Hashtag Trending May 4 – Google fires AI researcher; Android users switch to iPhone; California runs on 100 per cent renewable energy

Files from Samira Balsara.

Google is firing its AI researchers, Android users are switching to Apple, and for the first time ever, California briefly runs on 100 per cent renewable energy.

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That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Wednesday, May 4, and I’m your host, Tom Li.

Google is firing AI researchers who reportedly challenged findings. According the Engadget,
The New York Times has learned Google fired a machine learning scientist about two months ago, after the company refused to publish a paper they wrote challenging earlier findings that computers could design some chip components more effectively than humans. The scientist was allowed to collaborate on a paper disputing those claims after he and other authors expressed doubt, but was dismissed after a resolution committee rejected the paper. The researchers also hoped to bring the issue to Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai and Alphabet’s board of directors. Google has not revealed why it fired this scientist, but the New York Times reported he had been “terminated with cause.”

Source: Engadget

Apple has a leg up in its competition with Android. While discussing the company’s financial performance in the second quarter of 2022, CEO Tim Cook revealed that the iPhone business grew over five per cent during Q2 2022. Cook also noted that not only was the iPhone performing well but that it was seeing “strong double-digit” growth for people upgrading their iPhone and former Android users switching over to iPhones. Apple reported another record quarter, with $97.3 billion in revenue in Q2 2022. This is a nine per cent increase and a revenue record for its quarter in March.

Source: iMore

California has achieved a huge milestone, with 100 per cent of the sunny state’s electricity supplied by renewable sources for a short time during the weekend. According to an article by Renew Economy, the California Independent System Operator said the milestone was achieved within a 15-minute period between 2:45 p.m and 3:00 p.m on Saturday, April 30. This marked the first time the massive state has been powered entirely by renewables. Milestones like this have been common in smaller grids such as South Australia, but to achieve this in California, which is one of the world’s largest economies and biggest grids, is extremely significant. When California’s electricity demand passed 18GW at around 2:50 p.m., renewable energy was supplying around 18.6GW, compared to just over 2GW each from nuclear and gas, and 9MW from coal. The main source of renewable energy supply came from solar wind. Geothermal, small hydro, biogas and biomass filled out the remainder.

Source: Renew Economy

And now for something different. Occlusion Grotesque is a project exploring what it means to design with nature and on nature’s terms. The project, created by Bjorn Karmann, is an experimental typeface that is carved into the bark of a tree. As the tree grows, it deforms the letters and outputs new design variations which are captured annually. Now, Chapter two, or the next development in the project named Deep Occlusion, explores the typeface as a dataset for an AI to learn how a tree grows and how its designs change over time. According to the project’s website, designing with nature gets particularly interesting once artificial intelligence is introduced to the process. So far, Occlusion Grotesque has been an exercise of depicting the tree’s design, under the rate at which a tree naturally grows. The use of AI could help learn how the tree grows and understand its design decisions in just minutes. “It opens up a ton of questions about how AI might be better at understanding nature than we humans could,” the project creator writes.

Source: Bjoern Karmann

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash briefings or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Thursday morning. If you have a suggestion or a tip, drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thank you for listening, I’m Tom Li.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at IT Business. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at [email protected].

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