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🚨 Microsoft in Antitrust Trouble

FTC starts antitrust investigation of microsoft AI deal.

Hello, AI Enthusiasts!

An investigation by the FTC into a potentially controversial deal between tech giant Microsoft and AI startup Inflection.

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TODAY’S AI SECRET:

  • FTC starts antitrust investigation of microsoft AI deal.

  • Meta can still use your Instagram content to train AI.

  • Daily trending & featured AIs boost your career and business.

  • A headless AI browser can now automate web tasks.

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TODAY’S AI WORLD

  • Jensen Huang Ranks 13th Richest - Nvidia's Jensen Huang has skyrocketed on Bloomberg's rich list to 13th place with a net worth of $107 billion. With Nvidia's AI-driven stock surging about eightfold over the past 18 months, Huang added approximately $93 billion to his fortune.

  • Coral Reef Conservation - Google's new AI tool, SurfPerch, aids marine biologists in studying and conserving coral reefs. Developed with DeepMind, it was trained on extensive audio recordings of reefs.

  • AI 'Gold Rush' for Chatbot - A new study by research group Epoch AI projects that tech companies will exhaust the supply of publicly available training data for AI language models between 2026 and 2032.

  • Humane In Talks for Acquisition - Humane has engaged in talks to sell to HP after its wearable AI Pin received poor reviews, The New York Times reports. Humane also received around 10,000 AI Pin orders by April, far short of its 100,000 goal for the year, according to The Times.

  • AI Assistant for WhatsApp - Meta will start testing an AI assistant on WhatsApp to aid businesses in selling products, answering customer inquiries, and creating targeted ads.

MICROSOFT

FTC starts antitrust investigation of microsoft AI deal.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is investigating a potentially controversial deal between Microsoft and AI startup Inflection. This inquiry is part of broader efforts to scrutinize the competitive dynamics in the rapidly evolving artificial intelligence industry.

The Details:

  • Unusual Deal Structure: FTC is examining whether Microsoft's $650 million deal with Inflection, which involved licensing AI software and hiring much of Inflection’s staff, was structured to avoid regulatory scrutiny.

  • Regulatory Concerns: FTC is investigating how the partnership was negotiated, as it resembles an "acqui-hire" without a formal acquisition, potentially triggering antitrust concerns.

  • Broader Industry Scrutiny: This investigation coincides with heightened regulatory focus on AI, with the Justice Department and FTC stepping up their efforts to oversee competition as Big Tech invests heavily in AI development.

  • Dependency on Big Tech: Regulators are also scrutinizing the reliance of AI startups on established tech giants for financing and infrastructure, with Microsoft’s deep ties to OpenAI drawing particular attention.

Why It Matters:

  • Market Competition: The investigation aims to ensure fair competition in the AI industry, preventing dominant firms from leveraging their power to suppress innovation and competition.

  • Regulatory Oversight: Enhanced regulatory oversight seeks to address potential antitrust issues and ensure that major tech companies do not engage in practices that could harm market dynamics.

  • Industry Implications: The outcome of these investigations could have significant implications for how AI startups structure deals with larger tech companies, potentially leading to stricter regulatory frameworks and more transparent industry practices.

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META

Meta can still use your Instagram content to train AI.

Meta, the parent company of Instagram, has sparked controversy by revealing that it uses images and other creative content uploaded to its platforms to train its AI image generator. This revelation has led to significant backlash from creators who feel their rights are being infringed upon.

The Details:

  • Meta's AI Training Controversy: Meta announced that it uses images and creative assets uploaded to Instagram and other platforms to train its AI image generator, leading to fierce backlash from creators.

  • Creators' Reaction: More than 130,000 Instagram users have shared a message declaring their non-consent to Meta using their content for AI training. However, these efforts are largely ineffective due to Instagram's terms of service.

  • Terms of Service and User Rights: Instagram’s terms of service allow Meta to use uploaded content for various purposes, including AI training. Users technically retain copyright but grant Meta a broad license to use their content.

  • Limited Control for Users: While Meta offers tools to manage data use, these tools are limited and do not allow users to fully opt-out of their content being used for AI training if shared on Instagram.

  • Legal Implications: Meta's controversial use of Instagram content to train its AI image generator has sparked user backlash, but legally, users have little recourse to stop the practice.

Why It Matters:

  • User Consent and Data Privacy: The controversy underscores the complexities of user consent in the digital age, where terms of service often obscure the extent of data use permissions granted to platforms.

  • Impact on Creators: Artists and creators are particularly affected, as their work is used to train AI models without explicit consent or compensation, raising ethical and legal questions.

  • Regulatory and Legal Scrutiny: The situation may prompt further regulatory scrutiny and legal challenges, particularly in jurisdictions with strong data privacy laws, potentially influencing future policies and practices in the tech industry.

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Featured AIs.

NEW LAUNCH

A headless AI browser can now automate web tasks.

Browserbase, a San Francisco-based startup, has launched a new platform that leverages AI and headless browser technology to automate complex web tasks. The platform aims to simplify web automation for developers and has secured significant funding to support its growth.

The Details:

  • Platform Launch: Browserbase has introduced a platform that enables developers to automate complex web tasks using AI and headless browser technology, offering features like advanced debugging and bot detection avoidance.

  • Funding and Leadership: The startup raised $6.5 million in seed funding led by Kleiner Perkins, with participation from notable investors. Browserbase was founded by Paul Klein, who has a background in tech startups and faced recurring issues with headless browser infrastructure.

  • Use Cases and Vision: Browserbase aims to solve broader task automation needs beyond web scraping, positioning itself as a critical component in the AI ecosystem. It integrates with popular AI/ML tools and frameworks, and supports both public websites and internal enterprise applications.

Why It Matters:

  • Simplifying Web Automation: Browserbase addresses the pain points of headless browser infrastructure, providing developers with a streamlined solution for automating web tasks, which can lead to more efficient and sophisticated workflows.

  • Enterprise Modernization: The platform's ability to automate outdated internal applications without modern APIs helps enterprises streamline their operations, improving efficiency and reducing the need for direct API access.

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