Google's Project Ellman

EU AI Act, UK looks into MSFT / OpenAI partnership, Gemini video faked, and more

Welcome to Daily Zaps — Here’s what we got for you today: 🙌

  • 👯 Google's Project Ellman

  • 🧐 UK’s Microsoft / OpenAI partnership merger inquiry

  • 🇪🇺 EU reaches agreement on AI Act

  • 🤥 Gemini demo video was faked

  • 🔗 Other tech news

Let’s get right into it!

Google's Project Ellman

Google is exploring a concept called "Project Ellman," which aims to use its new Gemini AI models to create personalized life stories for users by analyzing images from Google Photos and text from Google Search. Named after the literary critic Richard David Ellmann, the project envisions a chatbot that knows everything about a user's life, weaving a narrative from various data sources like photos and public internet information.

This multimodal approach would allow the AI to identify significant life events and personal milestones by analyzing photo tags, locations, and associated information on Google Search. While still in the early stages, the project raises questions about user privacy and data access, with Google emphasizing the responsible and privacy-conscious development of such technology.

UK’s Microsoft / OpenAI partnership merger inquiry

Global regulators are scrutinizing Microsoft Corp.'s $13 billion investment in OpenAI, focusing on the nature of the investment and its impact on competition. Unlike a traditional stake, Microsoft's arrangement involves receiving a portion of OpenAI's financial returns up to a cap, as OpenAI is a capped for-profit entity within a non-profit organization.

Both the UK Competition and Markets Authority and the US Federal Trade Commission are examining this collaboration, though no formal investigation has been initiated yet. Microsoft argues that it doesn't control OpenAI, as it doesn't own any part of the company and has only a non-voting observer on the board. This partnership, however, has drawn attention from European regulators as well, with concerns about Microsoft's influence over OpenAI and the potential impact on AI research and development competition.

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EU reaches agreement on AI Act

The European Union has reached a significant agreement on comprehensive artificial intelligence regulation, aiming to balance innovation with the protection of individual and corporate rights. The deal, achieved after over 37 hours of negotiations, focuses on controlling generative AI tools like OpenAI's ChatGPT and Google's Bard. It includes provisions for limited live facial scanning with strict safeguards and bans biometric scanning based on sensitive characteristics.

Companies violating these regulations could face fines up to €35 million or 7% of global turnover. This landmark policy, still awaiting formal approval by EU member states and the parliament, is expected to set a precedent for AI regulation globally, particularly in the absence of significant action from the US Congress.

Gemini demo video was faked

Google's recent launch of its new Gemini AI model has received a mixed response, particularly after revelations that its most impressive demonstration was essentially fabricated. The demo video, which quickly garnered a million views, showcased Gemini's multimodal capabilities in a series of engaging interactions.

However, it was later revealed that the video was not a live demonstration but a series of carefully selected and edited text prompts with still images. Despite Gemini actually generating the responses shown, the video misleadingly presented the AI's speed, accuracy, and mode of interaction. Key interactions, such as the model recognizing hand gestures and reordering sketches, were actually heavily engineered and hinted at, differing significantly from the intuitive, real-time responses implied in the video.

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