#53. 🛒 Amazon to use ChatGPT-like AI | ♻️ super salty water recycling | 🚘 new Tesla teased
Plus: Zoom to integrate Anthropic chatbot | ChatGPT to revolutionize cybersecurity | Southern EU braces for drought | Jigar Shah scaling up clean tech | DOJ charges Apple engineer with AV theft for China | Alibaba's AV driving focuses on monetization
🤖 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
Amazon is looking to incorporate a ChatGPT-like conversational AI into its online store, as revealed by recent job postings. The company is aiming to create an interactive conversational experience that allows customers to ask product questions, compare products, and receive personalized suggestions. This potential shift in its search interface, moving from a keyword and filter-based system to a conversational one, signals Amazon's attempt to compete with tech giants like Google, Meta, and Microsoft in the field of conversational AI. Despite being tight-lipped about the project, Amazon has recently shown interest in this area with initiatives like Bedrock, a platform for building chatbots, and the unveiling of its own language models, Titan.
Zoom plans to partner with Anthropic to integrate its AI chatbot, Claude, across its productivity platform, starting with its Contact Center product to enhance customer support. The chatbot will provide better self-service features for customers and aid customer support agents by surfacing necessary resources. Though specific plans for Claude's integration in other areas of Zoom's app aren't clear yet, it is seen as an effort to compete with other AI-enabled productivity apps. Furthermore, Zoom Ventures has invested in Anthropic, a move in line with Zoom's federated approach to AI and commitment to driving innovation in the Zoom ecosystem.
ChatGPT, an AI model by OpenAI, is set to revolutionize cybersecurity, offering a range of applications from automating tasks to assisting in building and fine-tuning new ideas. For example, it can help junior analysts with query creation in tools like Splunk, automate daily tasks such as disabling stale accounts, and be used in purple teaming exercises for testing and improving an organization's security posture. The AI can also be used to expedite analysis or introduce alternative paths in cybersecurity scenarios. However, while AI can automate tasks and provide instructional aid for less experienced security professionals, it cannot replace complex human cognition and real-world experiences involved in decision-making.
🤖🔗🤯 COOL AI TOOLS, APPS, VIDEOS, PODCASTS, LINKS, AND MORE!
🌡️ CLIMATE CHANGE & CLEAN ENERGY
Southern Europe is preparing for an intense summer of drought due to climate change, with regions like Spain, southern France, and Italy already experiencing water shortages. The situation is particularly critical in Spain, where thousands of people are relying on truck deliveries for drinking water and farmers are reporting crop losses as high as 80%. Spain has requested emergency EU assistance and allocated over 2 billion euros in emergency response funding. The drought situation aligns with long-term climate change forecasts for the region, and other parts of the world, like the Horn of Africa and Argentina, are also experiencing severe water shortages.
As the director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office (LPO), Jigar Shah oversees a budget of over $400 billion to finance clean technology projects. While the office does not provide venture capital but rather operates like a commercial bank, Shah has seen increased interest from the private sector since his appointment. However, getting companies to commit remains challenging due to ingrained business practices. The LPO aims to convince commercial banks that it's safe to lend to clean energy projects, and Shah believes that showing successful loans will encourage companies to engage with the program. Currently, the LPO has 141 active applications, totaling $121.1 billion in value.
In response to dwindling and increasingly salty water supplies, researchers from the National Alliance for Water Innovation (NAWI) have developed a theoretical form of reverse osmosis called low-salt-rejection reverse osmosis, which could potentially treat highly salty water. Using a supercomputer, the team developed a mathematical model to evaluate cost, water output, and energy consumption of over 130,000 potential system designs. Results suggest that this form of reverse osmosis could reduce the overall cost of producing clean water by up to 63%. The researchers plan to collaborate with experimental teams to test this system in real-world scenarios.
🚗 AUTONOMOUS & ELECTRIC VEHICLES
During Tesla's annual shareholder meeting, CEO Elon Musk teased the company's next car, stating it's already being built. He didn't clarify whether this implies the production of a prototype or a production model. This new car, possibly a smaller electric hatchback known as the "$25,000 Tesla" or "Tesla Model 2," is one of two vehicles Tesla is currently developing, with the other being a "robotaxi" designed for self-driving and taxi services. Tesla estimates that these two vehicles could sell approximately 5 million units per year. The cheaper model is expected to be produced at Tesla's Gigafactory in Shanghai, China, and exported globally.
Weibao Wang, a former Apple software engineer, has been charged by the Department of Justice (DOJ) with theft of autonomous vehicle technology for a Chinese company. Wang worked on Apple's Annotation Team from 2016 to 2018 and had access to sensitive databases. He has been accused of stealing the "entire autonomy source code," tracking systems, and other important elements of Apple's autonomous vehicle technology. The DOJ alleges that Wang began siphoning off this data after accepting a job at a US-based subsidiary of a Chinese autonomous driving technology company. Despite a search of his home revealing large quantities of stolen data, Wang managed to flee to China. If extradited and convicted, he could face 10 years in prison for each count. This is the third case of a former Apple employee being accused of stealing autonomous vehicle trade secrets for China.
Alibaba's autonomous vehicle lab, part of the Damo Academy founded in 2017, will merge with Cainiao, the company's global logistics network. This move reflects a shift in focus towards monetization of Alibaba's autonomous driving investments. The lab has been powering Cainiao's last-mile delivery for six years with its autonomous vehicle, Little Donkey, which has surpassed 10 million deliveries as of June 2022. Alibaba had projected that by 2024, Little Donkey would be delivering one million parcels a day. Cainiao's operations span multiple countries, and with its increasing local presence outside China, it's likely that Little Donkey will be seen in locations like Latin America in the future.
🎉 THAT’S ALL FOR TODAY!
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