Today’s Cache | E.U. investigates Microsoft; OpenAI pulls back AI-generated text detector; Meta working to retain Threads’ userbase 

Updated - July 29, 2023 09:16 am IST

Published - July 28, 2023 03:21 pm IST

A file photo of the Microsoft logo.

A file photo of the Microsoft logo. | Photo Credit: Reuters

(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.)

E.U. investigates Microsoft

The European Union has opened an antitrust investigation into Microsoft over concerns that bundling its Teams app with its office productivity software gives it an unfair edge over competitors. The investigation stems from a complaint filed in 2020 by Slack Technologies, maker of the popular workplace messaging software.

The news comes close on the heels of the E.U. approving Microsoft’s plan to buy video game maker Activision Blizzard for $69 billion after the company offered to automatically license popular titles for cloud gaming platforms. Europe has led the way in ratcheting up scrutiny of Big Tech companies over concerns that they have become too dominant.

OpenAI pulls back AI-generated text detector

ChatGPT-maker OpenAI shut down the AI text classifier it released earlier this year, citing a “low rate of accuracy”. While the company’s classifier, available to users for free, could be used to analyse text, clicking on its link now takes users to a page removal notice.

OpenAI admitted on its website that the classifier delivered false positives, or mistakenly flagged human-generated text as being AI generated 9% of the time during evaluations. The classifier was introduced in response to rising fears that generative AI tools could be used by educators and publishers to flood the online space using free services like ChatGPT.

Meta working to retain Threads’ userbase

Meta Platforms Inc. executives are focused on boosting retention on their Twitter rival Threads by adding more retention-driving tools after the app lost more than half of its users in the weeks following its initial launch. While retention of users on the text-based app was better than executives had expected, it was “not perfect”, said Mark Zuckerberg at an internal company town hall.

Though Threads has been able to gather millions of users, the app is still missing some vital functions and timeline controls especially as the platform plans to steer away from news and political updates. News that Meta is working on user retention has sent the company’s shares surging 8% since the disclosure.

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