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2023-12-09 00:21:57| Engadget

The Washington Post reports that after a marathon 72-hour debate European Union legislators Friday have reached a historic deal on a broad-ranging AI safety development bill, the most expansive and far-reaching of its kind to date. Details of the deal itself were not immediately available.  Deal!#AIAct pic.twitter.com/UwNoqmEHt5 Thierry Breton (@ThierryBreton) December 8, 2023 The proposed regulations would dictate the ways in which future machine learning models can be developed and distributed within the trade bloc, impacting its use in applications ranging from education to employment to healthcare. AI development would be split among four categories, depending on how much societal risk each potentially poses minimal, limited, high, and banned. Banned uses would include anything that circumvents the user's will, targets protected groups or provides real-time biometric tracking (like facial recognition). High risk uses include anything "intended to be used as a safety component of a product, or are to be used in defined applications like critical infrastructure, education, legal/judicial matters and employee hiring. Chatbots like ChatGPT, Bard and Bing would fall under "limited risk" metrics.  The European Commission once again has stepped out in a bold fashion to address emerging technology, just like they had done with data privacy through the GDPR, Dr. Brandie Nonnecke, Director of the CITRIS Policy Lab at UC Berkeley, told Engadget in 2021. The proposed regulation is quite interesting in that it is attacking the problem from a risk-based approach, similar what's been suggested in Canadas proposed AI regulatory framework. The EC had previously addressed the growing challenges of managing emerging AI technologies through an variety of efforts, releasing both the first European Strategy on AI and Coordinated Plan on AI in 2018, followed by the Guidelines for Trustworthy AI in 2019. The following year, the Commission released a White Paper on AI and Report on the safety and liability implications of Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things and robotics.  Artificial intelligence should not be an end in itself, but a tool that has to serve people with the ultimate aim of increasing human well-being," the European Commission wrote in its draft AI regulations. "Rules for artificial intelligence available in the Union market or otherwise affecting Union citizens should thus put people at the centre (be human-centric), so that they can trust that the technology is used in a way that is safe and compliant with the law, including the respect of fundamental rights.  At the same time, such rules for artificial intelligence should be balanced, proportionate and not unnecessarily constrain or hinder technological development," it continued. "This is of particular importance because, although artificial intelligence is already present in many aspects of peoples daily lives, it is not possible to anticipate all possible uses or applications thereof that may happen in the future. More recently, the EC has begun collaborating with industry members on a voluntary basis to craft internal rules that would allow companies and regulators to operate under the same agreed-upon ground rules. [Google CEO Sundar Pichai] and I agreed that we cannot afford to wait until AI regulation actually becomes applicable, and to work together with all AI developers to already develop an AI pact on a voluntary basis ahead of the legal deadline, European Commission (EC) industry chief Thierry Breton said in a May statement. The EC has entered into similar discussions with US-based corporations as well.    This legislation will represent a standard, a model, for many other jurisdictions out there, Drago Tudorache, a Romanian lawmaker co-leading the AI Act negotiation, told WaPo, which means that we have to have an extra duty of care when we draft it because it is going to be an influence for many others.  Developing...This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-eu-has-reached-a-historic-regulatory-agreement-over-ai-development-232157689.html?src=rss


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2023-12-08 22:17:12| Engadget

Beeper Mini, the chat app that reverse-engineered Apples iMessage for Android, is having problems. 9to5Google reported Friday the entire Beeper platform is seemingly broken right now, leading to the obvious speculation that Apple has stomped on the bootleg iMessage workaround. Beeper posted on X that its investigating reports that sending/receiving is not working in Beeper Mini. Engadget contacted Beeper co-founder Eric Migicovsky by email to ask whether the outage could have been triggered on Apples end, and he suggested its possible. We had overwhelming interest and excitement in Beeper Mini this week! Migicovsky wrote to Engadget. As I tweeted, Beeper Mini is experiencing an outage sending and receiving is not working right now. If it's Apple, then I think the biggest question is if Apple truly cares about the privacy and security of their own iPhone users, why would they try to kill a service that enables iPhones to send encrypted chats to Android users? the founder and former Pebble CEO wrote to Engadget. With their announcement of RCS support, it's clear that Apple knows they have a gaping hole here. Beeper Mini is here today and works great. Why force iPhone users back to sending unencrypted SMS when they chat with friends on Android? Investigating reports that sending/receiving is not working in Beeper Mini Beeper (@onbeeper) December 8, 2023 Beepers crafty solution surprisingly seemed to work well. The app automatically scans for messages from iMessage users and changes them to blue bubbles, apparently routing them through Apples servers. The wizardry is the product of a 16-year-old high school student, who reverse-engineered it by jailbreaking iPhones and digging into them to learn how iOS handles iMessages. It even included end-to-end encryption between iPhones and Android phones. Migicovsky described the service to Engadgets Richard Lai earlier this week as a scale-up. The original (pre-mini) Beeper depended on a Mac mini server farm to relay chats through Apples system. Whether Beeper Mini is going the way of the dodo (or the Sunbird), well have to wait and see. Update, December 8, 2023, 4:59 PM ET: This story has been updated to include a comment Migicovsky made to Engadget.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/beeper-minis-imessage-integration-is-on-the-fritz-211712651.html?src=rss


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2023-12-08 21:07:26| Engadget

