Morning Consult Tech: Google Announces Bard AI Chatbot Service


Essential tech industry news & intel to start your day.
February 7, 2023
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Today’s Top News

  • Google announced Bard, an artificial intelligence chatbot service powered by the company’s LaMDA large language model, that it plans to roll out in the coming weeks to compete with OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Bard, which will be made available to “trusted testers” before being made widely available to the general public, will be integrated into Google’s search service to “distill complex information and multiple perspectives into easy-to-digest formats.” (CNBC)
  • Getty Images Holdings Inc. filed a lawsuit in U.S. court against Stability AI Ltd., creators of the generative AI art tool Stable Diffusion, over allegations the AI firm infringed upon Getty’s intellectual property by using images from its database without permission or compensation. Getty, which claims Stability AI copied more than 12 million images from its database to train its text-to-image model, has also filed a claim in the High Court of Justice in London, but it has yet to be served. (The Verge)
  • The Federal Trade Commission will not appeal the decision of a federal judge to allow Meta Platforms Inc. to move forward with its purchase of virtual reality company Within Unlimited. The FTC sued to prevent the acquisition from moving forward, citing concerns over Meta’s dominance over the virtual reality space. (The Verge)
  • About 290,000 people, including 180,000 people in the United States, have subscribed to paid Twitter Inc. services including Twitter Blue as of mid-January, according to a document viewed by The Information. The U.S. subscriber base accounts for less than 0.2% of Twitter’s monthly active users, signaling a lack of interest in the paid product as Chief Executive Elon Musk struggles to find new paths to increase Twitter’s revenue. (The Information)


Happening today

  • Microsoft Corp. will hold a surprise event at its headquarters to “share some progress on a few exciting projects.” It is expected the event will focus around the company’s partnership with OpenAI and reported plans to integrate ChatGPT into its Bing search engine.
  • President Joe Biden will deliver his State of the Union address, when he is expected to call for stricter regulation of Silicon Valley as part of his pitch to establish bipartisanship in the divided Congress.
  • FTC Commissioner Alvaro Bedoya (D) will speak at the National Academies’ Committee meeting on “Social Media on Health and Wellbeing of Children & Adolescents” that will cover topics including advertising and transparency, online privacy and data security, platform accountability and content moderation.
  • Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) will speak at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation’s event “What Will It Take for Congress to Pass Bipartisan Privacy Legislation?
  • The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce will hold a markup on five bills, including H.R. 750, the “Chinese-owned Applications Using The Information of Our Nation Act of 2023; H.R. 742, the Telling Everyone the Location of data Leaving the U.S. Act”; H.R. 752, the Securing Semiconductor Supply Chains Act of 2023; and H.R. 784, the Internet Application Integrity and Disclosure Act.”

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What Else You Need to Know


Microsoft investigates Outlook outage as users face issues

Sneha Bhowmik, Reuters

Microsoft Corp said it was investigating issues with email service Outlook as users in North America faced problems with accessing, sending or searching emails on the platform.


Biden Announces New Appointees for Telecommunications Advisory Committee

Frank Konkel, Nextgov

President Joe Biden on Monday announced his intent to appoint 14 industry executives to the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee, or NSTAC, which advises the White House on issues like the reliability, security and preparedness of critical communications and information infrastructure.  


Pinterest shares slip on fourth-quarter revenue miss and weak forecast

Jonathan Vanian, CNBC

Pinterest shares slipped in extended trading on Monday after the company reported revenue that missed analyst expectations and issued a light forecast for the first quarter. The stock pared its losses after earlier falling by as much as 12%.

Antitrust and Competition

Smaller firms fear limiting net liability law will hobble them

Ashley Gold, Axios

A looming U.S. Supreme Court decision on a key internet liability law could upend the business landscape — not just for giant platforms but for small and mid-size firms that fear a massive upheaval.


Law firms in Meta antitrust lawsuit clash over lead role

Mike Scarcella, Reuters

Two major U.S. law firms are feuding over which one will lead a consumer antitrust class action against Meta Platforms Inc’s Facebook, after a judge scrapped a prior order appointing them both as co-leaders for the plaintiffs and started from scratch.


U.S. Car Makers’ EV Plans Hinge on Made-in-America Batteries

Andrew Mollica, The Wall Street Journal

Companies and the U.S. government are shelling out billions of dollars to establish a supply chain for batteries in North America, a manufacturing effort that is critical to the auto industry’s long-range plans to put more electric vehicles on the road. 

Artificial Intelligence/Automation

The People Onscreen Are Fake. The Disinformation Is Real.

Adam Satariano and Paul Mozur, The New York Times

The two broadcasters, purportedly anchors for a news outlet called Wolf News, are not real people. They are computer-generated avatars created by artificial intelligence software. And late last year, videos of them were distributed by pro-China bot accounts on Facebook and Twitter, in the first known instance of “deepfake” video technology being used to create fictitious people as part of a state-aligned information campaign.


Quora opens its new AI chatbot app Poe to the general public

Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

Q&A platform Quora has opened up public access to its new AI chatbot app, Poe, which lets users ask questions and get answers from a range of AI chatbots, including those from ChatGPT maker, OpenAI, and other companies like Anthropic. 


Meta, Long an A.I. Leader, Tries Not to Be Left Out of the Boom

Cade Metz and Mike Isaac, The New York Times

Two weeks before a chatbot called ChatGPT appeared on the internet in November and wowed the world, Meta, the owner of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, unveiled a chatbot of its own. Called Galactica, it was designed for scientific research.


