Hashtag Trending Mar. 29th-Microsoft’s new generative AI cybersecurity tool, Alibaba splitting in six business units, Irish Googlers offered more than $300,000 in severance

Microsoft integrates ChatGPT in new security product, Alibaba announces it is splitting in six business units and Google staffers laid off in Ireland offered more than $300,000 in severance.

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These stories and more on Hashtag Trending for Wednesday, March 29th

I’m your guest host for the week, James Roy – here’s today’s top tech news stories.

Thanks to Microsoft, ChatGPT has a new battle; cybersecurity.

The tech giant unveiled its first generative AI cybersecurity tool, called Microsoft Security Copilot during its virtual Microsoft Secure event.

The tool aims to help network defenders streamline information about new threats and ongoing attacks on their networks.

Chang Kawaguchi, vice president AI security architect at Microsoft, told Axios that “This is really about simplifying the complex for defenders and helping them find things that others might miss”

Specifically, the tool will cull through alerts and flag the ones that an organization needs to prioritize, hence leaving defenders with more time to protect networks from attacks.

Security Copilot looks nearly identical to the ChatGPT interface but currently only pulls information from Microsoft’s own threat intelligence and products, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and NIST’s National Vulnerability Disclosure Database.

Users can also provide feedback on responses which would help train the AI models running Security Copilot. But Microsoft’s corporate vice president of security Vasu Jakkal says that Microsoft does not use searches to train its AI.

However, the risk of a leak of intellectual property and corporate secrets remains a concern.

So does the infamous tendency of AI bots to make up false information. And Security Copilot already messed up, citing “Window 9”, in its demo, which does not exist.

The product is currently being tested with a limited number of clients for feedback but will be offered as a separate offering to Microsoft customers in the near future.

Source: Axios

Chinese tech giant Alibaba announced that it will split into six businesses to be able to pursue independent fundraising and initial public offerings (IPO).

This shakeup comes as Big Tech faces pressure from increased competition and regulation.

The company, in fact, has a market cap of $228 billion.

Alibaba has spinned off business units in the past, but this is a more significant splintering.

The six business units are said to be cloud intelligence, global digital commerce, domestic e-commerce, local services, logistics and entertainment/media.

Source: Axios

Is Twitter dying?

Five months and countless debacles after Elon Musk’s takeover, this question remains key.

Natasha Lomas writes in a TechCrunch article that “Twitter was the place where experts and celebrities could find community and an engaged audience — without the need for layers of message-filtering middlemen.” But it was also a place for raw, unfiltered opinions.

Twitter was this massive information network, with this secondary social element that could even give you a feel for someone’s personality.

The interactions on there were phenomenal, made headlines and could not be seen anywhere else. 

And not to be outdone, it was free! 

Well not anymore. Since Musk took over, everything that made Twitter valuable got dismantled. Experts, celebrities were scared away and bully reporters, spammers and sycophants thrived in this new information vacuum.

The final stage of destruction is set to arrive on April Fool’s as Musk eliminates the last layer of legacy verification and allows anyone to pay $7.99 to deafen the conversation on Twitter.

Meaning anyone paying for this meaningless blue-check mark will get increased algorithmic visibility of their tweets and the power to drown out non-paying users’ tweets. Fakes and imposters are hence set to thrive

Meanwhile, remaining users wanting to find quality information will find it more difficult to come by.

Further, only paying users will get a vote in future Twitter policy polls, which will likely rig all decision-making. But that does not matter as Musk does not seem to stick to the outcome of poll results he does not like anyway.

And money is, seemingly, the least of his concerns. It’s safe to say that his goal to turn Twitter into a billion user platform has so far failed massively.

Lomas writes, “That our system allows wealth to be turned into a weapon to nuke things of broad societal value is one hard lesson we should take away from the wreckage of downed turquoise feathers.”

Source: TechCrunch

Artificial intelligence startup Cerebras Systems announced yesterday that it released open source ChatGPT-like models for the research and business community to use for free.

This project aims to foster more collaboration and innovation.

Andrew Feldman, founder and CEO of Cerebras said, “There is a big movement to close what has been open sourced in AI…it’s not surprising as there’s now huge money in it.The excitement in the community, the progress we’ve made, has been in large part because it’s been so open.”

Cerebras released seven models all trained on its AI supercomputer called Andromeda, including smaller 111 million parameter language models to a larger 13 billion parameter model.

In comparison, OpenAI’s chatbot ChatGPT has 175 billion parameters.

Cerebras said the smaller models can be deployed on phones or smart speakers while the bigger ones run on PCs or servers.

Most of the AI models today are trained on Nvidia chips, but more and more startups like Cerebras want a bite out of that market.

Source: Reuters

You might call this the luck of the Irish.

According to British Newspaper, The Sunday Times, Google staffers in Ireland, who’s worked with the company since 2003 and laid off as part of the company’s recent 12,000 global cuts could be offered severance packages worth more than $320,000.

So if I did the calculation right, one of Google’s employees who was let go while giving birth said she was with Google for 9 years. She would get 16 weeks pay plus two weeks per year (another 18 weeks).  That’s thirty four weeks.

A nine year Googler in Ireland gets 6 weeks per year or 54 weeks severance. 

If she’d been Irish, it would have netted another 20 weeks. 

It gets better or worse, depending which side of the ocean you are on.  If someone had  been there since 2003 that’s 120 weeks versus the US equivalent of 16 plus 40 weeks or 56 weeks – almost half of what a 20 year Irish employee would get. 

So while Google employees in Ireland may not consider themselves lucky to be laid off, if it’s going to happen, the Irish team has certainly found a four leaf clover on this one.

Source: Business Insider

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 ITWC CIO, Jim Love 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 your host, James Roy, have a wonderful Wednesday !

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