Today’s Cache | Microsoft lets go of AI ethics and society team, Meta nixes NFT ambitions, and Porsche wants Google in the driver’s seat

Updated - March 15, 2023 08:56 am IST

Published - March 14, 2023 03:39 pm IST

File photo of the Microsoft logo on cracked glass

File photo of the Microsoft logo on cracked glass | Photo Credit: REUTERS

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Microsoft lets go of AI ethics and society team

Software giant Microsoft has fired its AI ethics and society team that was previously made up of around 30 individuals across academic and professional fields, according to a report from The Platformer. The team was recently studying the potential impact and risks of adopting OpenAI’s technology, according to the report. However, Microsoft has reportedly said it still has an active Office of Responsible AI and that it was still increasing its investments in the space, despite the layoffs.

In October 2022, the team was brought down to seven people before being eliminated entirely this month. The report detailed conflicts between a team investigating the long-term consequences of AI technology and Microsoft’s leaders, who wanted to ship AI developments ahead of rivals. Microsoft’s recent layoffs hit about 10,000 employees.

Meta nixes NFT ambitions

Meta is distancing itself from its once lofty ambitions for the blockchain based non-fungible tokens [NFTs] it called “digital collectibles” as the sector continues to struggle after the collapse of high-profile cryptocurrency institutions. Meta fintech head Stephane Kasriel tweeted that the company was moving its focus away from its digital collectibles but would continue to innovate for Meta users in the fintech space.

The collapse of the FTX exchange headed by ex-billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried and Bitcoin prices that have failed to show a significant rally provoked fear in the sector, bringing down risk appetites. March 2023 also saw the collapse of the Silvergate Bank and the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), stoking concerns that tremors in the crypto sector could impact more traditional financial systems.

Porsche wants Google in the driver’s seat

Porsche CEO Oliver Blume has confirmed that the luxury car maker is carrying out discussions with Google in order to bring the company’s technology into Porsche cockpits. Talks revolving around Google Automotive Services are taking place, confirmed the CEO.

Porsche is also looking into collaborations with tech players in China in order to reach clients in the region. In January, the German business magazine Manager reported that Porsche wanted Google to be part of its infotainment system, which would let drivers access features such as Maps or Assistant without requiring an Android phone.

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