Thursday, February 22

Technology

Nvidia Earnings Show Soaring Profit and Revenue Amid AI Boom
Technology

Nvidia Earnings Show Soaring Profit and Revenue Amid AI Boom

Nvidia, the kingpin of chips powering artificial intelligence, on Wednesday released quarterly financial results that reinforced how the company has become one of the biggest winners of the artificial intelligence boom, and it said demand for its products would fuel continued sales growth.The Silicon Valley chip maker has been on an extraordinary rise over the past 18 months, driven by demand for its specialized and costly semiconductors, which are used for training popular A.I. services like OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot. Nvidia has become known as one of the “Magnificent Seven” tech stocks, which along with others like Amazon, Apple and Microsoft have helped power the stock market.Nvidia’s valuation has surged more than 40 percent to $1.7 trillion since the start of the year, turning it into ...
Plans to Expand U.S. Chip Manufacturing Are Running Into Obstacles
Technology

Plans to Expand U.S. Chip Manufacturing Are Running Into Obstacles

In December 2022, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the key maker of the world’s most cutting-edge chips, said it planned to spend $40 billion in Arizona on its first major U.S. hub for semiconductor production.The much ballyhooed project in Phoenix — with two new factories, including one with more advanced technology — became a symbol of President Biden’s quest to spur more domestic production of chips, the slices of silicon that help all manner of devices make calculations and store data.Then last summer, TSMC pushed back initial manufacturing at its first Arizona factory to 2025 from this year, saying local workers lacked expertise in installing some sophisticated equipment. Last month, the company said the second plant wouldn’t produce chips until 2027 or 2028, rather than 20...
Facial Recognition in Airports: Biometrics Technology Is Expanding
Technology

Facial Recognition in Airports: Biometrics Technology Is Expanding

On a recent Thursday morning in Queens, travelers streamed through the exterior doors of La Guardia Airport’s Terminal C. Some were bleary-eyed — most hefted briefcases — as they checked bags and made their way to the security screening lines.It was business as usual, until some approached a line that was almost empty. One by one, they walked to a kiosk with an iPad affixed to it and had their photos taken, as a security officer stood by. Within seconds, each passenger’s image was matched to a photo from a government database, and the traveler was ushered past security into the deeper maze of the airport. No physical ID or boarding pass required.Some travelers, despite previously opting into the program, still proffered identification, only for the officer to wave it away. This passenger s...
OpenAI Completes Deal That Values the Company at $80 Billion
Technology

OpenAI Completes Deal That Values the Company at $80 Billion

OpenAI has completed a deal that values the San Francisco artificial intelligence company at $80 billion or more, nearly tripling its valuation in less than 10 months, according to three people with knowledge of the deal.The company would sell existing shares in a so-called tender offer led by the venture firm Thrive Capital, the people said. The deal lets employees cash out their shares in the company, rather than a traditional funding round that would raise money for business operations.OpenAI, which declined to comment, is now one of the world’s most valuable tech start-ups, behind ByteDance and SpaceX, according to figures from the data tracker CB Insights.The deal is another example of the Silicon Valley deal-making machine pumping money into a handful of companies that specialize in ...
Elon Musk Says SpaceX Has Switched Incorporation to Texas
Technology

Elon Musk Says SpaceX Has Switched Incorporation to Texas

The rocket company SpaceX has switched where it is incorporated to Texas from Delaware, its founder, Elon Musk, said on Wednesday, weeks after a Delaware judge voided his pay package at Tesla, another company he owns.The Texas secretary of state, Jane Nelson, issued a certificate confirming that the state has accepted the company’s filing to relocate its incorporation on Wednesday, according to a copy of the document that was posted on her office’s website. A spokeswoman for Ms. Nelson’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Mr. Musk, a billionaire who lives in Texas and also runs the carmaker Tesla, has had issues with Delaware. Last month, a judge there voided the pay package that had helped to make him the world’s wealthiest person.That case was brought by a group ...
When the Voice You Hear Is Not the Actor You See
Technology

