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Meta to deploy in-house custom chips this year to power AI drive – memo

Meta to deploy in-house custom chips this year to power AI drive – memo

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Meta to deploy in-house custom chips this year to power AI drive - memo

 Facebook owner Meta Platforms (META.O), opens new tab plans to deploy into its data centers this year a new version of a custom chip aimed at supporting its artificial intelligence (AI) push, according to an internal company document seen by Reuters on Thursday.

The chip, a second generation of an in-house silicon line Meta announced last year, could help to reduce Meta’s dependence on the Nvidia (NVDA.O), opens new tab chips that dominate the market and control the spiraling costs associated with running AI workloads as it races to launch AI products.

The world’s biggest social media company has been scrambling to boost its computing capacity for the power-hungry generative AI products it is pushing into apps Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp and hardware devices like its Ray-Ban smartglasses, spending billions of dollars to amass arsenals of specialized chips and reconfigure data centers to accommodate them.

At the scale at which Meta operates, a successful deployment of its own chip could potentially shave off hundreds of millions of dollars in annual energy costs and billions in chip purchasing costs, according to Dylan Patel, founder of the silicon research group SemiAnalysis.

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The chips, infrastructure and energy required to run AI applications has become a giant sinkhole of investment for tech companies, to some degree offsetting gains made in the rush of excitement around the technology.

A Meta spokesperson confirmed the plan to put the updated chip into production in 2024, saying it would work in coordination with the hundreds of thousands of off-the-shelf graphics processing units (GPUs) – the go-to chips for AI – the company was buying.

“We see our internally developed accelerators to be highly complementary to commercially available GPUs in delivering the optimal mix of performance and efficiency on Meta-specific workloads,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg last month said the company planned to have by the end of the year roughly 350,000 flagship “H100” processors from Nvidia, which produces the most sought-after GPUs used for AI. Combined with other suppliers, Meta would accumulate the equivalent compute capacity of 600,000 H100s in total, he said.

The deployment of its own chip as part of that plan is a positive turn for Meta’s in-house AI silicon project, after a decision by executives in 2022 to pull the plug on the chip’s first iteration.

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The company instead opted to buy billions of dollars worth of Nvidia’s GPUs, which have a near monopoly on an AI process called training that involves feeding enormous data sets into models to teach them how to perform tasks.

The new chip, referred to internally as “Artemis,” like its predecessor can perform only a process known as inference in which the models are called on to use their algorithms to make ranking judgments and generate responses to user prompts.

Reuters last year reported that Meta is also working on a more ambitious chip that, like GPUs, would be capable of performing both training and inference.

The Menlo Park, California-based company shared details about the first generation of its Meta Training and Inference Accelerator (MTIA) program last year. The announcement portrayed that version of the chip as a learning opportunity.

Despite those early stumbles, an inference chip could be considerably more efficient at crunching Meta’s recommendation models than the energy thirsty Nvidia processors, according to Patel.

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“There is a lot of money and power being spent that could be saved,” he said. 

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Sam Altman’s OpenAI signs content agreement with News Corp

Sam Altman’s OpenAI signs content agreement with News Corp

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Sam Altman's OpenAI signs content agreement with News Corp

Sam Altman-led OpenAI has signed a deal that will give it access to content from some of the biggest news publications owned by media conglomerate News Corp, the companies said on Wednesday.

The deal comes weeks after the Microsoft-backed AI giant clinched an agreement to license content from the Financial Times for the development of AI models.

Access to troves of data can help enhance content produced by OpenAI’s ChatGPT, the chatbot that can generate human-like responses to prompts and create summaries of long text. 

Such partnerships are also crucial for the training of AI models and can be lucrative for news publishers, which have traditionally been denied a slice of profits internet giants earn for distributing their content.

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OpenAI, which kickstarted the AI frenzy when it launched its chatbot in 2022, had also struck a content deal with social media platform Reddit last week.

OpenAI did not disclose the financial details of its latest deal, but the Wall Street Journal, which is owned by News Corp, reported that it could be worth more than $250 million over five years.

The tie-up also includes a guarantee that the content will not become available on ChatGPT immediately after it is published on one of the news websites, the WSJ report said.

The agreement will give OpenAI access to current and archived content from several News Corp publications, including the Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch, the Times and others.

News Corp shares climbed about 4% after the bell.

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AI disclosure required in campaign ads, FCC chair says

AI disclosure required in campaign ads, FCC chair says

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AI disclosure required in campaign ads, FCC chair says

U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel on Wednesday proposed requiring disclosure of content generated by artificial intelligence (AI) in political ads on radio and TV.

Rosenworcel is asking her colleagues to vote to advance a proposed rule that would require disclosure of AI content in both candidate and issue advertisements, but does not propose to prohibit any AI-generated content within political ads. 

The rule would require on-air and written disclosures and cover cable operators, satellite TV and radio providers, but the FCC does not have authority to regulate internet or social media ads or streaming services.

The agency has already taken steps to combat misleading use of AI in political robocalls.

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There is growing concern in Washington that AI-generated content could mislead voters in the November presidential and congressional elections. Some senators want to pass legislation before November that would address AI threats to election integrity.

“As artificial intelligence tools become more accessible, the commission wants to make sure consumers are fully informed when the technology is used,” Rosenworcel said in a statement, adding the proposal “makes clear consumers have a right to know when AI tools are being used in the political ads they see.”

The FCC said the use of AI is expected to play a substantial role in 2024 political ads. She singled out the potential for misleading “deep fakes” which are “altered images, videos, or audio recordings that depict people doing or saying things that did not actually do or say, or events that did not actually occur.”

Advocacy group Public Knowledge called on Congress to extend oversight of AI in political advertising to digital platforms.

Requiring disclosure of AI “protects a vital public interest and is a commonsense step for preventing deceptive political advertisements,” the group’s policy counsel Nicholas Garcia said.

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AI content in elections drew new attention in January after a fake robocall imitating President Joe Biden sought to dissuade people from voting for him in New Hampshire’s Democratic primary election.

In February, the FCC said robocalls using AI-generated voices are illegal. The declaratory ruling gave state attorneys general new tools to go after the entities behind the robocalls, Rosenworcel said.

The FCC in 2023 finalized a $5.1 million fine levied on conservative activists for making more than 1,100 illegal robocalls ahead of the 2020 U.S. election.

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Meta’s Rayban integrates Instagram, Amazon Music, Calm App

Meta’s Rayban integrates Instagram, Amazon Music, Calm App

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Meta's Rayban integrates Instagram, Amazon Music, Calm App

 Meta has unveiled a series of updates to its Ray-Ban smart glasses, enhancing user experience with innovative hands-free functionalities.

These enhancements include seamless integration with popular platforms such as Instagram, Amazon Music, and the meditation app Calm.

One of the standout features of this update is the ability for users to effortlessly share images from their smart glasses directly to their Instagram Story without the need to reach for their phone.

Users can simply capture a photo with the smart glasses and command, “Hey Meta, share my last photo to Instagram,” or opt to take a new photo in the moment by saying, “Hey Meta, post a photo to Instagram.”

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This move by Meta echoes the functionality introduced by Snap Spectacles in 2016, which allowed users to capture photos and videos with their smart glasses for direct sharing to Snapchat Stories.

Meta’s Ray-Ban smart glasses now offer hands-free integrations with Amazon Music and the Calm app. With voice commands like “Hey Meta, play Amazon Music,” users can enjoy streaming music without the need to handle their phone.

The Calm integration allows users to access mindfulness exercises and self-care content by simply saying, “Hey Meta, play the Daily Calm.”

Expanding its style offerings, Meta has introduced new designs in 15 countries, including the U.S., Canada, Australia, and parts of Europe.

Among these styles are Skyler in Shiny Chalky Gray with Gradient Cinnamon Pink Lenses, Skyler in Shiny Black with Transitions Cerulean Blue Lenses, and Headliner Low Bridge Fit in Shiny Black with Polar G15 Lenses. These glasses are available for purchase on both Meta’s and Ray-Ban’s websites.

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The introduction of these new features comes on the heels of Meta’s AI upgrade to the smart glasses, which integrated multimodal AI capabilities.

This enhancement empowers users to interact with their environment more effectively, enabling features such as real-time translation using the built-in camera and Meta AI.

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