Microsoft threatens to restrict data from rival AI search tools — Bloomberg News

Microsoft threatens to restrict data from rival AI search tools — Bloomberg News
Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft executive, speaks during an event introducing a new AI-powered Microsoft Bing and Edge at Microsoft in Redmond, Washington on February 7, 2023. (AFP file)
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Updated 27 March 2023

Microsoft threatens to restrict data from rival AI search tools — Bloomberg News

Microsoft threatens to restrict data from rival AI search tools — Bloomberg News
  • The company has told at least two customers that using its Bing search index to feed their AI chat tools violates the terms of their contract

Microsoft Corp. has threatened to cut off access to its Internet-search data, which it licenses to rival search engines, if they do not stop using it as the basis for their own artificial intelligence chat products, Bloomberg News reported on Friday.
The company has told at least two customers that using its Bing search index — a map of the Internet that can be scanned in real time — to feed their AI chat tools violates the terms of their contract, the news agency said, citing people familiar with the dispute.
Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft may also terminate licenses providing access to its search index, Bloomberg added.
“We’ve been in touch with partners who are out of compliance as we continue to consistently enforce our terms across the board,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Reuters, adding that the company will continue to work with them directly and give information needed to find a path forward.
The maker of the Windows operating system had said in February it was revamping its Bing search engine and Edge Web browser with artificial intelligence, signaling its ambition to retake the lead in consumer technology markets where it has fallen behind.
The upgraded Bing search engine was rolled out to users late last month. 

 

 


NEOM, Telfaz11 sign deal to produce 9 film, TV projects

NEOM, Telfaz11 sign deal to produce 9 film, TV projects
Updated 02 June 2023

NEOM, Telfaz11 sign deal to produce 9 film, TV projects

NEOM, Telfaz11 sign deal to produce 9 film, TV projects
  • 2 movies, TV series already in development, partners say
  • Telfaz11 to open offices at NEOM media hub this year

LONDON: The Kingdom’s media production hub NEOM has signed a deal with studio Telfaz11 to cooperate on at least nine TV and film productions over the next three years.

Two movies and one TV series are already in development, the two sides said after the deal was agreed on Thursday.

Wayne Borg, managing director of media industries, entertainment and culture at NEOM, said: “Our mission is to create a new world-class media hub at NEOM, one that supports the region’s industry to compete and succeed globally.

“This partnership with Telfaz11 complements and accelerates. This partnership, coupled with our evolving infrastructure, crew depth, industry learning programs, and highly competitive incentive scheme shows we are well on our way to achieving these goals.”

Telfaz11’s CEO Alaa Faden said: “We couldn’t be more honored to be at the center of NEOM’s next generation media and entertainment ecosystem.

“Telfaz11 has consistently operated on the leading edge of innovation, from launching the first Netflix partnership in the region to leveraging our powerful social media presence. And this new partnership with NEOM is yet another milestone in that effort.”

As part of the new deal, Telfaz11 will also open offices at NEOM later this year.

One of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 megaprojects, NEOM is a high-tech smart city and global media hub. More than 30 productions have been shot there over the past 18 months, including “Desert Warrior,” “Dunki” and “Rise of the Witches.”


Etisalat removes beIN channels from eLife TV

Etisalat removes beIN channels from eLife TV
Updated 02 June 2023

Etisalat removes beIN channels from eLife TV

Etisalat removes beIN channels from eLife TV
  • Du expected to continue to broadcast beIN until at least end of month
  • BeIN, however, said the partnership ended because the two companies could not reach an agreement

DUBAI: UAE-based Etisalat has removed Qatar’s beIN channels from its platform. The move came into play on Thursday.
“While beIN content will no longer be available on eLife TV, we will continue to invest in sports content to deliver to our customers an extensive range of popular sports both directly and via our partners,” Etisalat said.
BeIN, however, said the partnership ended because the two companies could not reach an agreement.
“After lengthy discussions where beIN has tirelessly sought to extend our decade-long partnership with Etisalat, we are disappointed not to be able to renew this relationship at this time,” it said.
BeIN holds the regional rights for the English Premier League and other major sports events, including last year’s World Cup in Qatar.
Etisalat and du, also based in the UAE, are the two major broadcasters showing beIN channels. According to local media reports, du said it would continue to air beIN channels but could not confirm if they would be available after July 1.


EU envoy to Gulf has Twitter account suspended within 24 hours

EU envoy to Gulf has Twitter account suspended within 24 hours
Updated 02 June 2023

EU envoy to Gulf has Twitter account suspended within 24 hours

EU envoy to Gulf has Twitter account suspended within 24 hours
  • Luigi Di Maio’s official feed said to have violated platform rules

LONDON: The new EU Special Representative for the Gulf had his official Twitter account suspended within 24 hours of its creation for what the platform said was a violation of its rules.

It remains unclear what rules Luigi Di Maio’s profile broke, just a day after it was created by the former Italian Foreign Minister created to share updates on his new role.

The suspension was lifted within hours.

Di Maio launched the institutional account — @EUSR_Gulf — on June 1, coinciding with his official start. He shared his enthusiasm for the new role in a tweet published in Arabic, Persian, English and Italian.

“First day in office as the EU Special Representative for the Gulf. Ready and fully committed to engaging with the member states and institutions of the EU, as well as each of our partners in the region,” he said in the post.