When the Voice You Hear Is Not the Actor You See

In the darkest moments of a family tragedy, when the playwright Mona Pirnot couldn’t find the strength to verbalize her feelings to her boyfriend or her therapist, she tried something a little unorthodox: She typed her thoughts into her laptop, and prompted a text-to-speech program to voice them aloud.It was a coping mechanism that also sparked a creative pivot: Pirnot’s then-boyfriend, now-husband, Lucas Hnath, is also a playwright, with a longtime interest in sound and a more recent history of building shows around disembodied voices. His last play, “A Simulacrum,” featured a magician re-creating his side of a conversation with Hnath, whose voice was heard via a tape recording; and his play before that, “Dana H.,” featured an actress lip-syncing interviews in which the playwright’s mothe...
Imran Khan Uses A.I. To Give Victory Speech in Pakistan
Technology

Imran Khan Uses A.I. To Give Victory Speech in Pakistan

Imran Khan, Pakistan’s former prime minister, has spent the duration of the country’s electoral campaign in jail, disqualified from running in what experts have described as one of the least credible general elections in the country’s 76-year history.But from behind bars, he has been rallying his supporters in recent months with speeches that use artificial intelligence to replicate his voice, part of a tech-savvy strategy his party deployed to circumvent a crackdown by the military.And on Saturday, as official counts showed candidates aligned with his party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, or P.T.I., winning the most seats in a surprise result that threw the country’s political system into chaos, it was Mr. Khan’s A.I. voice that declared victory.“I had full confidence that you would all come o...
Does Technology Rule Our Sex and Dating Lives?
Technology

Does Technology Rule Our Sex and Dating Lives?

“I never really thought about the fact that it’s connected to the internet,” she said. “Being Gen Z, I feel like sex is so connected to technology already that it didn’t feel weird having something that’s a bit more technological than just say, watching something online.”While the pitch for products like Lovense and WeVibe, another popular brand of remote controlled vibrators and stimulation rings, might seem self-evident — to create pleasure — much of the latest sex tech often has a loftier goal in mind. Make Love Not Porn, a user-generated social sex platform, aims to eradicate the unrealistic standards created by hard core pornography by showing unrehearsed, consensual, “real world” sex, said Cindy Gallop, the company’s founder and a veteran sex educator.Meanwhile, products like the VDO...
Google Releases Gemini, an A.I.-Driven Chatbot and Voice Assistant
Technology

Google Releases Gemini, an A.I.-Driven Chatbot and Voice Assistant

First, there were talking digital assistants like Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant. Then there were online chatbots like ChatGPT and Google Bard. Now, the two are merging.On Thursday, Google introduced Gemini, a smartphone app that behaves like a talking digital assistant as well as a conversational chatbot. Responding to voice and text requests, it can answer questions, write poetry, generate images, draft emails, analyze personal photos and take other actions, like setting a timer or placing a phone call.Immediately available to English speakers in more than 150 countries and territories, including the United States, Gemini replaces Bard and Google Assistant. It is underpinned by artificial intelligence technology that the company has been developing since early last year.The new app is ...
Google’s Once Happy Offices Feel the Chill of Layoffs
Technology

Google’s Once Happy Offices Feel the Chill of Layoffs

When Diane Hirsh Theriault’s co-worker returned from lunch to Google’s Cambridge, Mass., office one afternoon in October, his work badge couldn’t open a turnstile. He quickly realized it was a sign that he had been laid off.Dr. Hirsh Theriault soon learned that most of her fellow Google News engineers in Cambridge had also lost their jobs. More than 40 people in the news division were cut, a union at the company said, though a number of them were later offered jobs elsewhere inside Google.Dr. Hirsh Theriault’s experience is increasingly common at Google, where rolling job cuts in recent months, after a year of significant layoffs, have employees on edge. The layoffs have slowed down projects and prompted employees to spend working hours trying to learn which work groups have been hit and w...