Wednesday, June 21, 2023

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☕️ Techpresso: Amazon faces FTC lawsuit, Schumer calls for AI regulation, controversy over Marvel's AI and more

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This is your daily dose of ☕️ Techpresso, where you get the latest tech news of the day effortlessly.

Here's the latest tech news from the last 24 hours:


🛍️ FTC alleges Amazon tricked customers into Prime subscriptions
🎬 Marvel's AI-generated opening credits spark outrage
🍎 Apple accused of violating employee rights over unionizing
👽 AI unearths ancient symbols in Peruvian desert
🤫 OpenAI accused of lobbying for weaker AI regulations

🛍️ FTC alleges Amazon tricked customers into Prime subscriptionsLINK

  • The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed a lawsuit against Amazon, accusing the company of enrolling consumers into its Prime service without consent and making cancellation difficult.
  • The FTC alleges that Amazon used manipulative tactics to trick consumers into automatically renewing Prime subscriptions and deliberately complicated the cancellation process.
  • The FTC has been investigating Amazon Prime's sign-up and cancellation processes since 2021, accusing Amazon of delaying the investigation and failing to address the issues until the investigation was known.
  • 🎬 Marvel's AI-generated opening credits spark outrageLINK

  • The Marvel series 'Secret Invasion' uses generative AI for a specific sequence in the opening credits, as confirmed by the director Ali Selim.
  • Generative AI uses millions of images created by artists and photographers to train it, raising issues of using these pieces without artists' permission or compensation, and potentially replacing actual artists with AI.
  • Despite the visual appeal of AI art, there is controversy when it's used in such high-profile projects without full understanding of its creation process and potential implications for artists.
  • 🍎 Apple accused of violating employee rights over unionizingLINK

  • A National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) judge ruled that Apple interfered with employees' union organizing efforts at its World Trade Center store in New York City, with managers removing pro-union flyers and discouraging union involvement.
  • Apple store workers began organizing nationwide in early 2022 due to wage concerns, but Apple hired anti-union law firm Littler Mendelson and instructed managers to express anti-union sentiments to employees.
  • Union efforts at Apple are making some progress, with stores in Maryland and Oklahoma successfully unionizing, despite the company's alleged anti-union tactics leading to some stores, like the one in St. Louis, abandoning their unionization plans.
  • 👽 AI unearths ancient symbols in Peruvian desertLINK

  • Researchers from Yamagata University and IBM Japan used a deep learning AI model to discover four new geoglyphs in the Nazca desert in Peru, which are ancient large-scale artworks etched into the earth.
  • The AI system analyzed aerial photos of the area, working 21 times faster than human analysis, identifying potential Nazca Lines based on previously found geoglyphs.
  • Following the success of AI integration in archeological research, the team plans to expand their research to the entire region, highlighting that AI technology may drive the future of archeological discoveries.
  • 🤫 OpenAI accused of lobbying for weaker AI regulationsLINK

  • OpenAI has been lobbying for AI regulations in the EU that favor the company and potentially weaken the proposed AI Act, according to documents obtained by Time.
  • The company argued against classifying "general purpose AI systems" like GPT-3 as "high risk", suggesting that regulatory focus should be on the companies using these AI models, not those creating them.
  • The lobbying effort aligns with positions held by Microsoft and Google, and has resulted in parts of the EU's AI Act being removed, leading OpenAI CEO Sam Altman to reverse his previous threat to withdraw the company from the EU.
  • Other news you might like

    US Senate Majority Chuck Schumer urges comprehensive legislation to advance and safeguard AI, addressing the potential dangers of generative AI and promoting innovation. LINK

    A hacker discovered a hidden version of Tesla's Full Self-Driving software, named "Elon Mode", that imposes fewer restrictions and potentially allows complete autonomous driving.LINK

    Twitch has replaced its mature content toggle with detailed Content Classification Labels, allowing streamers to better specify content warnings such as profanity, violence, or sexual themes.LINK

    Twitter is facing a lawsuit for allegedly failing to pay "tens of millions of dollars" in bonuses promised to employees ahead of Elon Musk's acquisition.LINK

    Google Cloud's new AI-driven tool, Anti Money Laundering AI, eliminates rules-based inputs, reducing false positives and increasing efficiency in identifying potential financial risks.LINK


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