“There is so much at stake and so much to be done through genuine dialogue and mutual respect. For our common security and prosperity.”

However, before a second tweet could be shared, Twitter suspended the account. 

Di Maio’s new role represents a fresh start after he left Five Star following setbacks in last year’s Italian elections.

His appointment was however criticized at home and in Europe due to a series of faux pas he made while foreign minister.

In 2019, he caused the first diplomatic crisis between Italy and France since World War Two, leading to the withdrawal of the French ambassador from Rome, after he publicly supported the Yellow vests movement as members were demolishing the entrance of a government building in Paris.

He had previously stated that Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was Venezuelan and that Russia was a country in the Mediterranean.


Ben Roberts-Smith resigns from Seven after losing war crimes defamation case

Ben Roberts-Smith resigns from Seven after losing war crimes defamation case
Updated 02 June 2023

Ben Roberts-Smith resigns from Seven after losing war crimes defamation case

Ben Roberts-Smith resigns from Seven after losing war crimes defamation case
  • Judge found that allegations against Australian top soldier who committed war crimes in Afghanistan were ‘substantially true’
  • Roberts-Smith was appointed general manager of network in 2015

LONDON: Australian soldier Ben Roberts-Smith resigned as vice president of Seven West Media a day after losing a defamation court battle related to war crimes during his service in Afghanistan, The Guardian reported.

The ruling came about in a civil case where multiple newspapers defended a defamation lawsuit brought by Roberts-Smith, asserting that their reporting on the former soldier was accurate.

On Friday, Seven’s Managing Director and CEO James Warburton informed staff that Roberts-Smith had submitted his resignation.

In an email seen by Guardian Australia, Warburton stated: “As you’re all aware, the judgment in the defamation case was handed down yesterday.

“Ben has been on leave whilst the case was running, and today has offered his resignation, which we have accepted. We thank Ben for his commitment to Seven and wish him all the best.”

Roberts-Smith took a leave of absence from his Queensland position in 2021 to concentrate on the high-profile trial, backed financially and publicly by Kerry Stokes, the billionaire chairman of Seven who appointed Roberts-Smith general manager of Seven Queensland in 2015.

“The judgment does not accord with the man I know,” Stokes said after the verdict.

“I know this will be particularly hard for Ben, who has always maintained his innocence.”

In a groundbreaking civil trial that marked the first time a court examined allegations of war crimes by Australian forces, the judge found four out of six murder accusations were “substantially true,” despite Roberts-Smith’s denial.

The allegations consist of handcuffing and torturing civilians, ordering initiation murders for new soldiers, and shooting a Taliban fighter over 10 times in the back, taking his prosthetic leg as a trophy, and repurposing it as a drinking vessel.

The court also determined that allegations against the most decorated living Australian soldier, including the unlawful assault of captives and bullying of fellow soldiers, were true.

Roberts-Smith, who left the Australian Defence Force in 2013, has not been charged with any of the alleged war crimes in a criminal court, where the burden of proof is higher.

After the decision, a Taliban spokesman pointed to the case as evidence of the “uncountable crimes” committed by foreign forces in Afghanistan. However, they expressed skepticism about the global justice system’s ability to address these issues.

Australian troops were deployed to Afghanistan between 2001 and 2021, spanning two decades of conflict. Australian Defence Minister Richard Marles declined to comment on the case, saying it was a civil matter.


MIT Sloan Management Review to launch MidEast edition

MIT Sloan Management Review to launch MidEast edition
Updated 02 June 2023

MIT Sloan Management Review to launch MidEast edition

MIT Sloan Management Review to launch MidEast edition
  • The regional edition will be published by Vibe Media Group

DUBAI: MIT Sloan Management Review has announced the regional edition of the online and print magazine in partnership with local media company Vibe Media Group, which publishes titles like Fast Company.

“ICT investments in the Middle East are projected to grow almost 4 percent annually to surpass $230 billion in 2023,” Ravi Raman, publisher of Vibe Media Group, told Arab News.

“We see MIT Sloan Management with its authoritative content on managing technology to aid leaders understand and harness the potential,” he added.

Published in English only, the regional edition will cover business and tech strategy topics, organizational culture, innovation, and digital transformation, continued Raman.

Many publications around the world have cut down their print issues as the medium struggles to survive in a digital-led world. MIT Sloan Management Review will, therefore, be digital-first with quarterly print editions, which Raman believes will have “relevance” since the magazine is a “tech journal with excellent reference value.”

Major economies in the region, like Saudi Arabia and the UAE, are heavily investing in technology and related fields, which is having “a strong trickle-down effect,” he said.

“Investments in technology are no longer departmental decisions; they are now strategic, impacting the business’ very existence and survival,” he added.

As technology pervades all areas of life and business, leaders need to be well adept at “understanding how technology fits in with their overall goals, and one of the unique features of MIT Sloan Management Review is its focus on bridging the gap between theory and practice,” Raman said.

In addition to digital and print content, the new magazine will hold its NextTech summit this September focused on new technologies such as generative artificial intelligence, digital currencies and the virtual world.

The editorial team is led by Raman and Pamella Ann De Leon, based in Dubai, UAE, who will serve as the editor, and will include correspondents who are based in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Egypt.

The launch will be celebrated at a thought leadership event on MIT’s campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts on June 6.