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☕️ Techpresso: Elon Musk just launched an AI company

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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:

🤖 Elon Musk just launched an AI company
🔓 Chinese cyberattacks compromise government email accounts
🤖 CEO uses AI to replace 90% of support staff
🤝 UK open to renegotiating Microsoft-Activision deal
📈 Broadcom's $61 billion VMware deal gets EU nod

🤖 Elon Musk just launched an AI companyLINK

  • Elon Musk has announced the formation of xAI, a new organization dedicated to understanding the universe's true nature, with the team consisting of professionals from DeepMind, OpenAI, Google Research, Microsoft Research, Tesla, and the University of Toronto.
  • The mission of xAI, advised by the director of the Center for AI Safety, Dan Hendrycks, and working closely with Twitter and Tesla, appears to align with Musk's previous statements about creating a "TruthGPT," a text-generating AI seeking maximum truthfulness.
  • Musk's interest in AI development has amplified since his departure from OpenAI, a company he co-founded but later criticized for its shift from open source research to primarily commercial projects; he left the board in 2018 and has since restricted its access to Twitter data.
  • 🔓 Chinese cyberattacks compromise government email accountsLINK

  • Microsoft has identified a China-based hacking group, Storm-0558, as the perpetrator behind a breach that gained access to email accounts linked to 25 organizations, including Western European government agencies and unclassified U.S. government email accounts.
  • The hackers used forged authentication tokens to access the email accounts, a breach that was discovered weeks later after complaints from customers about abnormal mail activity; Microsoft is working with various agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, to prevent further attacks.
  • While China claims these accusations are attempts to distract from U.S. cyber activities, U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan has confirmed that the investigation is ongoing and that the U.S. was able to prevent further breaches after quickly detecting the attack.
  • 🤖 CEO uses AI to replace 90% of support staffLINK

  • Suumit Shah, CEO of Indian e-commerce platform Dukaan, has received backlash for firing 90% of the company's customer support staff, claiming an AI chatbot had outperformed them, and decreasing his customer support budget to just $100 a month.
  • Despite Shah's assertion that response times decreased thanks to the AI chatbot, customers have voiced their dissatisfaction with the quality of the AI-based customer service, with some experiencing frustration and others not renewing their premium plans.
  • Although Shah expressed regret for announcing the layoffs on social media, he maintained the move was necessary, arguing that more companies will increasingly rely on AI in the future; this is a trend that researchers confirm, warning of the increasing replacement of human jobs with bots.
  • 🤝 UK open to renegotiating Microsoft-Activision dealLINK

  • The U.K.'s Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA), previously blocking Microsoft's $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard due to competition concerns in the cloud gaming market, has suggested reopening negotiations after a U.S. judge denied the Federal Trade Commission's motion to stop the deal.
  • Though Microsoft has already offered concessions, including commitments to make certain games available on other platforms, these have been rejected by the CMA; hence, a new attempt at licensing concessions or additional commitments is needed to address the concerns.
  • Proposed solutions by the CMA also include the divestiture of parts of the Activision Blizzard business or the selling of Microsoft's business associated with the popular game Call of Duty; this divestiture could be a potential path to satisfying the regulator's concerns.
  • 📈 Broadcom's $61 billion VMware deal gets EU nodLINK

  • The European Commission has approved Broadcom's $61 billion acquisition of VMware, concluding that Broadcom does not possess a "strong position" that could hurt competition in network and storage adapters, and would not have incentive to limit its networking partnership with AMD and NVIDIA.
  • As part of the approval, the Commission requires Broadcom to offer third parties the tools to make compatible Fiber Channel adapters and to provide source code for the drivers that run those adapters, to ensure equipment compatibility with VMware's server virtualization technology.
  • This acquisition, still pending reviews from the US Federal Trade Commission and the UK's Competition and Markets Authority, would represent one of the largest tech purchases to date and mark a significant expansion for Broadcom into the enterprise software sector.
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    The annual Allen & Co. conference, gathering tech and media billionaires, including Tim Cook and Marc Benioff, kicks off in Sun Valley, Idaho. LINK

    Intel discontinues its Next Unit of Computing (NUC) mini PC line, opting to enable ecosystem partners to continue the product's innovation and growth. LINK

    Lucid Group's Q2 production dropped and deliveries stagnated due to supply chain issues and increased competition, causing a 12% share price decrease. LINK

    Despite user loyalty, Tumblr struggles with profitability, spending $30 million more than it earns annually, with growth and monetization efforts meeting resistance.LINK

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