Apple, Defying the Times, Stays Quiet on AI

Resisting the hype, Apple defied most predictions this week and made no mention of artificial intelligence when it unveiled its latest slate of new products, including its Vision Pro mixed reality headset.

Generative AI has become the tech world’s biggest buzzword since Microsoft-backed OpenAI released ChatGPT late last year, revealing the capabilities of the emerging technology. 

ChatGPT opened the world’s eyes to the idea that computers can churn out complex, human-level content using simple prompts, giving amateurs the talents of tech geeks, artists or speechwriters. 

Apple has laid low as Microsoft and Google raced out announcements on how generative AI will revolutionize its products, from online search to word processing and retouching images.

During the recent earnings season, tech CEOs peppered mentions of AI into their every phrase, eager to reassure investors that they wouldn’t miss Silicon Valley’s next big chapter.

Apple has chosen to be much more discreet and, in its closely watched keynote address to the World Developers conference in California, never once mentioned AI specifically.

“Apple ghosts the generative AI revolution,” said a headline in Wired Magazine after the event. 

‘Not necessarily AI?’

Arguments vary on why Apple has chosen a more subtle approach. 

For one, Apple follows other critics who have long been wary of the catchall “AI” term believing that it is too vague and unhelpfully evokes dystopian nightmares of killer robots and human subjugation to machines. 

For this reason, some companies – including TikTok or Facebook’s Meta – roll out AI innovations, but without necessarily touting them as such. 

“We do integrate it into our products [but] people don’t necessarily think about it as AI,” Apple CEO Tim Cook told ABC News this week.

Indeed, AI was actually very much part of Apple’s annual jamboree on Monday, but it required a level of technical know-how to notice.

In one instance, Apple’s head of software said “on-device machine learning” would enhance autocorrect for iPhone messaging when he could have just as well said AI.

Apple’s autocorrect innovation drew giggles with the promise of iPhones no longer correcting common expletives.

“In those moments where you just want to type a ‘ducking’ word, well, the keyboard will learn it, too,” said Craig Federighi.

Autocorrect will also learn from your writing style, helping it guide suggestions, using AI technology similar to what powers ChatGPT.

In another example, a new iPhone app called Journal, an interactive diary, would use “on-device machine learning … to inspire your writing,” Apple said, again not referring to AI when other companies would have.

But AI will also play a major role in the Vision Pro headset when it is released next year, helping, for example, generate a user’s digital persona for video-conferencing.

‘Not much effort’

For some analysts, the non-mention of AI is an acknowledgement by Apple that it lost ground against rivals. 

“They haven’t put much effort into it,” independent tech analyst Rob Enderle told AFP. 

“I think they just kind of felt that AI was off into the future and it wasn’t anything surprising,” he added. 

The glitchy performance of Apple’s chatbot Siri, which was launched a decade ago, has also fed the feeling that the smartphone giant doesn’t get AI. 

“I think most people would agree that Apple lost its edge with Siri. That’s probably the most obvious way they fell behind,” said Insider Intelligence principal analyst Yory Wurmser. 

But Wurmser also insisted that Apple is primarily a device company and that AI, which is software, will always be “the means rather than the ends for a great user experience” on its premium devices.

In this vein, for analyst Dan Ives of Wedbush Securities, the release of Apple’s Vision Pro headset was in itself an AI play, even if it wasn’t explicitly spelled out that way.

“We continue to strongly believe this is the first step in a broader strategy for Apple to build out a generative AI driven app ecosystem” on the Vision Pro, he said. 

Румунія вимагає від РФ скоротити кількість співробітників посольства більш ніж наполовину

Загалом Росія мала скоротити 51 особу, але оскільки не всі посади зайняті, то Румунію залишать 11 дипломатів і 29 співробітників з числа техніко-адміністративного персоналу

Індія не планує запрошувати Україну на саміт G20 у вересні

Очікується, що війна в Україні та перебої з глобальним постачаннями продовольства та палива будуть одними з головних тем порядку денного саміту G20 у Нью-Делі

Британія розширила санкції проти Білорусі через підтримку агресії РФ проти України

Нові обмеження, серед іншого, стосуються імпорту золота, зачіпають білоруських фізосіб і компанії, які допомагають Росії обходити західні санкції

У Казахстані закривають канцелярію Назарбаєва

У лютому 2023 року президент Казахстану Касим-Жомарт Токаєв підписав закон, який скасовує раніше чинний закон про першого президента

Сунак про руйнування Каховської ГЕС: «рано однозначно казати, що саме сталося»

«Спершу вважає за потрібне зосередитися на негайній гуманітарній відповіді на ситуацію, щоб допомогти потерпілим від затоплення»

Підрив Каховської ГЕС: Євросоюз відправляє допомогу Україні

«Координаційний центр ЄС з реагування на надзвичайні ситуації перебуває у прямому контакті з українськими службами з надзвичайних ситуацій, щоб відстежувати точні потреби на місцях, і готовий координувати подальшу допомогу Україні»

Зеленський повідомив, коли Україна почне підготовку інфраструктури для F-16

«Партнери знають, скільки літаків нам потрібно. Я вже отримав від деяких наших європейських партнерів розуміння щодо кількості – вона потужна»

Financial Institutions in US, East Asia Spoofed by Suspected North Korean Hackers

There are renewed concerns North Korea’s army of hackers is targeting financial institutions to prop up the regime in Pyongyang and possibly fund its weapons programs.

