Phillips cut 6000 jobs, China’s Baidu to launch its own version of ChatGPT in March and a foldable iPad in the works.


That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Tuesday, January 31st and I am your host, Ashee Pamma.

Dutch electronics giant Philips is cutting 6000 jobs as it looks to restore its profitability and improve the safety of its products, following a recall of millions of its ventilators. Used to treat sleep apnea, the ventilators were recalled after worries emerged that the foam used in the machines could become toxic. The new reorganisation brings the total number of job cuts announced by new CEO Roy Jakobs in recent months to 10,000, or around 13 per cent of Philips’ current workforce. The company said yesterday that half of the job cuts will be made this year and the other half will be realised next year. Philips shares traded up 5.5 per cent yesterday morning, helped by fourth-quarter earnings which were much better than expected.

Source: Reuters

Chinese internet search major Baidu Inc is planning to launch an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot service similar to OpenAI’s ChatGPT in March, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters. The technology firm plans to launch the service as a standalone application and gradually integrate it into its search engine, said the person, who declined to be identified as the information is confidential. Baidu plans to incorporate chatbot-generated results when users make search requests, instead of only links, the person said.  Baidu has already been investing heavily in AI and last month, unveiled three AI-powered creators whose technology allows them to assume the roles of screenwriter, illustrator, editor or animator.

Source: Reuters

According to supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple could be on track to release a foldable iPad as early as next year. This new model is expected to boost shipments and improve product mix, Kuo tweeted early yesterday. Kuo added that the rumoured foldable iPad will feature a “carbon fiber” kickstand produced by Chinese component manufacturer Anjie Technology. The launch of the foldable iPad will be joined by an improved iPad Mini, due to enter mass production in early 2024, Kuo said. The Verge pointed out that this isn’t the first time Kuo has put a date on an Apple foldable prediction after he said a foldable iPhone might be released in 2023, two years ago. In the more immediate future, Kuo is predicting a drop in iPad shipments of between 10 and 15 percent year-over-year in 2023.

Source: The Verge

Kristin Maczko, Google’s former head of mental health and wellbeing said, in a LinkedIn Post that she was laid off after nearly 15 years working for the company. Maczko added that “many people” in Google’s mental health and wellbeing team had been impacted by the round of layoffs announced on January 20. Explaining the layoffs, CEO Sundar Pichai said in a memo to remaining staff that the company had overhired. The Insider spoke to several current and former Google employees who said they could not understand the rationale behind the decisions. 12,000 workers were slashed in total. 

Source: Insider

Scientists have created an AI system capable of generating artificial enzymes from scratch. Salesforce Research developed the AI program, called ProGen, which uses next-token prediction to assemble amino acid sequences into artificial proteins. Some of these enzymes worked as well as those found in nature, even when their artificially generated amino acid sequences diverged significantly from any known natural protein, University of California reported. Scientists say that this technology will boost the 50-year-old field of protein engineering by speeding the development of new proteins that can be used for almost anything from therapeutics to degrading plastic.

Source: University of California

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 Ashee Pamma.


The post Hashtag Trending January 31st- Philips layoffs, Chinese ChatGPT, foldable iPad first appeared on IT World Canada.

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