Good morning. It's Friday 22nd September.
OpenAI is facing another investigation into whether its generative AI chatbot, ChatGPT, complies with European Union privacy laws. Last month a complaint was filed against ChatGPT and OpenAI in Poland, accusing the company of a string of breaches of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation. Yesterday the Polish authority took the unusual step of making a public announcement to confirm it has opened an investigation. TechCrunch
Canada and Japan on Thursday agreed to work more closely together to establishing sustainable and reliable global battery supply chains, the Canadian government said in a statement. The two sides signed a memorandum of cooperation on the supply chains during a visit by Japanese Industry Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, it said, but gave no details. Reuters
As TikTok gets more popular, researchers at leading academic institutions want to study what users are doing there. Publicly, the company says it’s open to this, and is partnering with academics. But researchers said so far, the video app’s rules about data are too burdensome. TikTok is in the process of making its application programming interface, or API, open to researchers to analyze data on the platform. But the terms of service are so strict, academics at leading institutions say they’re hesitant to accept them. Bloomberg
The 2023 Darwin Dialogue: developing Australia’s critical minerals and rare earths
John Coyne and Henry Campbell
Rare-earth elements and critical minerals are the world’s building blocks for emerging and future technologies and are essential to manufacturing, clean energy production, semiconductor production, and the defence and aerospace industries. Their supply and value chains are small relative to those of major commodities such as iron ore and coal, are highly concentrated around China, are easily distorted, and are vulnerable to price fluctuations.
China gives EV sector billions of yuan in subsidies
China's generosity to the electric vehicle sector when it comes to handing out subsidies has come under fresh scrutiny since the European Commission announced an investigation into the matter. An analysis of listed companies shows that substantial amounts of government money are indeed flowing to the strategically important industry. Among more than 5,000 mainland Chinese listed companies, five of the top 10 recipients of government grants during the first half of this year were local manufacturers of EVs or the batteries that power them, according to data compiled by Chinese information provider Wind and a survey by Nikkei Asia.
China won't stand by idly in case of German 5G restrictions - embassy
China will not stand by idly if the German government decides to restrict the use of components from Chinese firms such as Huawei and ZTE in its 5G network, the Chinese embassy in Berlin said on Thursday. Germany's interior ministry has proposed forcing telecoms operators to curb their use of equipment made by China's Huawei and ZTE after a review highlighted Germany's reliance on the two Chinese suppliers, according to a government official.
Intel sees massive demand for AI chips designed for China amid LLM boom and US export curbs, report says
South China Morning Post
US tech giant Intel Corp has seen soaring demand for its artificial intelligence (AI) chips designed specifically for clients in China, as mainland companies rush to improve their capability in ChatGPT-like technology, according to a report by Taiwanese media DigiTimes. Sales of Intel’s Gaudi2 processors, which are tailored to comply with US export curbs while catering to Chinese clients’ demand for AI chips, have been strong since their launch in July, prompting the Californian firm to place more orders with its supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, the report said, citing unnamed industry sources.
Intel eyes supply chains in U.S., Europe and Asia for resilience: CEO
Intel is establishing supply chains outside the U.S. to guard against uncertainties, CEO Pat Gelsinger said, as the chipmaker contends with geopolitical risks like U.S.-China tensions or a Taiwan crisis. Intel envisions American, European and Asian supply chains, Gelsinger told reporters at the Intel Innovation tech conference in San Jose, California, on Wednesday.
China’s increasingly aggressive tactics for foreign disinformation campaigns
On August 29, Meta reported that it had recently taken down thousands of accounts and Facebook pages that “were part of the largest known cross-platform covert operation in the world,” run by “geographically dispersed operators across China.” The announcement and its detailed analysis made headlines around the world, garnering attention for the type of information that is often mainly of interest to cybersecurity firms and digital policy wonks.
Google says switching away from its search engine is easy. It’s not.
The New York Times
Brian X. Chen
Imagine if every time you went to the supermarket, your shopping cart came loaded with the same box of cereal. This cereal happens to be the most popular, so it’s convenient for the store to have it in the cart. If you don’t like it, it’s simple enough to put it back on the shelf and grab a different box. That’s essentially the crux of Google’s defense against the Justice Department in a consequential antitrust trial — the federal government’s first such case in the modern internet era — that is now unfolding in court.
Canada, Japan agree to work more closely on battery supply chains
Canada and Japan on Thursday agreed to work more closely together to establishing sustainable and reliable global battery supply chains, the Canadian government said in a statement. The two sides signed a memorandum of cooperation on the supply chains during a visit by Japanese Industry Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, it said, but gave no details. Canada, home to a large mining sector for minerals such as lithium, nickel and cobalt, wants to woo firms involved in all levels of the electric vehicle supply chain via a multibillion-dollar green technology.
Taiwan to open overseas training bases under chip innovation plan
Chang Ai, Chung Yu-chen and Frances Huang
Taiwan will set up overseas training bases under a 10-year semiconductor innovation program initiated by the National Science and Technology Council as part of its efforts to enhance cooperation with other countries on chip development, NSTC head Wu Tsung-tsong said Wednesday. Speaking with reporters after the council approved the 10-year development program earlier in the day, Wu said Taiwan wants to play an important role in the global semiconductor industry with international cooperation expected to facilitate the manufacture of chips used in emerging technologies such as generative AI applications.
South & Central Asia
WhatsApp adds rival in-app payment options in India commerce push
Aditya Kalra and Katie Paul
WhatsApp said on Wednesday that it will offer credit card payments and services from rival digital payment providers within its app in India, the latest bet by the Meta-owned service to boost commerce offerings in its biggest market. WhatsApp has more than 500 million users in India, though regulators there have capped its in-app WhatsApp Pay service to only 100 million people. People shopping on WhatsApp could also pay using popular services like Alphabet Inc's Google Pay, Paytm and Walmart's PhonePe but only after being redirected outside WhatsApp.