A report published Tuesday by the cybersecurity firm Recorded Future finds North Korean aligned actors have been spoofing well-known financial firms in Japan, Vietnam and the United States, sending out emails and documents that, if opened, could grant the hackers access to critical systems.

“The targeting of investment banking and venture capital firms may expose sensitive or confidential information of these entities or their customers,” according to the report by Recorded Future’s Insikt Group.

“[It] may result in legal or regulatory action, jeopardize pending business negotiations or agreements, or expose information damaging to the company’s strategic investment portfolio,” it said.

The report said the most recent cluster of activity took place between September 2022 and March 2023, making use of three new internet addresses and two old addresses, and more than 20 domain names.

Some of the domains imitated those used by the targeted financial institutions.

Recorded Future’s named the group behind the attacks Threat Activity Group 71 (TAG-71), which is also known as APT38, Bluenoroff, Stardust Chollima and the Lazarus Group.

This past April, the U.S. sanctioned three individuals associated with the Lazarus Group, accusing them of helping North Korea launder stolen virtual currencies and turn it into cash.

U.S. Treasury officials levied additional sanctions just last month against North Korea’s Technical Reconnaissance Bureau, which develops tools and operations to be carried out by the Lazarus Group.

The Lazarus Group is believed to be responsible for the largest theft of virtual currency to date, stealing approximately $620 million connected to a popular online game in Match 2022.

Earlier this month, U.S. and South Korean agencies issued a warning about another set of North Korean cyber actors impersonating think tanks, academic institutions and journalists in an ongoing attempt to collect intelligence.


Japan, Australia, US to Fund Undersea Cable Connection in Micronesia to Counter China’s Influence

Japan announced Tuesday that it joined the United States and Australia in signing a $95 million undersea cable project that will connect East Micronesia island nations to improve networks in the Indo-Pacific region where China is increasingly expanding its influence.

The approximately 2,250-kilometer (1,400-mile) undersea cable will connect the state of Kosrae in the Federated State of Micronesia, Tarawa in Kiribati and Nauru to the existing cable landing point located in Pohnpei in Micronesia, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry.

Japan, the United States and Australia have stepped up cooperation with the Pacific Islands, apparently to counter efforts by Beijing to expand its security and economic influence in the region.

In a joint statement, the parties said next steps involve a final survey and design and manufacturing of the cable, whose width is about that of a garden hose. The completion is expected around 2025.

The announcement comes just over two weeks after leaders of the Quad, a security alliance of Japan, the United States, Australia and India, emphasized the importance of undersea cables as a critical component of communications infrastructure and the foundation for internet connectivity.

“Secure and resilient digital connectivity has never been more important,” Matthew Murray, a senior official in the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said in a statement. “The United States is delighted to be part of this project bringing our region closer together.”

NEC Corp., which won the contract after a competitive tender, said the cable will ensure high-speed, high-quality and more secure communications for residents, businesses and governments in the region, while contributing to improved digital connectivity and economic development.

The cable will connect more than 100,000 people across the three Pacific countries, according to Kazuya Endo, director general of the international cooperation bureau at the Japanese Foreign Ministry.


Посланець папи зустрівся з Зеленським і передав йому листа від Франциска – ОП

Зеленський і Дзуппі обговорили ситуацію в Україні і гуманітарну взаємодію Києва й Святого Престолу в межах реалізації української формули миру

«Новий вимір російських звірств» – в ЄС відреагували на підрив Каховської ГЕС

«Європейський союз рішуче засуджує цю атаку. Це є новим виміром російських звірств і може становити порушення міжнародного права, зокрема міжнародного гуманітарного права»

Musk Says China Detailed Plans to Regulate AI

Top Chinese officials told Elon Musk about plans to launch new regulations on artificial intelligence on his recent trip to the Asian giant, the tech billionaire said Monday, in his first comments on the two-day visit.

The Twitter owner and Tesla CEO — one of the world’s richest men — held meetings with senior officials in Beijing and employees in Shanghai last week.

“Something that is worth noting is that on my recent trip to China, with the senior leadership there, we had, I think, some very productive discussions on artificial intelligence risks, and the need for some oversight or regulation,” Musk said. “And my understanding from those conversations is that China will be initiating AI regulation in China.”

