iPhone 15 Pro Max ‘Immersive Screen’; Glaze Protects Art from AI Theft; TikTok- More US Users; Amazon-9,000 More Getting Layoffs

Bigger isn’t always better…bigger phone screens are great to look at, but make phones more unwieldy in your hand…or hands. Apparently Apple is doing to give us more screen without adding size or weight…as have a number of other phone makers. 9to5mac.com reports that the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s immersive screen will have noticeably smaller bezels…the little black area that surrounds the screen and merges into the stainless steel sides. A report has the bezels on the upcoming top iPhone as being the smallest of any phone made. Right now, that crown is held by the Xiaomi 13. The top Apple handset is reportedly getting a 28% reduction in bezel thickness. I won’t rattle off a list of numbers in millimeters, but suffice to say that more screen without adding weight, length, or width is a good thing!

With Chat GPT and advanced artificial intelligence now writing competent college-level themes, and even passing a bar exam, some academics have taken steps to keep the AI models from copying original art made by humans. According to techcrunch.com, a research project at the University of Chicago has released a free non-commercial app called Glaze, to combat theft of ‘artistic IP’ or intellectual property that might be scraped into big data to teach AI to create visual style. The app uses a high tech ‘cloaking technique.’ The app adds almost imperceptible “perturbations” to each artwork it’s applied to — changes that are designed to interfere with AI models’ ability to read data on artistic style — and make it harder for generative AI technology to mimic the style of the artwork and its artist. Instead systems are tricked into outputting other public styles far removed from the original artwork. It is probably a matter of time before the AI is programmed to get around this, but it’s a start at protecting the genius and work of human artists.

TikTok’s CEO is slated to testify before Congress this Thursday. During that appearance, CEO Chew is expected to reveal new internal data showing that the platform now has 150 million US users…far more than the 100 million both the app and most observers have believed to be their user base. Politicians from both parties are concerned that data is flowing from US users through TikTok’s parent company ByteDance to the Chinese government. NBC says Congress members and the Biden administration (and before it the Trump administration) worry that the Chinese government can use TikTok to influence US public opinion, and will use…or are using…the data from US users for spying. Britain just joined the US in demanding that the app be wiped from government phones. 

After cutting some 18,000 staffers between November and January, Amazon is planning to lay off another 9,000. This according to CNBC, citing a memo by CEO Andy Jassy. This round of layoffs will primarily affect AWS, Amazon’s cloud computing, human resources, advertising, and the Twitch live-streaming business. Slashing headcount is an easy way to help the bottom line, but Jassy put it in corporate speak in the memo: “The overriding tenet of our annual planning this year was to be leaner while doing so in a way that enables us to still invest robustly in the key long-term customer experiences that we believe can meaningfully improve customers’ lives and Amazon as a whole.” Easy for a guy to say who isn’t getting fired himself.

I’m Clark Reid, and you’re ‘Technified’ for now. 

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