Poland opens privacy probe of ChatGPT following GDPR complaint
OpenAI is facing another investigation into whether its generative AI chatbot, ChatGPT, complies with European Union privacy laws. Last month a complaint was filed against ChatGPT and OpenAI in Poland, accusing the company of a string of breaches of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation. Yesterday the Polish authority took the unusual step of making a public announcement to confirm it has opened an investigation.
ICC war crimes tribunal hobbles on despite hacking
Stephanie van den Berg
The Netherlands-based International Criminal Court was operating on Thursday with disruptions to email, streaming and document-sharing after a hacking incident earlier in the week, sources and lawyers at the tribunal said. The high-profile ICC in the city of The Hague handles sensitive information about war crimes cases.
British government quietly sacks entire board of independent AI advisers
The Record by Recorded Future
The British government has quietly sacked an independent advisory board of eight experts that had once been poised to hold public sector bodies to account for how they used artificial intelligence technologies and algorithms to carry out official functions. It comes as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak drives forward with a much-publicized commitment to make the United Kingdom a world leader in AI governance, and ahead of a global AI Safety Summit being arranged for November in Bletchley Park.
New threat intel effort to study ‘undermonitered’ regions
A new cyber threat intelligence working group will seek to bring greater attention and resources to bear on understanding complex cyber operations in Africa and Latin America, regions that organizers of the effort say have been historically neglected by cybersecurity researchers. Speaking at SentinelOne’s second annual LABScon threat research security conference on Thursday, organizers of the new “Undermonitored Regions Working Group” said it marks an attempt to drastically improve visibility in areas where geopolitical rivalry has caused an upswing in cyber operations but that lack investment, focus and attention from the wider cybersecurity community.
TikTok's rules deter researchers from crunching data on users, misinformation
As TikTok gets more popular, researchers at leading academic institutions want to study what users are doing there. Publicly, the company says it’s open to this, and is partnering with academics. But researchers said so far, the video app’s rules about data are too burdensome. TikTok is in the process of making its application programming interface, or API, open to researchers to analyze data on the platform. But the terms of service are so strict, academics at leading institutions say they’re hesitant to accept them. The difficulty in researching TikTok comes as competing platforms also are making it more difficult to review their data and are starting to charge for access to their APIs.
Twitter ranks worst in climate change misinformation report
A report ranking climate change misinformation gave Twitter (recently rebranded as X) only a single point out of a 21-point scorecard when assessing policies aimed at reducing inaccurate information – the worst out of five major tech platforms. The Climate of Misinformation report by Climate Action Against Disinformation looked at Meta, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok and Twitter for their content moderation policies and efforts to mitigate inaccurate information such as climate denialism.
The gruesome story of how Neuralink’s monkeys actually died
Chang Ai, Chung Yu-chen and Frances Huang
Fresh allegations of potential securities fraud have been leveled at Elon Musk over statements he recently made regarding the deaths of primates used for research at Neuralink, his biotech startup. Letters sent this afternoon to top officials at the US Securities and Exchange Commission by a medical ethics group call on the agency to investigate Musk’s claims that monkeys who died during trials at the company were terminally ill and did not die as a result of Neuralink implants. They claim, based on veterinary records, that complications with the implant procedures led to their deaths.
Game of Thrones author sues ChatGPT owner OpenAI
Tom Gerken and Liv McMahon
US authors George RR Martin and John Grisham are suing ChatGPT-owner OpenAI over claims their copyright was infringed to train the system. Martin is known for his fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire, which was adapted into HBO show Game of Thrones. ChatGPT and other large language models "learn" by analysing a massive amount of data often sourced online.
AI-focused tech firms locked in ‘race to the bottom’, warns MIT professor
The scientist behind a landmark letter calling for a pause in developing powerful artificial intelligence systems has said tech executives did not halt their work because they are locked in a “race to the bottom”. Max Tegmark, a co-founder of the Future of Life Institute, organised an open letter in March calling for a six-month pause in developing giant AI systems.
Tech companies try to take AI image generators mainstream with better protections against misuse
Artificial intelligence tools that can conjure whimsical artwork or realistic-looking images from written commands started wowing the public last year. But most people don’t actually use them at work or home. That could change as leading tech companies are competing to mainstream the use of text-to-image generators for a variety of tasks, integrating them into familiar tools such as Microsoft Paint, Adobe Photoshop, YouTube and ChatGPT.
Cyber insurance claims spiked in first half of 2023 as ransomware attacks surged: report
The Record by Recorded Future
A cyber insurance firm reported a significant jump in the number of claims during the first half of the year, adding that damages caused by attacks has also increased. An analysis from San Francisco-based Coalition found that ransomware was the “largest driver of the increase in claims frequency,” which was up 12% on last year through the end of June. Overall, ransomware was involved in nearly one-in-five cyber incidents involving insurance claims, with Royal, BlackCat and LockBit 3.0 the three most common variants.
The PRC’s domestic approach: CSET analyses of China's technology policies and ecosystem
Center for Security and Emerging Technology
This report is a companion to CSET’s Analyses of China’s Technology Policies and Ecosystem: The PRC’s Efforts Abroad. The research summarized in this brief is based on global tech monitoring, primary source language translations, and data analyses of private sector activity. We work to contextualize China’s technology development and acquisition strategies alongside those of the United States and its global allies and partners, and to situate the U.S.-China rivalry in the broader landscape of democratic and authoritarian technology competition.
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