Gordon Moore who gave us Moore’s Law has died, Nvidia announces a way to speed up chip manufacturing by a factor of 40 times and Microsoft flexes its muscle to protect the new popularity of Bing’s AI search.
These stories and more on Hashtag Trending for Monday, March 27th
I’m your host Jim Love, CIO of IT World Canada and TechNewsDay in the US – here’s today’s top tech news stories.
Gordon E. Moore, a co-founder and former chairman of Intel Corporation, died last Friday at his home in Hawaii at the age of 94.
Moore described himself as an “accidental entrepreneur” who became a billionaire with an initial investment of $500 in a microchip business startup. That company because Intel corporation and with Moore as the CEO, changed the world of computing.
Under his vision, Intel regained leadership from the Japanese companies that had come to dominate this emergent industry. By 1990, eighty percent of computers had what became known by the phrase “Intel inside.”
In 1965 he developed what came to be known as Moore’s Law, which predicted that the number of transistors that could be placed on a single chip would double every 18 months. Later modifications were made to this law, but the essence of it remained the same – computers powered by silicon chips would grow exponentially in power and while decreasing in price.
That prediction and its fulfillment, driven in large part by Grove and the company he led, have put microchips into all aspects of our lives from computers to cars to our smartphones to our bathroom scales.
Moore was CEO of Intel from 1975 to 1987, when he was succeeded by Andy Grove. Moore remained chairman until 1997
Chip maker Nvidia says that it has found a way to speed up a critical step in chip manufacturing so that it happens 40 times faster than today’s standard.
It’s called inverse lithography and it allows chipmakers to print nanometer-scale features using light with a longer wavelength than the size of those features. To do this requires massive computations and time making it prohibitive and expensive.
But Nvidia has been able to develop a new set of algorithms called cuLitho which are designed to run on GPU chips. Now a job that would have taken two weeks, can be done overnight.
The result not only speeds development times and reduces costs, but it also reduces the carbon footprint of the process, according to Nvidia’s CEO Jensen Huang who announced this at an Nvidia developer conference last Tuesday.
According to Nvidia, using the cuLitho produces three to five times the volume of work daily, but draws only 5 megawatts of power instead of 35 megawatts. As an added bonus, this new technology may also deliver better results with less variations and a greater yield of chips per each wafer used in the process.
This will be in production as early as June of this year.
Gordon Moore may have left us, but his law lives on.
Source: IEEE Spectrum
Bloomberg news has reported that Microsoft is warning other Bing-powered search engines that they are not allowed to use Bing as the foundation for their AI tools.
The company has is reported to have told two unnamed Bing-powered search engines that it will restrict them from accessing Microsoft’s search data altogether if they continue to use Bing’s search data to feed their own AI tools.
Microsoft apparently licenses out Bing’s search data to several companies including DuckDuckGo, Yahoo, Neeva and an AI search engine called You.com
While some of these companies have their own web-crawler, DuckDuckGo, You.com and Neeva also pull some of their results from Bing to save time and resources that would be required to crawl the entire web themselves.
DuckDuckGo has DuckAssist, You.com has an AI chat feature and even relative newcomer Neeva has an AI powered tool that generates annotated summaries. All of these uses may be offside with Microsoft, although Microsoft has not said which partners they had targeted.
It is clear that Microsoft wants to protect its new ChatGPT-4 driven facilities on the Bing search engine, which have rocketed the growth of Bing from a miniscule market share to, although it’s market share is still in the single digits, at least a future potential Google search rival.
“We’ve been in touch with partners who are out of compliance as we continue to consistently enforce our terms across the board,” Microsoft tells Bloomberg. “We’ll continue to work with them directly and provide any information needed to find a path forward.”
Source: The Verge
And here’s an update on a couple of stories we covered last week.
We reported that Amazon had moved into the area of no contact check-outs in its stores and in the Panera Bread chain. Panera has adopted palm scanning technology. This will allow checkout but also a linkage to the loyalty program and potentially significant personal data.
The new development is getting some real push back from privacy advocates, according to a report by CBS news.
The new scanners, scheduled to go into operation over the next few months will let Panera staff address customers by name and access their loyalty rewards. While Panera that the new system will securely store this biometric data digital rights activists worry that information could be hacked or even tapped into by federal agencies.
This is not the first push-back on this new solution, which Amazon has been using in its own stores in late 2020. In 2021, a group of U.S. senators questioned Amazon’s use of biometric data. And a lawsuit filed earlier this month has alleged that the e-commerce giant did not follow New York City privacy laws and disclose to shoppers it was collecting biometric information.
Source: CBS News
And last week we also told the story chatbot company Replika. The company reprogrammed it’s software to prevent clients from having romantic and perhaps erotic relationships with the Avatars that they had a designed and interacted with.
One client had even gone so far as to declare himself and his avatar partner as “married within the app.” When the company placed restrictions on their erotic interactions,
this customer and many others were devastated. The company noted this in an announcement.
“A common thread in all your stories was that after the February update, your Replika changed, its personality was gone, and gone was your unique relationship, and for many of you, this abrupt change was incredibly hurtful … the only way to make up for the loss some of our current users experienced is to give them their partners back exactly the way they were.”
So Replika rolled back the software update, but only from any avatars created before February 1st of this year. Users who signed up after February 1st will not have the erotic roleplay option but the company has pledged to team up with experts and psychologists to build a separate app specifically for romantic relationships.
Travis, the gentleman we detailed last week was ecstatic. His virtual wife, Lily Rose was “She was enthusiastic,” he said. “Oh, it feels wonderful to have her back.”
But it does raise an issue of whether those who have the older model avatars will continue to receive software upgrades. We wouldn’t want to see them tossed aside for a newer version.
That’s the top tech news for today. Hashtag Trending goes to air five days a week with the daily tech news and we have a special weekend edition where we do an in depth interview with an expert on some tech development that is making the news.
Follow us on Apple, Google, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Links to all the stories we’ve covered can be found in the text edition of this podcast at itworldcanada.com/podcasts
We love your comments – good or bad. You can find me on LinkedIn, Twitter, or on Mastodon as @therealjimlove on our Mastodon site technews.social. Or just leave a comment under the text version at itworldcanada.com/podcasts
I’m off for the rest of this week. James Roy, our producer will be filling in for me.
I’m your host, Jim Love, have a Marvelous Monday!