In a landmark decision, the FDA greenlit two new drugs for the treatment of sickle cell disease in patients 12 and older, one of which Vertexs drug Casgevy is the first approved use of genome editing technology CRISPR in the US. Bluebird Bios Lyfgenia also is a cell-based gene therapy, however, it uses a different gene modification technique to deliver tweaked stem cells to the patient. Both approvals cultivate new pathways for the treatment of sickle cell disease, which is an inherited blood disorder that is characterized by red blood cells that cant properly carry oxygen, which leads to painful vaso-occlusive crises (VOCs) and organ damage. The disease is particularly common among African Americans and, to a lesser extent, among Hispanic Americans. Bone marrow transplants are currently the only cure for sickle cell disease, but they require well-matched donors and often involve complications. #Breaking: The U.S. FDA approves our treatment for #SickleCellDisease. We are excited to make this treatment available to patients. Learn more: https://t.co/9k3p4c7Kyv pic.twitter.com/c5yeqvvv6n Vertex Pharmaceuticals (@VertexPharma) December 8, 2023 While both drug approvals use gene editing techniques, Casgevys CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing works by cutting out or splicing in DNA in select areas. Patients first have blood drawn so that their own stem cells can be isolated and edited with CRISPR. They then undergo a form of chemotherapy to remove some bone marrow cells, so the edited stem cells can be transplanted back in a single infusion. Both drug approvals are based on studies that evaluated the effectiveness and safety of the novel therapies in clinical patients. With Casgevy, study participants reported that they did not experience severe VOCs for at least 12 consecutive months during the 24-month follow-up. Similarly, patients on Lyfgenia did not experience a pain crisis for six to 18 months after the therapy. The FDA's decision comes shortly after UK regulators, as well as the National Health Regulatory Authority in Bahrain both approved Vertexs Casgevy. The approval for a CRISPR-based treatment creates opportunity for further innovation in the gene editing space for treatments ranging from cancers to heart diseases to Alzheimers. Gene therapy holds the promise of delivering more targeted and effective treatments, especially for individuals with rare diseases where the current treatment options are limited, Nicole Verdun, director of the Office of Therapeutic Products at the FDAs Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research said. Casgevy is still currently under review by the European Medicines Agency.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/crispr-based-gene-editing-therapy-approved-by-the-fda-for-the-first-time-200726474.html?src=rss


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2023-12-08 20:34:51| Engadget

Alan Wake 2 won big at last nights The Game Awards and the developer wasted no time to capitalize on that momentum. Remedy just announced that the game is getting free DLC next week, December 11, in the form of a New Game Plus mode. This has been a long-requested feature for fans of the title. Well, if by long-requested you mean within the past two months.  Alan Wake 2: The Final Draft will include a brand-new ending for the story, though you must first beat the game in the traditional way to access it. Remedy says this ending will spark speculation and theories from dedicated fans. The updates go beyond the last act, however, as The Final Draft will feature new lore videos and manuscript pages and, of course, tougher enemies. These enemies will populate a new Nightmare difficulty level. The baddies in the original game were already notorious bullet sponges, so well see what happens with the DLC. Once you beat the game, youll be able to access New Game Plus. Also, youll have all of your weapons, charms and character upgrades from the first playthrough. Alan Wake 2: The Final Draft will be available on all platforms, including PS5, Xbox X/S and PC. Set your calendars for December 11 and get ready to venture back into Bright Falls. In related news, the titular hero recently popped up in Fortnite as part of a cross-promotional campaign.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/alan-wake-2-to-dispatch-a-new-game-plus-mode-on-december-11-193451922.html?src=rss


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2023-12-08 19:52:01| Engadget

OpenAIs recent drama hasnt only caught UK regulators attention. Bloomberg reported Friday that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is looking into Microsofts investment in the Sam Altman-led company and whether it violates US antitrust laws. FTC Chair Lina Khan wrote in a New York Times op-ed earlier this year that the expanding adoption of AI risks further locking in the market dominance of large incumbent technology firms. Bloombergs report stresses that the FTC inquiry is preliminary, and the agency hasnt opened a formal investigation. But Khan and company are reportedly analyzing the situation and assessing what its options are. One complicating factor for regulation is that OpenAI is a non-profit, and transactions involving non-corporate entities arent required by law to be reported. In addition, Microsofts $13 billion investment doesnt technically give it control over OpenAI in the eyes of the law, another factor in determining what action a governmental agency might be able to take. However, the recent ousting and re-hiring of Altman and the integral role Microsoft played in reverting those chess pieces to its preferred positions suggests the lack of control over the nonprofit is more a technicality than the relationships underlying essence. OpenAI CEO Sam Altman (left) and Microsoft CEO Satya NadellaJustin Sullivan via Getty Images The UKs Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) wrote earlier today that its considering investigating the relationship between AIs two dominant players. It said its weighing recent developments, referring obliquely to the Altman-Microsoft drama. The CMA will review whether the partnership has resulted in an acquisition of control that is, where it results in one party having material influence, de facto control or more than 50% of the voting rights over another entity, the CMA wrote in its news release. Khan, also challenging Microsofts $69 billion Activision Blizzard acquisition, has previously sounded the alarm about the need for AI regulations. As these technologies evolve, we are committed to doing our part to uphold Americas longstanding tradition of maintaining the open, fair and competitive markets that have underpinned both breakthrough innovations and our nations economic success without tolerating business models or practices involving the mass exploitation of their users, the youngest-ever FTC chair wrote in May. Although these tools are novel, they are not exempt from existing rules, and the F.T.C. will vigorously enforce the laws we are charged with administering, even in this new market.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-ftc-is-reportedly-looking-into-microsofts-13-billion-openai-investment-185201614.html?src=rss


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