Top 3 tech, startup and sustainability stories of the week, 24th-28th March, 2024

Amazon Web Services, Anthropic, Federal Trade Commission, TikTok and Florida are this week’s stories

1-Amazon to invest $4 billion into Anthropic

Amazon announced that it will invest up to $4 billion into Anthropic,  the AI startup known for its Claude chatbot. As you’ll -probably-  remember, Anthropic is founded by Dario and Daniela Amodei who used to work for OpenAI.  

Anthropic owns Claude and Claude 2 large language model–based chatbots and these are similar to OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Gemini. But Anthropic says its model is safer since it’s guided by a set of principles, letting it to revise responses by itself instead of relying on human moderators. Claude is also able to respond to larger prompts which makes it well-suited for combing through longer business or legal documents.

“Anthropic will use AWS Trainium and Inferentia chips to build, train, and deploy its future foundation models, benefitting from the price, performance, scale, and security of AWS. The two companies will also collaborate in the development of future Trainium and Inferentia technology,” according to Amazon’s announcement. On the other hand, AWS to become Anthropic’s major cloud provider for mission critical workloads, including safety research and future foundation model development, added Amazon.

In the beginning Amazon committed to a $1.25 billion investment, with an option to increase the investment by a further $2.75 billion. If it reaches that $4 billion total, Bloomberg said that the deal becomes the largest known investment ever related to AWS. (I have a story here that Amazon acquired Datarow, a Turkish data visualization startup)

Amazon to invest $4 billion into Anthropic
2-Florida passes law restricting social media for children

Ron DeSantis, Florida’s governor, signed a bill into law banning children under age 14 from having their own social media accounts on last week, according to a news release .

14 and 15-year-olds will be allowed to have accounts with parental consent, the bill said. In addition to restricting social media accounts for children, the bill also places restrictions on pornographic websites. The bill is called HB 3, requires age verification for those who visit explicit websites. As a side note, HB 3 goes into effect on January 1, 2025.

The bill makes Florida the latest in a string of states to pass laws that restrict young US citizens from accessing social media, and is likely to invite legal challenges similar to those already filed in other parts of the country.

Florida passes law restricting social media for children

3-FTC to investigate TikTok

Federal Trade Commission to investigate, US’s competition watchdog, TikTok over its data and security practices, according to Politico. The probe could lead to a settlement or a lawsuit against the company,  a person familiar with the matter said.

In its investigation, the FTC has been looking into whether TikTok violated a portion of federal law that prohibits “unfair and deceptive” business practices by denying that individuals in China had access to U.S. user data, said the person.

The agency also is closely examining the company over potential violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, which requires child-oriented applications and websites to get parents’ consent before collecting personal information of children under 13.

FTC to investigate TikTok (Image: Reuters)

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