⚙️ Election deepfakes

Good morning. Yesterday’s German football match took a turn straight out of a gadget enthusiast's dream as remote-controlled cars decked out with flares whizzed across the pitch, disrupting play. In a world where AI is taking over, one might wonder if these cars missed a software update or if it was just human mischief at play. In today’s newsletter:

🇺🇸 Tech giants take small step to curb election deep fakes, but critics push for more: Voluntary accord between Microsoft, Meta, and Google aims to detect and label AI fakery though the impact is uncertain

📸OpenAI can’t register ‘GPT’ as a trademark — yet: A detailed look into the US Patent and Trademark Office's decision against trademarking the widely-used AI term 'GPT'

🗞️Microsoft bets on Germany in 3.2 billion euro AI push: U.S. software giant to significantly invest in artificial intelligence, aiming to bolster Germany's technological infrastructure and training programs amidst the economic downturn, marking a significant vote of confidence in Europe's largest economy.🛡️ 

Armilla wants to give companies a warranty for AI: Introducing a unique safety measure to bolster trust and mitigate risks in adopting third-party generative AI technologies

❓️ Misc:

The 10 craziest Sora videos so far (link)

📊 Funding:

Daedalus raised $21M to build precision-manufacturing factories powered by AI (link)

Contents raised $18M to enable businesses to create high-quality multilingual content using AI (link)

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🇺🇸 Tech Giants Sign Pledge to Fight Election Deepfakes

Major technology companies like Microsoft, Meta, Google, and others have voluntarily pledged to adopt shared practices for detecting and labeling AI-generated deepfake content aimed at misleading voters in elections. The accord comes as pressure mounts around the use of synthetic media to spread political disinformation. Learn more 👇️ 

Non-Binding Industry Accord

Thirteen firms signed onto the pledge, signaling their intent to monitor their platforms for deceptive election-related deepfakes and provide swift, proportional responses when such content is identified. However, the measures agreed to are non-binding, leaving some questioning whether this amounts to meaningful progress or merely virtue signaling in an era of heightened regulatory scrutiny.

Elections in the Crosshairs

The toothless accord comes ahead of 49% of countries around the world holding major national elections in 2024. Deepfakes present a potent new tool for disinformation campaigns to sway voters. While a voluntary step, the pledge shows tech giants are wary of being in the regulatory crosshairs as synthetic media threats loom over the democratic process.

Calls for Wider Collaboration

Signatories acknowledged that the technology industry alone cannot fully inoculate elections against risks posed by deepfakes and AI fakery. Microsoft stated that truly securing democracy will require binding laws and deeper collaboration between tech firms, governments, civil society groups, and other stakeholders.

Trademark Office Denies OpenAI's 'GPT' Claim, Citing Broad Industry Use 🛑

The US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) has rejected OpenAI's attempt to trademark the term "GPT," which stands for generative pre-trained transformer, on the grounds that it is too general. The PTO's decision, issued on February 6th, highlighted that GPT is widely understood within the industry to describe a type of AI software, not exclusively OpenAI's products. Despite OpenAI's argument that GPT does not immediately convey its meaning to consumers, the PTO maintained that the term's general understanding among those in the AI field precludes it from being trademarked by a single company. This ruling marks the second time OpenAI's claim has been denied, following an initial rejection in May 2023. OpenAI has the option to appeal to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

Germany to Benefit from Microsoft's Multibillion-Euro AI Push 🇩🇪

Microsoft has announced a significant investment of 3.2 billion euros ($3.44 billion) in Germany, marking its largest investment in the country in four decades, with the focus largely on artificial intelligence (AI). This investment aims to double the capacity of its AI and data center infrastructure in Germany and expand training programs. Microsoft President Brad Smith cited confidence in Germany's technological leadership and its position as a leading creator of AI-based applications in Europe. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz welcomed the investment as a vote of confidence amidst economic challenges, including a forecasted 0.5% shrinkage of the German economy this year. The investment is seen as a boost to Europe's largest economy, which is currently experiencing its worst downturn in 20 years.

California Bill Aims to Establish AI Oversight Office for Model Safety Compliance 🤖

California State Senator Scott Weiner has introduced a bill proposing the establishment of a Frontier Model Division within the California Department of Technology. This new division would be tasked with overseeing mandatory testing and ensuring the safety compliance of AI models across the state. The move comes after Weiner filed an "intent" bill aimed at initiating a debate on AI regulation in California. However, State Scoop highlights that the bill does not specify how the proposed Frontier Model Division would integrate into California's current policy discussions concerning AI.

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