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By Michelai Graham
Boardroom's Tech Reporter
March 31, 2024
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Tech Talk is a weekly digest by Boardroom’s Michelai Graham that breaks down the latest news from the world’s biggest tech companies and the future of industry-shaping trends like AI.

If you’ve been looking for a simple breakdown of what Nvidia is developing and why the AI chipmaker has been taking up the limelight lately, I wrote an explainer for you.

A peek into today’s edition: 

  • Apple‘s developers conference is back
  • Tech Talk Reviews: Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses
  • TikTok launches Youth Council

Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference is Back in June

Apple‘s annual Worldwide Developers Conference will return from June 10 to 14. As always, the keynote will kick off at Apple Park and be streamed online. The conference will showcase the latest operating system advancements across iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and Vision Pro products. Essentially, this is the conference for devs to learn about what they can build with the most updated Apple software and systems before they are pushed publicly. Like in previous years, developers will be able to get hands-on with Apple designers and engineers during in-person experiences and demos following the keynote on opening day.

We first learned about the Apple Vision Pro at WWDC 2023, so what can we expect from this year’s conference? I heard some chirps that we might get insights into Apple’s AI plans, but if I’ve learned anything about following this tech company, I’m never right about what’s coming next.

Still, I’ll have a download on the event right here in a few months.

Amazon Completes $4B Investment in AI Startup Anthropic

In September 2023, Amazon announced that it would invest up to $4 billion in generative AI startup Anthropic, and the Big Tech giant said this week it has made good on that promise. After initially writing a check for $1.25 billion, Amazon maxed out its investment with another $2.75 billion as part of its strategic collaboration with Anthropic. As part of the deal, Amazon will maintain a minority stake in the company, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) will be the primary cloud provider for Anthropic’s work. AWS customers will continue to get access to Athropic’s AI platforms, including Claud, via Amazon Bedrock, as well as other features.

It seems like Amazon is getting cozy with Anthropic, just like Microsoft is doing with OpenAI. It’ll be interesting to see how the Big Tech companies shepherd in companies that might be their next big competition.

Sam Bankman-Fried Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison

On Thursday, disgraced former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried was sentenced to 25 years in prison. SBF was facing more than a century behind bars, though the prosecution was seeking a sentence between 40 and 50 years. The defense pleaded for a six-and-a-half-year term since his crimes were nonviolent and he was a first-time offender. SBF was found guilty of multiple fraud and conspiracy charges in November 2023, nearly a year after he was arrested, for his role in the collapse of his crypto exchange.

SBF was sentenced in a Manhattan court, but it’s unclear where he will serve his prison term. If he serves the full 25-year term, he will be 57 years old when he gets out of prison.

Tech Talk Reviews: Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses

Ray-Ban and Meta teamed up again to release the second generation of their Smart Glasses. For the past month, I’ve been testing the new device in different environments, from subway stations to bars, the office, and more. Read up on what I learned here.

  • TikTok launched a global Youth Council featuring 15 teens between the ages of 15 and 18 who will be charged with advising the short-form video app company on issues that affect young users and how to mitigate them.
  • The European Union is investigating Apple, Alphabet, and Meta to see if the changes the Big Tech companies said they would make on their platforms comply with the region’s new regulations in its Digital Markets Act. Of course, the Commission will be looking into app store operations once again.
  • OpenAI published a roundup of videos created using its newly developed text-to-video and image-to-video creator, Sora. This comes as Bloomberg reported that OpenAI is meeting with studios and directors based in Hollywood to promote its ner generative AI tool.
  • As if TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts weren’t enough, LinkedIn is testing a short-form video feed with a select group on its platform to give users another avenue to discover relevant content.
  • Hulu on Disney+ officially launched this week in the US, bringing Hulu’s library of content onto Disney‘s streaming platform. This integrated experience is available to users who are subscribed to both platforms.
  • Google‘s philanthropic arm, Google.org, launched a $20 million accelerator program for nonprofits using generative AI. The inaugural class of the Google.org Accelerator: Generative AI program includes 21 nonprofits that will receive exclusive funding and training for six months.
  • X users are getting some new perks. First, the platform’s AI chatbot Grok was enabled for all Premium subscribers after previously only being available to Premium+ members. Elon Musk also posted that “X accounts with over 2,500 verified subscriber followers will get Premium features for free, and accounts with over 5,000 will get Premium+ for free.”

This week, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill prohibiting children under 14 from having social media accounts. The law is set to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2025, but I’m going to bet it’ll get blocked by a higher court.