AI News

Slack ads AI to increase productivity and crush information overload: Hashtag Trending, Thursday, February 15, 2024

Slack adds AI features to combat information overload, Akamai bets on edge computing to compete with the giant public cloud players. Google uses AI to launch a devastating attack on fake reviews, an update on our Mozilla story and AI is used to have the voices of victims lobbying legislators.

All this and more on this “sometimes the good guys win using AI” edition of Hashtag Trending. I’m your host Jim Love, CIO of IT World Canada and TechNewsDay in the US.

Slack has introduced a suite of AI-powered tools aimed at streamlining communication and information management for its users. Announced on Wednesday, these features are designed to help both new and overwhelmed employees by summarizing threads and providing recaps of channel activities.

Slack’s new AI capabilities include summarizing long discussion threads and offering recaps of what has transpired in channels over a specified period. This is particularly beneficial for catching up on unread messages, making it easier for employees returning from vacations or parental leave to stay informed.

The platform will now utilize AI to respond to search queries with answers drawn from accessible messages and channels, enhancing the search experience with more intuitive and relevant results.

Slack has taken a different approach to pricing. Microsoft’s Copilot, bills for users who opt-in to the service, but Slack will required an additional monthly fee for all users within a company to access these AI features, a move that could challenge organizations looking to evaluate the benefits before a full-scale implementation.

Slack promises competitive pricing, although specific rates will vary based on customer size.

Early reports from users indicate a significant time saving, with an average of 95 minutes per week reclaimed through the use of these AI features.

There’s an added benefit in that applications like this may to unlock years of institutional knowledge, transforming how businesses communicate and manage information internally.

But leveraging AI tools raises privacy and security concerns, especially regarding the handling of sensitive business data and channel permissions. Slack assures that AI will not access information beyond a worker’s permitted channels, but the broader implications for data privacy remain a critical consideration.

Sources include: Axios

Akamai Technologies is ramping up its infrastructure with a significant emphasis on edge computing to challenge the dominance of cloud giants like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud by leveraging Akamai’s extensive content delivery network (CDN) to integrate cloud computing capabilities directly at the edge.

Akamai has announced ambitious plans to establish 25 new edge locations by the end of the month, aiming for 100 by year’s end, and scaling to thousands in the forthcoming years. By bringing computing closer to customers, Akamai aims to enhance performance, and reduce latency.

Dubbed as generalised edge compute or Gecko, Akamai’s strategy blends cloud and edge computing. They hope this will bring substantial advantages in terms of price performance, security, and reduced latency.

To bolster its edge computing capabilities, Akamai has acquired Linode, an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) platform, for approximately $900 million in 2022. Additionally, Akamai is forging strategic partnerships with telcos, IT solutions, and local cloud service providers worldwide.


Akamai’s pivot to edge computing represents a significant shift from traditional cloud computing models, which are predominantly centralized. By decentralizing computing resources and placing them closer to end-users, Akamai aims to address the growing demand for low-latency and high-security applications. However, this transition poses challenges, particularly in migrating workloads from existing cloud services, which has prompted Akamai to present this as a multi-cloud solution.

As Akamai continues to expand its edge computing infrastructure, the company is set to embark on the next phases of its Gecko platform, which will include incorporating containers and automated workload orchestration. This evolution reflects a broader industry trend towards leveraging edge computing to meet the demands of the next generation of internet applications, including those powered by generative AI.

Who knows if this strategy will be effective against the cloud giants, but it does create what everyone calls a “unique value proposition.”


Sources include: Analytics India Magazine

We talk a lot about AI creating fake content, but it can also be used to combat fake content.

Google has implemented a new machine learning algorithm that has dramatically increased the efficiency of detecting fake reviews on Maps and Search. This advancement led to the removal of over 170 million fake reviews in 2023, a big victory for the integrity of user-contributed content.

