Google’s Bard apologizes after plagiarism, TikTok’s CEO faces tough questions at U.S congressional committee and former Meta recruiter says she was paid $190,000 a year to do nothing.


Welcome to Hashtag Trending for Friday, March 24th

I’m your host Jim Love, CIO of IT World Canada and TechNewsDay in the US – here’s today’s top tech news stories.

Google’s Bard plagiarized an article, then apologized.

Avram Piltch, a writer from news site Tom’s Hardware asked Google which of two competing processors — the Intel Core i9-13900K or AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D — was faster?

Bard fed back an answer taken directly from one of Tom’s Hardware articles, but omitted the source and implied that it did the testing to determine which processor was faster.

Piltch said, “the most disturbing thing, is that Bard uses “we” to describe someone else’s work. Anyone who has followed tech journalism for a while probably knows that Google doesn’t benchmark and review CPUs, but many end users probably wouldn’t question Bard’s self-attribution here.”

When called out, Bard came clean saying, “Yes what I did was a form of plagiarism. I apologize for my mistake and will be more careful in the future to cite my sources.”

The attempt to plagiarize was also very sneaky, Piltch noted, as the initial response was generic enough that they could have possibly come from any of several other sources.

He added, “It seems like Google (and Microsoft) are counting on the fact that information could come from many different sources so it may be difficult to trace these “facts” back to where the AI “learned” them from. That, of course, assumes that the facts are correct.

And even upon plagiarizing, Bard messed up and gave an incomplete answer, by assuming that the searcher is looking for gaming-specific information, while Tom’s Hardware article gives an overall review of the processors

Despite the apology, we all know that Bard does not typically cite sources, nor does  ChatGPT. But Microsoft’s Bing bot sought to stand out and does cite all its sources.

Bard is currently available for testing to anyone willing to join a waitlist.

Source: Tom’s Hardware

TikTok’s CEO Shou Zi Chew faced rigid interrogation from U.S lawmakers, yesterday over the harmful effects of the Chinese social media platform on children’s mental health and its use by the Chinese communist party.

Chew, previously an investment banker at Goldman Sachs and investment firm DST, has been a strong backer of Byte Dance, the company that owns TikTok.

He said on Monday, as he prepared to testify, that “This comes at a pivotal moment for us. This could take TikTok away from all 150 million of you.”

But he previously also said that he does not allow his children to use TikTok because they are “too young.”

And he did get pummeled on the very question of TikTok’s harmful effects on  kids.

Representative Kathy Castor, a Democrat, at the congressional hearing said, “TikTok could be designed to minimize the harm to kids, but a decision was made to aggressively addict kids in the name of profits.”

Numerous concerns about TikTok’s potential to threaten U.S. national security were also raised

A republican committee member said, “We do not trust TikTok will ever embrace American values – values for freedom, human rights and innovation”

But TikTok maintained that no content is promoted or removed at the request of the Chinese government.

Wedbush analyst Dan Ives on Twitter said, “TikTok CEO testimony so far we would characterize as a ‘mini disaster’ for this key moment for TikTok. TikTok is now the poster child of the US/China tensions and lawmakers have a lot of q’s with not enough concrete answers.”

Source: Reuters

A change to the internal architecture of servers is set to reduce data center costs, increase application performance, and introduce new rack-level architectures.

The new Compute Express Link (CXL) protocol is created by a consortium of industry giants including Cisco, Intel, Dell, Oracle, Lenovo, HPE, IBM, Microsoft, Samsung, NVIDIA, and Google.

CXL promises to revamp the way servers use memory. This is big as memory accounts for around 50 per cent of the cost of a typical data center server, but also because the ultimate limit on server performance is very often the amount of memory that its CPUs can access.

Marc Staimer, IT industry analyst and president at Dragon Slayer Consulting, said: “It’s very difficult to make a general prediction about how much money CXL will save in data centers. But if CXL performs as promised, the savings will certainly be more than enough to guarantee its widespread adoption.”

Source: Data Center Knowledge

Consulting giant Accenture has announced plans to lay off 19,000 employees over the next 18 months, as it attempts to reduce costs.

2.5 per cent of Accenture’s staff will be affected.

The company said that it will incur severance costs of US$1.2 billion, and charges of US$300 million for consolidation of office space from this round of cuts.

Alongside the cuts, Accenture also reported a 5 per cent increase in revenue to US$15.8 billion, but lowered its annual revenue and profit growth guidance.

Julie Sweet, chair and chief executive officer at Accenture, said, “We are taking steps to lower our costs in fiscal year 2024 and beyond while continuing to invest in our business and our people to capture the significant growth opportunities ahead.”

Source: IT World Canada

A bug on viral AI chatbot, ChatGPT leaked users’ conversation histories, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman confessed, after Reddit and Twitter users had shared images of chat histories that they said were not theirs.

Altman said that the company feels awful but that the error has been fixed now.

Many users however remain concerned for their privacy, as the glitch seemed to indicate that OpenAI had access to user chats.

The company’s privacy policy does say that user data, such as prompts and responses, may be used to continue training the model.

But that data is only used after personally identifiable information has been removed.

As the AI race becomes fiercer and pressure to roll out product updates grows, many are concerned that missteps like these could have harmful or unintended consequences.

Source: BBC

A former Meta recruiter claims she was paid $190,000 a year to do nothing. Can I have her job?

Maddie reflected on her time working at Meta for six months during 2021 and explained, in a video posted on TikTok, how the company was not hiring new workers while she was there.

Meta just laid off another 10,000 employees last week. Like many other tech companies, Meta has blamed overhiring during the pandemic for the shakeup.

Maddie said, “We weren’t expected to hire anybody for the first six months, even the first year. That really blew my mind. Like ‘perfect, I’m just going to ride this out for a year, obviously I didn’t make that.’ She claimed that she was only learning all day, adding that Meta’s onboarding and training process was very thorough.

But she soon started questioning the purpose of the many team meetings. She said, “Why are we meeting? We’re not hiring nobody. Just to hear how everyone else isn’t hiring anybody. And also, I was on a team where everyone was new, so none of us were hiring anybody.”

She continued to poke fun at her job, saying, until Meta got on her case. She stopped posting but then the company went through 20 of her “TikTok” videos and asked her if they thought they were “appropriate”. She then quit a day before she got fired.

As of 17 March, Maddie’s videos have more than 210,400 views

Source: Independent

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. 

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I’m your host, Jim Love, have a Fantastic Friday!

The post Hashtag Trending Mar.24th- Google’s Bard plagiarizes an article and apologizes, TikTok CEO grilled and former Meta recruiter paid $190,000 a year to do nothing first appeared on IT World Canada.

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