“Introducing the Latest MacBook Air Models: Apple Unveils 13-inch and 15-inch Options Powered by M3 Technology”

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Apple announced new MacBook Air models with 13-inch and 15-inch screen sizes with M3 Chip. The 13-inch model starts at $1,099 and the 15-inch model starts at $1,200. Both variants are available for pre-orders in the U.S. starting today with general availability slotted for March 8. Apple unveiled the M2 Macbook Air in 2022 and added the 15-inch model to the portfolio last year. Both Macbook Air models have 18 hours of claimed battery life, a 1080p webcam, Wi-Fi 6E connectivity, and support for two external displays.

Indian Government Now Requires Approval for AI Model Launches

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India has waded into global AI debate by issuing an advisory that requires tech firms to get government permission before launching new models. India’s Ministry of Electronics and IT issued the advisory to firms on Friday. It seeks compliance with “immediate effect” and asks tech firms to submit “Action Taken-cum-Status Report” to the ministry within 15 days. The new advisory, which also asks tech firms to “appropriately” label the “possible and inherent fallibility or unreliability” of the output their AI models generate, marks a reversal from India’s previous hands-off approach to AI regulation. Less than a year ago, the ministry had declined to regulate AI growth, instead identifying the sector as vital to India’s strategic interests.

Breaking News: Apple Abandons Car Project, Google AI Falters, Bumble Experiences Setback

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Elsewhere, Mistral, the French AI startup, launched a new model to rival OpenAI’s GPT-4 — and its own cheekily named chatbot dubbed Le Chat. NewsApple car canceled: Apple has scuttled its secretive, long-running effort to build an autonomous electric car. Bumble stumbles: Bumble posted weak Q4 results showing a $32 million net loss and $273.6 million in revenue — below Wall Street expectations. Google’s AI goes awry: Google has apologized for an embarrassing AI blunder this week: An image-generating model that injected diversity into pictures with a farcical disregard for historical context. PodcastsOn Equity, the crew talked through startup news from Microsoft and Mistral AI, Thrasio and Glean — and also covered happenings over at COTU Ventures and Zacua Ventures.

“Rabbit’s Jesse Lyu on the Power of Startups: Thrive Quickly or Risk Failure, But Never Give Up”

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Rabbit co-founder and CEO Jesse Lyu isn’t afraid of death… the death of the company, at least. Rabbit’s r1, the pocket AI assistant that attracted considerable hype after its debut at CES, is certainly an original proposal. “We immediately tried using super-prompts to get this language model to do things, and the result was very miserable,” he recalled. “I mean, the first lesson I ever learned from Y Combinator two years ago, is that 99% of startups will die. I think it’s good to have this level of competition that’s only going to help us grow faster, or die faster, which is the nature of startups.

Curious Inquiry: EU Raises Concerns Over Meta’s “Pay or Be Tracked” Consent Approach

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Now the EU is asking questions about Meta’s ‘pay or be tracked’ consent modelMeta’s controversial pay or be tracked ‘consent’ choice for users the European Union is facing questions from the European Commission. Meta’s ad-free subscription is controversial because under EU data protection law consent must be informed, specific and freely given if it’s to be valid. Now the EU itself is stepping in with an RFI under the DSA, the bloc’s recently updated ecommerce rulebook. In follow-up questions last month, the MEPs criticized internal market commissioner, Thierry Breton, for what they couched as “inadequate answers” — repeating their ask for a clear verdict on Meta’s ‘pay or consent’ model. We also reached out to Ireland’s DPC for an update on its review of Meta’s consent or pay model — which has been ongoing for around six months.

Fisker Cuts 15% of Workforce and Reserves Additional Funds for Challenging Times Ahead

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Fisker is laying off 15% of staff and says it needs more cash ahead of a “difficult year”Electric vehicle startup Fisker is planning to lay off 15% of its workforce and says it likely does not have enough cash on hand to survive the next 12 months. “[W]e have put a plan in place to streamline the company as we prepare for another difficult year,” founder and CEO Henrik Fisker said in a statement. Fisker said Thursday that it finished 2023 with $396 million in cash, though $70 million of that is restricted. The company says it is talking with one of its lenders about making “an additional investment” in the company. Fisker has also been dealing with a number of problems with its Ocean SUV, its only model so far, as TechCrunch reported earlier this month.

“Palazzo Unveils Venus Williams’ Innovative Interior Design Techniques Utilizing Cutting-Edge AI Technology”

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If you didn’t know legendary tennis player and seven-time Grand Slam winner Venus Williams had an eye for interior design, consider this your heads up. Walmart announced in October 2023 that it was developing an interior design assistant that leverages generative AI and AR technology. Palazzo has ambitious plans for its platform and wants to expand beyond generative AI-powered offerings. The company will bring on retail partners to include inventory on the platform for Vinci to suggest to potential customers. Most notably, Palazzo is bringing in notable interior design companies (like V Starr) to contribute designs on the platform and be compensated for their work.

Tim Cook Makes Bold Prediction About Apple’s GenAI Advancements for the Year Ahead

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Tim Cook says Apple will ‘break new ground’ in GenAI this yearApple CEO Tim Cook is promising that Apple will “break new ground” on GenAI this year. Some of the staff on the EV project were reassigned to work on various GenAI initiatives, according to multiple publications. $AAPL COOK: APPLE WILL "BREAK NEW GROUND" IN GENERATIVE AI THIS YEAR — *Walter Bloomberg (@DeItaone) February 28, 2024Apple, unlike many of its Big Tech rivals, has been slow to invest in — and ramp up — GenAI. During the company’s Q1 earnings call, Cook said Apple was working internally with GenAI but that it was taking a slower, more deliberate approach to customer-facing incarnations of the technology. Perhaps telegraphing Apple’s intensifying GenAI focus, engineers at the company have co-authored an increasing number of GenAI-related academic and technical papers.

Create Flims Easily with AI-Generated Clips using Morph Studio

Want to weave various Stability AI-generated video clips into a movie? Morph Studio, which has its own text-to-video model, just introduced an AI filmmaking platform. Undergirding the creation process is Morph’s partnership with Stability AI, though eventually, Morph plans to introduce an array of generative video models for users to choose from. AI has introduced a new workflow to film production,” Morph’s co-founder Xu Huaizhe said in an interview with TechCrunch. Meme generatingXu’s commitment to creating a community around videos was evident in Morph’s inaugural product endeavor: a place for sharing AI-generated memes.

Unlocking GenAI: How Diffusion Transformers are Revolutionizing OpenAI’s Sora

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Saining Xie, a computer science professor at NYU, began the research project that spawned the diffusion transformer in June 2022. Diffusion models typically have a “backbone,” or engine of sorts, called a U-Net. In other words, larger and larger transformer models can be trained with significant but not unattainable increases in compute. The current process of training diffusion transformers potentially introduces some inefficiencies and performance loss, but Xie believes this can be addressed over the long horizon. “I’m interested in integrating the domains of content understanding and creation within the framework of diffusion transformers.