Google’s new algorithm is designed to identify suspicious review patterns more rapidly, including the detection of repeated content across multiple businesses or unusual spikes in ratings. This system scrutinizes reviews before publication and continuously monitors for questionable activity.

The implementation of this machine learning technology resulted in a 45% increase in the removal of fake reviews compared to the previous year, as mentioned with a 170 million reviews being deleted for policy violations. Additionally, Google identified and removed 12 million fake business profiles and doubled the removal of policy-violating videos to 14 million in 2023.

Google has taken legal measures against individuals attempting to manipulate its review system. One notable lawsuit was filed against a scammer responsible for creating over 350 fraudulent business profiles and attempting to enhance them with more than 14,000 fake reviews.

The ongoing battle against fake reviews presents continuous challenges, but just like in the old westerns – sometimes the good guys win.

Sources include: TechSpot

In a notable legal development, a US district judge in California has predominantly sided with OpenAI, dismissing the bulk of copyright infringement claims filed by authors against the AI company. The authors had accused OpenAI’s ChatGPT of being trained on pirated copies of their books without permission, labeling the chatbot’s outputs as a form of high-tech “grift” that infringed on copyright laws and other related statutes.

The court dismissed several claims, the only claim that was not dismissed pertains to direct copyright infringement. OpenAI had previously expressed confidence in defeating this claim at a later stage of the proceedings.

The authors have been ordered to consolidate their complaints and may amend their arguments to continue pursuing the dismissed claims.


Sources include: Ars Technica

And in an update to our story on Mozilla, a number of you wrote to me expressing sadness for what has happened to Firefox.

As if they had heard this collective sigh, the company has announced a strategic shift to focus more on its core product, Firefox, and the integration of trustworthy AI technologies. This pivot comes with the decision to scale back investment in several products, including its VPN, Relay, and Online Footprint Scrubber, and to shut down Hubs, its 3D virtual world launched in 2018. Additionally, Mozilla will scale back its investment in its Mastodon instance. These changes will result in the layoff of approximately 60 employees.

Mozilla aims to enhance Firefox by integrating trustworthy AI, leveraging the teams working on Pocket, Content, and AI/ML.

They plans to reduce investments in several products, including VPN, Relay, and Online Footprint Scrubber, and will shut down Hubs.

And sadly, approximately 60 employees will be affected by the layoffs as Mozilla aims to optimize its organizational structure.


By refocusing on Firefox and AI, Mozilla is betting on its strengths and the growing importance of AI in enhancing user experiences.

This move is likely to please long-time Firefox enthusiasts and could position Mozilla as a key player in the development of AI-enhanced browsing experiences. However, the layoffs and product discontinuations underscore the tough choices the company must make to stay competitive.

Sources include: TechCrunch

In a poignant campaign launched on the sixth anniversary of the Parkland shooting, families of gun violence victims are using artificial intelligence to bring the voices of their lost loved ones back to life. These AI-generated voices are being used to call federal lawmakers who oppose tighter gun regulations, urging them to reconsider their stance.

The campaign utilizes artificial intelligence to recreate the voices of victims. These voices are robocalling senators and House members who support the National Rifle Association (NRA) and oppose tougher gun laws.

I have to say, I’m not sure at the time of going to air how they are getting around the recent regulations that make using AI in robocalls illegal.

But it is a powerful way to get their message across.

The choice of Valentine’s Day for the campaign’s launch is symbolic, marking the anniversary of the Parkland shooting that claimed 17 lives, including students and staff members.

The campaign reflects a broader trend of leveraging technology for activism and social change. As AI technology becomes more accessible and sophisticated, it’s likely that we’ll see more creative and impactful uses in various advocacy efforts.

Sources include: AP News

Hashtag Trending goes to air five days a week with daily newscast and a weekend interview show that we creatively called – the weekend edition.

We love to hear from you. Send us a note at [email protected] or drop us a comment under the show notes at – look for Hashtag Trending.

Thanks for listening and have a Thrilling Thursday.









Source link


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *