Merry Christmas Eve, eve to those who celebrate. It’s the last workday for us before a few days off. As expected, it’s pretty quiet out there in the world of tech news, but Elon Musk is (of course) not giving us any shortage of content. Let’s dive right in.
1. Google working to protect Search from ChatGPT
Google is reportedly ramping up work behind the scenes to close the technological gap with OpenAI’s ChatGPT model, an advanced chatbot capable of churning out conversational answers which some critics warn could pose the most significant threat to Google’s treasured search dominance in years. Though Google executives publicly express a tone of caution when it comes to rolling out new AI features to the public, recent reporting from The New York Times suggests some in Google’s management view the sudden rise of publicly available generative AI tools like ChatGPT as a “code red” situation.
2. Driver blames crash on Tesla’s ‘self-driving mode’
The driver of a 2021 Tesla Model S told California authorities his vehicle was in “full self-driving mode” when the technology malfunctioned, causing an eight-vehicle crash on the San Francisco Bay bridge last month. Per a report from The Guardian, the crash resulted in two juveniles being transported to hospital and led to lengthy delays on the bridge. It is the latest in a series of accidents blamed on Tesla technology.
3. TikTok admits it accessed user data
ByteDance, the parent company behind TikTok, admitted this week a handful of its employees, some based in China, inappropriately accessed TikTok data of U.S. users and two journalists when conducting an investigation attempting to snuff out the source of a damning leak. TikTok CEO Shou Chew reportedly admitted the overreach in a memo sent to employees viewed by Bloomberg. The revelations follow a months-long internal investigation at the company spurred by a Forbes investigation earlier this year alleging the company planned to use the TikTok app to track certain U.S. users’ locations.
4. Webb in safe mode
The Webb Space Telescope’s instruments have been in safe mode intermittently since December 7, but scientific operations resumed earlier this week, NASA said. Webb was in safe mode — during which all the observatory’s nonessential systems are turned off, which means no scientific operations — multiple times in the last two weeks, the release stated. Though NASA says the issue is resolved and “the observatory and instruments are all in good health,” the agency also did not report the glitch until yesterday.
5. ‘Deceptive’ movie trailers now a target for legal action
When two fans of Ana de Armas rented Yesterday after seeing de Armas in the trailer, only to realise at the end of the movie that her part had been cut, they were so unhappy that they went to court over it. And won. In a rather bizarre Free Speech case, a U.S. federal judge has ruled in favour of movie-goers over the protests of Universal Studios, saying that studios cannot release “deceptive movie trailers.” It’s an interesting case, head over here to our in-depth look at it.
BONUS ITEM: For the kids in your life, Airservices Australia has a super cute Santa tracker, complete with a countdown until the big night.
Have a great Christmas, if you celebrate, and stay safe out there this long weekend. We’ll be back on Wednesday.