Scarlett Johansson brought receipts to the OpenAI controversy

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OpenAI announced this week that it’s removing Sky, one of the voices used by its new GPT-4o model, after users found it sounded eerily similar to Scarlett Johansson’s AI character in “Her.” The actress released a statement stating that she hired legal counsel to inquire about how the voice was developed. While the company claims the voice was not based on Johansson’s, the actress said OpenAI had previously approached her about using her voice for the model.

The U.S. Department of Justice and 30 state attorneys general filed a lawsuit against Live Nation Entertainment, Ticketmaster’s parent company, for alleged monopolistic practices. U.S. attorney general Merrick Garland said in a press conference that Live Nation “suffocates its competition.” The suit comes after legislators took a closer look at the entertainment giant’s control over the industry, sparked by Taylor Swift fans’ frustrating attempts to buy Eras tour tickets in late 2022.

This week also had a big shakeup at Techstars. CEO Maëlle Gavet announced she is leaving the company at the end of the month, with co-founder and board chairman David Cohen replacing her. Gavet’s leadership style was a subject of controversy during her tenure. A TechCrunch investigation found accusations of an “autocratic and punishing” culture that led to a significant labor exodus.

News

slack glitch
Image Credits: TechCrunch

Slack may be training its AI off of your messages: Slack is tapping its own user data to train some of its new AI services. If you don’t want your data to become part of a training set, you have to email Slack to opt out. Read More

Humane might be looking for a buyer: After a bumpy launch of Humane’s $700 Ai Pin, Bloomberg reports that the company could be looking to sell — and has priced itself between $750 million and $1 billion. Read More

Microsoft Build explores AI-first hardware: At its annual developer conference, Microsoft launched Copilot+ PCs and announced new AI capabilities for Windows, including an upcoming “Recall” feature. Read More

Spotify tests Spanish-speaking AI DJ: Spotify is developing an alternative version of its AI DJ feature that will speak Spanish. References to “DJ Livi” were spotted in the app’s code by tech veteran and reverse engineer Chris Messina. Read More

Free laundry hack?: Two UC Santa Cruz students uncovered a security flaw allowing anyone to avoid paying for laundry provided by over a million internet-connected laundry machines. Read More

Meme lords for Biden: President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign is looking to hire a meme manager as it continues to try to appeal to younger voters. Read More

ChatGPT’s app gets a revenue spike: OpenAI’s GPT-4o launch has driven the company’s biggest-ever spike in revenue on mobile, despite the model being freely available on the web. The app earned $4.2 million across the App Store and Google Play following the launch. Read More

FCC takes on AI-generated political ads: The FCC has floated a requirement that AI-generated content be disclosed in political ads. The proposal would apply to “cable operators, satellite TV and radio providers,” but not streamers or YouTube. Read More

The secret to getting into Y Combinator: Y Combinator accepts less than 1% of the applications it receives. In a conversation with General Catalyst’s Teresa Carlson, CEO Garry Tan revealed the “secret sauce” for getting into the startup accelerator. Read More

Adobe vs. iOS emulator: Adobe threatened legal action against retro game emulator Delta because it believed the app’s logo too closely resembled its own. Delta’s icon was intended to be a stylized Greek letter delta, but it has updated the logo to avoid any issues. Read More

Analysis

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 31: Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on January 31, 2024 in Washington, DC. The committee heard testimony from the heads of the largest tech firms on the dangers of child sexual exploitation on social media. (
Image Credits: Alex Wong / Staff / Getty Images

Meta’s AI council lacks diversity: Meta announced a new AI advisory council — and it’s composed entirely of white men. Unfortunately, it isn’t all that surprising. Dominic-Madori Davis, Amanda Silberling, and Kyle Wiggers explore how women and people of color have played a key role in the AI revolution, even as they continue to be overlooked. Read More

Behind the OpenAI resignations: OpenAI’s Superalignment team was formed to develop ways to govern and steer “superintelligent” AI systems. The company blocked the team from doing that work and limited its resources, pushing several team members to resign, including co-lead Jan Leike. Read More



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