12 hack by Russian group “Midnight Blizzard,” accessing a small number of corporate email accounts. The attack aimed to understand Microsoft’s knowledge of the hackers’ operations but was thwarted with no evidence of customer data compromise. Ongoing risks from nation-state threat actors are emphasized. (The Star)

8. Amazon’s iRobot deal faces EU antitrust veto, sources say

The EU antitrust regulators are set to block Amazon’s $1.4 billion acquisition of iRobot, a robot vacuum maker, due to concerns that it could restrict competition in the robot vacuum cleaner market. Amazon’s refusal to offer remedies to address these concerns led to the anticipated veto. iRobot shares fell 30%. (Reuters)

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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