OpenAI Announces New Model; Singaporean Writers Oppose Gov Plan to Train AI on Their Work; Uber to Buy Delivery Hero’s foodpanda

On today’s news digest: OpenAI Announces New Model; Singaporean Writers Oppose Gov Plan to Train AI on Their Work; Uber to Buy Delivery Hero’s foodpanda 

OpenAI has launched a new model: GPT-4o. The “o” stands for “omni”, which refers to the model’s improved ability to handle text, speech, and video. It’s also designed for better interaction to function more like an assistant, able to deliver real time responsiveness to a mid-answer interruption for example, and even able to pick up on nuances in a user’s voice. After years of focusing on their models’ improved intelligence, this is the first time OpenAI is “making a huge step forward when it comes to the ease of use.” The company also announced updates including a new desktop service and advances in its voice assistance capabilities.

As the industry pushes forward with AI innovation, Singaporean writers are pushing back against their government’s request to use their work to train a large language model (LLM). Singapore has set out to create its own LLM, intending to train it on material produced locally which would facilitate more accurate references to the nation’s history, culture, and colloquialisms etc. The National Multimodal LLM Programme aims to address the bias of existing LLMs which have large influences from Western societies. However, the writers claim that there is little clarity on how their material will be used or how they will be compensated. If resistance does not ease, Singapore may have to settle for training its LLM on lower-quality data. Writers’ resistance to their work being used to train AI has been worldwide, with OpenAI facing lawsuits over copyright infringement from both authors and publications.  

Meanwhile, Uber has agreed to buy foodpanda, rival Delivery Hero’s Taiwan business. The $1.2bn (£950m) deal announced on Tuesday will also give Uber a 3% stake in the Delivery Hero group. Through the deal, Uber’s reach in Taiwan is expected to broaden beyond major urban areas into smaller cities in which foodpanda already had a presence. Currently, most of Uber’s revenue is generated in the US and Canada – in 2023, the APAC region accounted for slightly less than a quarter of its total revenue. 

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