Scarlett Johansson says OpenAI stole HER voice. Hashtag Trending, Wednesday, May 22, 2024

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Canada’s TELUS has a first in AI ISO certification, Microsoft uses AI to give you Total Recall, Google is going after Microsoft’s government clients in the light of recent security failures and Scarlett Johanson complains that OpenAI has stolen HER….

All this and more on this “we can see right through you” edition of Hashtag Trending. I’m your host, Jim Love, let’s get into it.

Canadian Telecommunications giant, TELUS has become the world’s first to have their generative AI customer support tool certified under the Privacy by Design ISO 31700-1 standard.

The certification evidences TELUS’ efforts to proactively embed privacy and data protection into the design and operation of its AI systems.

As Pam Snively, TELUS’ Chief Data & Trust Officer, stated, “A responsible, ethical and human-centric approach to technology design and data stewardship is the only way to ensure that generative AI delivers on its potential.”

In addition to its design approach TELUS conducted robust testing to manage risks of generative AI, including a “purple teaming” approach that combines adversarial and defensive techniques to validate the AI tool’s robustness. From that, clear disclosures are provided on the tool’s capabilities and limitations.

Tobias Dengel, President of WillowTree, the TELUS subsidiary providing the Fuel iX engine, said “User privacy is a key focus area, and this certification validates that commitment.”

The process was audited by KPMG, which noted TELUS’ “strong commitment to a human-centric approach with customer trust being a core priority” in this rapidly evolving domain.

TELUS is aiming to take a leadership role in responsible AI deployment, and has recently won an international award recognizing its commitment to fostering trust and societal benefit through AI ethics. It’s also the first telecom company in Canada to sign the Government of Canada’s voluntary code of conduct for generative AI, which aims to ensure the transparent, equitable and responsible development and deployment of GenAI technology.

Source: Cision

Microsoft is going all-in on AI assistants it calls “Copilots” across its software and services. There’s a lot of new services on offer, too many to list. But a marquee feature unveiled at its Build conference is “Recall” for Windows 11 PCs. Recall uses AI to continuously record screen activities, allowing users to search their PC’s history like a photographic memory.

As Microsoft’s Yusuf Mehdi stated: “Anything you’ve ever seen or done, you’ll now more or less be able to find.”

Recall takes snapshots every few seconds, encrypting and storing them locally. Users can search this visual timeline or use text queries to resurface past documents, websites and meetings. Privacy controls allow pausing or deleting the recordings.

However, Recall requires new “Copilot+” PCs with dedicated AI hardware from Qualcomm. Older systems cannot be upgraded.

Beyond Recall, Microsoft is expanding Copilot AI assistants across its portfolio. New extensions will allow customizing Copilots with business data and integrating them into third-party tools and workflows.

As Mustafa Suleyman, Microsoft’s new AI chief hire from DeepMind, said: “This is going to be a profound shift in what it means to be human and how we interact with our tools.”

Critics raise privacy concerns around features like Recall’s recording capabilities. But Microsoft insists its AI efforts prioritize transparency and keeping users in control.

If you aren’t going to upgrade or if you are a Mac user – have no fear. You can use Rewind, which is free right now and will remember what you’ve done on your PC. And there are bound to be other tools like this. I’ll leave a link in the show notes.

Sources include: Axios, ArsTechnica, The Register

Link to Rewind (the tool Jim uses)

Google has launched a direct attack on Microsoft’s enterprise security credentials in the wake of several major email breaches suffered by the tech giant. In a new paper, Google lambasts Microsoft’s “inadequate security culture” highlighted in a U.S. government report on the 2023 Exchange Online intrusion.

The report found Microsoft failed to prioritize security, correct inaccurate public statements, and determine how Chinese hackers obtained a keys that allowed full access to government email accounts worldwide. Google contrasts this with its own transparency after a 2009 attack.

Just months after the Exchange breach, Russian hackers also compromised Microsoft’s corporate email accounts, an incident Microsoft said was still ongoing 5 months later with no resolution timeline.

Google argues these lapses show Microsoft cannot ensure such breaches won’t reoccur if underlying issues remain unaddressed. It positions its own Google Workspace suite as a “secure alternative”, touting better security architecture and practices.

To drive Workspace adoption, Google has launched a “Secure Alternative Program” offering discounts on Workspace Enterprise Plus and Mandiant incident response for organizations switching from Microsoft.

The program appears aimed at undermining Microsoft’s own “Secure Future Initiative” to overhaul security after the 2023 breaches. Google’s offensive highlights how catastrophic security failures have dented trust in Microsoft’s enterprise email solutions among lucrative corporate and government clients.

Google is not alone in this, by the way, other vendors are smelling the blood in the water and will be pushing hard to take market share from Microsoft.

Sources include: ITPro

Actress Scarlett Johansson has accused OpenAI of deploying an artificial intelligence voice that sounds “eerily similar” to her own, despite previously declining to lend her voice to the company. The controversy centers around OpenAI’s new “Sky” chatbot voice, which was released last week.

In a statement, Johansson said she was “shocked” and “angered” when she heard the Sky voice, as it closely resembled her performance as the AI assistant Samantha in the 2013 film Her.

Johansson claims OpenAI CEO Sam Altman had approached her last September about voicing their chatbot, saying her voice could help build trust between tech firms and creatives. But she turned down the offer for personal reasons.

Just days before Sky’s launch, Altman allegedly urged Johansson to reconsider – then released the new voice anyway. Johansson says she has hired lawyers and sent legal letters demanding transparency on how the Sky voice was created.

OpenAI has denied intentionally imitating Johansson, stating “Sky’s voice is not an imitation…but belongs to a different professional actress.” However, amid the backlash, the company said it would “pause” using the Sky voice.

The dispute highlights growing concerns around AI systems’ use of copyrighted data and creative works without proper consent or compensation. It also follows recent strikes by actors over safeguards regarding AI replication of their voices and likenesses.

Sources include: The Wrap

That’s our show for today.

We love your comments. Reach me at Show notes are at or .com – take your pick.

I’m your host, Jim Love, have a Wonderful Wednesday.



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