Toyota drives EV innovation | EU pushes for watermark on AI content
Toyota announces EV innovation and battery tech plans
On Tuesday the Japanese automaker announced that it will introduce high performing, solid-state batteries among other technologies to improve the driving range and reduce future costs of electric vehicles. This came as part of Toyota’s technology roadmap aiming to make it a fierce competitor among rivals led by Tesla, where it has previously lagged.
Toyota said it plans to launch next-generation lithium-ion batteries from 2026 offering longer ranges and quicker charging, however it did not detail costs or required investment.
“What we want to achieve is to change the future with BEVs,” Takero Kato, president of new Toyota EV unit BEV Factory, said in a video posted on the automaker’s YouTube channel on Tuesday.
US FTC asks court to delay Microsoft acquisition of Activision
The US Federal Trade Commission requested to delay before the government’s case against the $69 billion deal is heard.
According to the FTC, the deal would give Microsoft the “ability and increased incentive to withhold or degrade Activision’s content in ways that substantially lessen competition”. The FTC added that without action by a judge the combined firm “could alter Activision’s operations and business plans” and could allow the software company to gain access to sensitive business information.
However antitrust experts said the agency faces an uphill battle to delay because of the voluntary concessions offered by Microsoft to allay fears it could dominate the gaming market.
European Union prompts watermark on AI-generated contents
The European Union has made it clear that it wants tech companies to put a watermark on contents generated by artificial intelligence, EU Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton said on Tuesday.
“We need to label anything that is AI-generated by tagging them with watermarks,” Breton said at a European Parliament debate on AI systems in Strasbourg, France. “It is essential to build confidence for providers and consumers and to ensure transparency in the case of generative AI systems, such as ChatGPT.”
The EU has reassured companies that the new EU legislation would not hamper technological innovation, instead, democracy will be “shaping how we use technology in the best interest of the human being,” stated Margrethe Vestager, EU Commissioner for Competition.
Meta open sources AI-powered music generator
Called MusicGen, Meta’s music-generating tool can turn a text description into roughly 12 seconds of audio. It can optionally be “steered” with reference audio, such as an existing song, in which case it’ll try to follow both the description and melody.
According to Meta, MusicGen was trained on 20,000 hours of music, including 10,000 licensed music tracks and 3590,000 instrumental tracks from Shutterstock and Pond5, a large stock media library.
The company hasn’t provided the code it used to train the model, but it has made available pre-trained models that anyone with the right hardware – chiefly a GPU with around 16GB of memory – can run.
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