Google CEO issues rallying cry in internal memo: All hands on deck to test ChatGPT competitor Bard

Jennifer Elias, CNBC

Google CEO Sundar Pichai told employees Monday the company is going to need all hands on deck to test Bard, its new ChatGPT rival. He also said Google will soon be enlisting help from partners to test an application programming interface, or API, that would let others access the same underlying technology.


ChatGPT’s ‘jailbreak’ tries to make the A.I. break its own rules, or die

Rohan Goswami, CNBC

Reddit users have engineered a prompt for artificial intelligence software ChatGPT that tries to force it to violate its own programming on content restrictions.


Bill Gates On Advising OpenAI, Microsoft And Why AI Is ‘The Hottest Topic Of 2023’

Alex Konrad, Forbes

The Microsoft cofounder talked to Forbes about his work with AI unicorn OpenAI and back on Microsoft’s campus, AI’s potential impact on jobs and in medicine, and much more.


AI stocks rally in latest Wall Street craze sparked by ChatGPT

Medha Singh and Ankika Biswas, Reuters

Shares of Inc, and SoundHound AI extended a rally on Monday as artificial intelligence becomes a new buzzword on Wall Street with the viral success of ChatGPT chatbot, attracting interest from retail punters.


EU lawmakers aim for common position on draft AI rules by early March 

Supantha Mukherjee and Foo Yun Chee, Reuters

EU lawmakers hope to agree on draft artificial intelligence rules next month, with the aim of clinching a deal with EU countries by the end of the year, one of the legislators steering the AI Act said.


Search wars reignited by artificial intelligence breakthroughs

Richard Waters, Financial Times

Google, Microsoft and some start-ups plan to embed AI into their services in ways that may transform the market.

Telecom, Wireless and Internet Access

Federal program that helps millions pay for internet access is plagued with fraud and complaints

Brian New, CBS News DFW

A federal program that helps millions of low-income families connect to the internet has been plagued with fraud and complaints, according to government records.

Mobile Technology

Bloatware pushes the Galaxy S23 Android OS to an incredible 60GB

Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica

Samsung’s Android build is 4x bigger than Google’s—twice the size of Windows 11.

Cybersecurity and Privacy

Apple’s End-to-End iCloud Could Be a Security Game Changer

Joseph Cox, Motherboard

Finally end-to-end encryption comes to iCloud. The system can be a bit buggy, but promises a substantial security upgrade.


LockBit ransomware gang claims Royal Mail cyberattack

Sergiu Gatlan, Bleeping Computer

The LockBit ransomware operation has claimed the cyberattack on UK’s leading mail delivery service Royal Mail that forced the company to halt its international shipping services due to “severe service disruption.”

Social Media and Content Moderation

Biden says he is not sure whether U.S. would ban TikTok

Jeff Mason, Reuters

U.S. President Joe Biden said on Monday he was not sure if Washington would ban Chinese-owned short video app TikTok.


U.S. senators question Meta over Chinese, Russian access to Facebook data

Rami Ayyub, Reuters

A bipartisan pair of U.S. senators said on Monday they had sent a letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg questioning the company about documents that they say reveal that Facebook developers in China and Russia had access to user data.


Dating apps must share information about threatening behaviour, says Australia’s eSafety watchdog

Josh Butler, The Guardian

Dating apps must cooperate to share information about “bad actors” using their services to abuse and harass other users, Australia’s eSafety Commissioner said, as new data shows three-quarters of Australian adults reported at least one negative online experience in the last year.


Pakistan Unblocks Wikipedia as PM Overturns Regulator’s Order

Kamran Haider, Bloomberg

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif ordered the unblocking of Wikipedia in the country Monday after a panel of ministers called the restriction over sacrilegious content an “unsuitable measure.”


For Better and for Worse, Elon Musk Is His Own Spokesman

Jacob Bernstein, The New York Times

Under its new owner, Twitter has done away with its press department. One reporter who writes about the company compares it to a “giant black box.”


Musk’s Twitter Expected to Face the Strictest EU Content Rules

Jillian Deutsch and Kurt Wagner, Bloomberg

Elon Musk’s Twitter Inc. is expected to fall under the European Union’s stricter rules for content moderation despite doubts that the platform was big enough to qualify.


Meta to Revamp Horizon Metaverse App, Plans to Open for Teen Use as Soon as March

Salvador Rodriguez, The Wall Street Journal

Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc. is revamping its fledgling Horizon Worlds metaverse app, seeking to draw in more teen and young-adult users after working to improve the service’s design, according to a memo sent to the team working on the initiative.


Big Tech not doing enough to remove fake news, activist NGO Avaaz says

Foo Yun Chee, Reuters

Twitter, Google’s YouTube, Meta Platform’s Facebook, Microsoft’s LinkedIn and TikTok are not doing enough to remove fake news from their platforms, raising doubts about their ability to comply with new EU online content rules, activist NGO Avaaz said on Tuesday.

Tech Workforce

Apple Heads the Management Top 250 All-Stars

Gerard Yates, The Wall Street Journal

Apple Inc. tops the list of seven companies designated as All-Stars for their excellence in all five components of the latest Management Top 250 ranking.


Tech’s grip on largest office leases loosens

Sami Sparber, Axios

Tech has been toppled as the leader in leasing large offices. The pullback comes as the roller-coaster tech industry downsizes after a decade-long boom.


Amazon Is Now a ‘Para-State’ Governing Global Commerce, Researcher Says

Roshan Abraham, Motherboard

Amazon’s influence over third-party sellers on its platform is substantial and spans continents, a new report says.

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