Praised China

Musk, whose extensive interests in China have long raised eyebrows in Washington, spoke about the exchange in a livestreamed Twitter discussion with Democratic presidential hopeful and vaccine conspiracy theorist Robert Kennedy Jr., the nephew of the late U.S. President John F. Kennedy.

Musk did not tweet while in China and Tesla has not released readouts of Musk’s meeting with officials.

But official Chinese channels said he lavished praise on the country, including for its “vitality and promise,” and expressed “full confidence in the China market.”

Several Chinese companies have been rushing to develop AI services that can mimic human speech since San Francisco-based OpenAI launched ChatGPT in November.

But rapid advancements have stoked global alarm over the technology’s potential for disinformation and misuse.

Musk didn’t elaborate on his discussions in China but was likely referring to a sweeping draft law requiring new AI products to undergo a security assessment before release and a process ensuring that they reflect “core socialist values.”

The “Administrative Measures for Generative Artificial Intelligence Services” edict bans content promoting “terrorist or extremist propaganda,” “ethnic hatred” or “other content that may disrupt economic and social order.”

Under Beijing’s highly centralized political system, the measures are almost certain to become law.

Describes meetings as ‘promising’

Musk has caused controversy by suggesting the self-ruled island of Taiwan should become part of China — a stance that was welcomed by Chinese officials but which deeply angered Taipei.

The 51-year-old South African native described his meetings in China as “very promising.”

“I pointed out that if there is a digital super intelligence that is overwhelmingly powerful, developed in China, it is actually a risk to the sovereignty of the Chinese government,” he said. “And I think they took that concern to heart.”

Рада ЄС запровадила санкції проти 9 росіян за переслідування опозиціонера Кара-Мурзи

7 квітня Московський міський суд засудив російського опозиційного політика Володимира Кара-Мурзу до 25 років колонії суворого режиму

Майк Пенс подав документи для участі у виборах президента США

Як пише агентство Reuters із посиланням на неназвані джерела, 63-річний Майк Пенс має намір публічно оголосити про своє висування 7 червня під час виступу в штаті Айова

Is It Real or Made by AI? Europe Wants a Label as It Fights Disinformation 

The European Union is pushing online platforms like Google and Meta to step up the fight against false information by adding labels to text, photos and other content generated by artificial intelligence, a top official said Monday.

EU Commission Vice President Vera Jourova said the ability of a new generation of AI chatbots to create complex content and visuals in seconds raises “fresh challenges for the fight against disinformation.”

Jourova said she asked Google, Meta, Microsoft, TikTok and other tech companies that have signed up to the 27-nation bloc’s voluntary agreement on combating disinformation to dedicate efforts to tackling the AI problem.

Online platforms that have integrated generative AI into their services, such as Microsoft’s Bing search engine and Google’s Bard chatbot, should build safeguards to prevent “malicious actors” from generating disinformation, Jourova said at a briefing in Brussels.

Companies offering services that have the potential to spread AI-generated disinformation should roll out technology to “recognize such content and clearly label this to users,” she said.

Jourova said EU regulations are aimed at protecting free speech, but when it comes to AI, “I don’t see any right for the machines to have the freedom of speech.”

The swift rise of generative AI technology, which has the capability to produce human-like text, images and video, has amazed many and alarmed others with its potential to transform many aspects of daily life. Europe has taken a lead role in the global movement to regulate artificial intelligence with its AI Act, but the legislation still needs final approval and won’t take effect for several years.

Officials in the EU, which is bringing in a separate set of rules this year to safeguard people from harmful online content, are worried that they need to act faster to keep up with the rapid development of generative artificial intelligence.

The voluntary commitments in the disinformation code will soon become legal obligations under the EU’s Digital Services Act, which will force the biggest tech companies by the end of August to better police their platforms to protect users from hate speech, disinformation and other harmful material.

Jourova said, however, that those companies should start labeling AI-generated content immediately.

Most of those digital giants are already signed up to the EU code, which requires companies to measure their work on combating disinformation and issue regular reports on their progress.

Twitter dropped out last month in what appeared to be the latest move by Elon Musk to loosen restrictions at the social media company after he bought it last year.

The exit drew a stern rebuke, with Jourova calling it a mistake.

“Twitter has chosen the hard way. They chose confrontation,” she said. “Make no mistake, by leaving the code, Twitter has attracted a lot of attention and its actions and compliance with EU law will be scrutinized vigorously and urgently.”

ЄК видала проєкт постанови про продовження заборони на імпорт української агропродукції до 15 вересня – влада Польщі

Заборона на постачання пшениці, кукурудзи, ріпаку та насіння соняшнику з України до пʼяти країн – Болгарії, Угорщини, Польщі, Румунії та Словаччини – мала тривати до 5 червня

App Offering Government Services to Ukrainians Expands Reach

In collaboration with the Ukrainian government, the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, has created an app that connects Ukrainians with their government so they can access public services — and use of the app’s code has expanded to different countries. Iryna Matviichuk has the story, narrated by Anna Rice.