The AI Search Race

Dwaiter Weekly


February 9, 2022


Microsoft's Big Bet on AI

Microsoft is betting big that AI-powered responses can give its Bing search engine a fresh chance to upend the lucrative economics that have built Google's empire, Axios reports. Microsoft this week detailed its plans to add a more powerful version of the AI engine behind ChatGPT to both Bing and the Edge web browser.


Google’s Answer to ChatGPT: Bard

Google isn’t about to let Microsoft or anyone else make a swipe for its search crown without a fight, Wired reports. The company this week said it will roll out a chatbot named Bard in the coming weeks, CEO Sundar Pichai wrote in a blog post. The launch is a response to ChatGPT, the sensationally popular artificial intelligence chatbot developed by startup OpenAI with funding from Microsoft.


Super Bowl Spots Go for Record Price

Economic woes have weighed on media budgets in recent months, but that hasn’t dampened marketing excitement for Super Bowl LVII, reports Marketing Dive, which has tracked every marketing play for the game. Fox had already sold the lion’s share of its ad inventory by early September, with 30-second spots for the Feb. 12 broadcast reportedly going for a record $7 million.


Wave of Layoffs Continues 

Zoom is cutting 1,300 jobs, CEO and founder Eric Yuan said in a blog post this week. The cuts, which began Tuesday, will affect up to 15 percent of Zoom's workforce, CNN reports. Meanwhile, Dell plans to lay off roughly 5 percent of its workforce, or about 6,500 employees, the company said in a regulatory filing Monday.



Most Jobs Now Require Digital Skills 

A new report from the National Skills Coalition used data from 43 million online job postings to assess digital skills demand. It found that a record 92 percent of jobs now require definitely digital or likely digital skills and that jobs requiring at least one digital skill pay 23 percent more than those that do not, Government Technology reports. 


Can 'Positive' Apps Douse the Dumpster Fire?

Social media makes many people miserable. Hence the rise of apps that aim to foster a positive online environment such as Gas and BeReal. But can they make a difference? Scientific American tackles that question. 


Inquiry Focuses on Telehealth Firms’ Practices

A bipartisan group of senators fiercely criticized several prominent telehealth startups for failing to protect their patients’ sensitive health information, citing an investigation by The Markup and STAT, which found dozens of telehealth companies sharing patient data with Facebook, Google, and other major advertising platforms. The investigation examined the data-sharing practices of 50 direct-to-consumer telehealth companies, including Workit, Monument, and Cerebral.


UK Edges Closer to a Digital Currency

"Britcoin" is moving closer to reality, AP reports. U.K. authorities this week asked for public comment on the idea of introducing a central bank digital currency. Britain, home to the world’s second-biggest financial center, would be following in the footsteps of former colonies such as Nigeria, Jamaica and the Bahamas, which in 2020 became the first country to introduce a digital currency.


New Features Added to Google Maps

At Google's Live From Paris event on Wednesday, the tech giant announced an array of new features, including an immersive way of exploring, improved resources for EV charging, and a "glanceable" way to use Google Maps, Mashable reports. For its Immersive View experience in Maps, Google combined billions of Street View and aerial images to create three-dimensional models of the location you're exploring.


Cracking the Code of Mary, Queen of Scots 

An international team of code-breakers has successfully cracked the cipher of letters written by Mary, Queen of Scots, to trusted allies during her imprisonment in England, Ars Technica reports. The DECRYPT Project team deciphered the letters by combining computerized cryptanalysis, manual codebreaking, and linguistic and contextual analysis.

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