ChatGPT offers a free, artificial intelligence (AI) powered search tool for the public, but the feature is posing new challenges for educators.
Meanwhile, more layoffs are hitting the tech sector, with Microsoft announcing its plans to lay off 10,000 employees by the end of the third quarter.
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AI tech sends schools scrambling
Not even two months after its creation, a new artificial intelligence (AI) technology called ChatGPT is getting banned from schools and stirring controversy among educators.
ChatGPT, a free and easy-to-use AI search tool, hit the ground running when it was launched to the public in November. A user types in a question and ChatGPT spits back out an easily understandable answer in an essay format.
Although a huge advancement in the technology field, educators and school systems must grapple with the new tool and the challenges it introduces.
“While the tool may be able to provide quick and easy answers to questions, it does not build critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, which are essential for academic and lifelong success,” Jenna Lyle, a spokesperson for New York City’s Department of Education, said.
New York City and Seattle public schools have banned the use of ChatGPT from their devices and networks, citing concerns about cheating and a negative impact on learning.
Read more here from The Hill’s Lexi Lonas.
Microsoft to lay off 10,000 employees
Microsoft plans to lay off 10,000 employees by the end of the third quarter as its revenue growth slows.
CEO Satya Nadella said in a blog post on Wednesday that the cuts represent almost 5 percent of Microsoft’s workforce. He said the layoffs are part of the company’s plan to align its “cost structure” with its revenue and where customer demand is.
Nadella said customers accelerated their digital spending during the coronavirus pandemic but are now looking to optimize it to “do more with less.” He said the company will continue to hire in some key strategic areas despite the layoffs.
“We know this is a challenging time for each person impacted,” he said. “The senior leadership team and I are committed that as we go through this process, we will do so in the most thoughtful and transparent way possible.”
Read more here.
Trump team pushes Facebook on account ban
As he gears up for a third bid for the White House, former President Trump is urging Facebook to unblock his account on the social media site after it was barred following the Capitol insurrection two years ago.
The Trump campaign formally petitioned Meta, Facebook’s parent company, to unlock the former president’s account on Tuesday, according to a report from NBC News.
“We believe that the ban on President Trump’s account on Facebook has dramatically distorted and inhibited the public discourse,” the Trump campaign letter to the company said, according to NBC News.
Trump’s overture to Facebook comes after his Twitter account was restored by the company’s new head, Elon Musk. The move to regain access of his Facebook account could signal a return to more mainstream social media platforms for Trump.
He has spent most of his time post-Twitter ban on Truth Social, a social media company he founded in 2021.
Read more here.
MUSK: BIDEN TO ‘WEAPONIZE’ GOVERNMENT AGAINST TWITTER
Elon Musk said he believes the Biden administration might try to “weaponize” federal agencies against Twitter if former President Trump returns to the platform.
Musk made the comment on Wednesday in a reply to a tweet from another user who reported that Trump is planning to do so after his account was restored in November.
NBC News reported on Tuesday that Trump is urging Facebook to restore his account, which has been locked since the day after the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, and is considering a return to Twitter after his account was restored following Musk’s takeover of the social media platform.
Trump at least initially indicated after the suspension on his Twitter account was lifted that he would instead remain on his own platform, Truth Social.
“Will be interesting to see how the Biden administration reacts to this. They may try to weaponize Federal agencies against Twitter,” Musk posted.
Read more here.
FEDS SEIZE CRYPTO SITE BITZLATO
An international group of law enforcement agencies seized a Hong Kong-registered cryptocurrency website and arrested its founder for allegedly operating a haven for criminals to launder funds.
Justice Department and Treasury Department officials on Wednesday alleged cryptocurrency exchange Bitzlato processed more than $700 million in illicit funds by failing to implement an effective anti-money laundering program and that it was aware some accounts were engaging in criminal activity.
Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said U.S. and French authorities dismantled Bitzlato’s digital infrastructure and FBI agents arrested Russian national Anatoly Legkodymov, the founder and majority owner of the website, on Tuesday evening in Miami.
“Today, the Department of Justice has dealt a significant blow to the crypto crime ecosystem,” Monaco said.
Read more here.
BITS & PIECES
An op-ed to chew on: Tightening foreign investment screening undermines national security
Notable links from around the web:
Exclusive: OpenAI Used Kenyan Workers on Less Than $2 Per Hour to Make ChatGPT Less Toxic (Time / Billy Perrigo)
Congress is zeroing in on a bipartisan target: US investments in China (Semafor / Morgan Chalfant and Louise Matsakis)
The clock is ticking on a TikTok ban (Vox/ Sara Morrison)
One more thing: Taking on Ticketmaster
Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) announced Tuesday that the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold its first hearing to investigate a “lack of competition” in the ticketing industry.
The announcement comes two months after Ticketmaster’s meltdown during singer Taylor Swift’s online presale prevented thousands of her fans from purchasing tickets to her upcoming tour, causing widespread outcry from the public and elected officials. At the time, Klobuchar sent a letter to Ticketmaster’s CEO that accused the company of abusing its market positions and violating a consent decree.
Klobuchar, who chairs the Judiciary panel’s Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust and Consumer Rights, said the issues within the ticketing industry were made “painfully obvious” when Ticketmaster failed Swift’s fans, but that these problems were not new.
Read more here.
That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s Technology and Cybersecurity pages for the latest news and coverage. We’ll see you tomorrow.