Today’s Cache | AI chatbots and pirated content; Smartphones fly off shelves on Prime Day; TSMC delays chip production in the U.S.

Updated - July 21, 2023 07:26 pm IST

Published - July 21, 2023 02:48 pm IST

Today’s Cache | AI chatbots and pirated content; Smartphones fly off shelves on Prime Day; TSMC delays chip production in the U.S.

Today’s Cache | AI chatbots and pirated content; Smartphones fly off shelves on Prime Day; TSMC delays chip production in the U.S. | Photo Credit: AP

(This article is part of Today’s Cache, The Hindu’s newsletter on emerging themes at the intersection of technology, innovation and policy. To get it in your inbox, subscribe here.)

Book piracy and AI chatbots

Authors have signed an open letter urging the CEOs of tech companies such as Google, Meta, OpenAI, and others to gain permission from creators before using their copyrighted works to train AI large language models and compensate writers for using their work for AI development. Other writers plan to take these companies to court, claiming that they stole copyrighted works through “shadow libraries” which hold hundreds of thousands of pirated e-books, articles, and academic texts. An unnamed author claimed that Google’s Bard chatbot regenerated the text in their book “verbatim,” and could thus affect their sales and profession.

Alexandra Elbakyan, founder of the Sci-Hub platform which was named in one such lawsuit, told The Hindu that Sci-Hub had been mined for years for purposes which could include AI training.

Smartphones fly off shelves on Prime Day

Amazon’s Prime Day gave thousands of buyers the reason they needed to upgrade their smartphones and TV sets, as the e-commerce giant reported that around five smartphones were sold every second, with much of the demand coming from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. Customers also showed a clear preference for foldable smartphones and 5G-enabed smartphones.

Some popular models included the OnePlus Nord 3 5G, Samsung Galaxy M34 5G, Motorola Razr 40 Series, Realme Narzo 60 Series and iQOO Neo 7 Pro 5G. Amazon also said around 30 TVs were sold every minute, with a demand for premium 4K, QLED, or OLED screens.

TSMC delays chip production

Taiwanese chip-maker TSMC has pushed back the production of 4nm chips in its new Arizona-based facility by two years, citing labour shortages and the lack of skilled workers in the U.S. The factory was constructed in 2021 and was slated to start chip production in 2024, with a second factory expected in 2026. The intended clients were Apple, Nvidia, and AMD. The information was shared by chairman Mark Liu during the company’s second quarter earnings call.

While there is heavy demand for chips, supply chain issues and geopolitical tensions have taken a toll on production rates. TSMC is planning to send technicians from Taiwan to train their U.S.-based counterparts in order to make equipment installation faster.

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