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Apple quietly launches Ferret – a new open source multimodal LLM


Here are today’s top trending news from the world of technology. News that every tech enthusiast should keep a tab on.


Apple quietly launches Ferret – a new open source multimodal LLM

The logo of Apple INC, Image source:

In an interesting development, Apple had launched a new open source LLM called Ferret in October without much fanfare. Since Apple did not create much buzz about the launch, its launch almost went unnoticed. Ferret currently can be used only for research purposes and developers as well as companies will have to take separate license from Apple if they want to use it for commercial purposes. Being a multimodal LLM, it can process and understand images and audio, apart from text. Apple going for open-source model may surprise many people, considering that Apple has long history of keeping things under ‘closed system.’ Only time will tell how well Apple’s Ferret will compete with Google’s Gemini, Meta’s Llama 2 and OpenAI’s GPT series.


OpenAI in funding talks at $100 Bn Valuation

ChatGPT maker OpenAI is reportedly in talks with several investors to raise fresh funds at an eyepopping valuation of $100 Bn. The Sam Altman led company may use the fresh funds to manufacture in-house chips and reduce its over-reliance on third party vendors like Nivida and AMD. OpenAI has reportedly already started talks with Abu Dhabi based AI company G42 as part of the funding round. However, these talks are preliminary and hence there is every chance that this funding round may fall through. But if OpenAI does manage to pull off the upcoming funding round at a $100 billion valuation then it will place OpenAI among the most valuable private companies in the world. This would also reflect the immense potential investors see in OpenAI’s technology and its ability to shape the future of AI.


BlueSky Posts are now Open to Public (it has also changed its logo)

Bluesky, the decentralized Twitter alternative, has finally opened its doors to the public. This means anyone can now browse the platform and see posts, even without an invite or account. Previously, Bluesky was strictly invite-only, limiting its reach and hindering its growth. By opening up access, Bluesky can attract a wider audience and garner more interest. The company has also adopted a blue butterfly as its new logo, saying goodbye to the old logo of stock photo-style cloudy sky. Overall, Bluesky’s growing reach could potentially pose a challenge to centralized platforms like Twitter, particularly if it can establish itself as a user-friendly and trustworthy alternative.



Tesla buys fresh land in Shanghai, set for China expansion

Elon Musk led EV car maker Tesla has just acquired land in Shanghai to build a new factory for its Megapack battery storage systems.  This marks a significant expansion of the company’s production capacity in China, a key market for electric vehicles and renewable energy. The new factory is located very near to existing gigafactory and will have the capacity to produce 10,000 Megapack units annually. Tesla has reportedly paid 222.42 million yuan (approximately $31.13 million) for the land.


Elon Musk defends Grok AI, says AI Chatbot will get better with time

Elon Musk last week defended his recently launched AI chatbot Grok AI with a tweet, claiming that Grok AI is still in beta stage and will get better with time. Musk’s tweet was in response to flurry of complaints by X’s premium subscribers, who complained that Grok AI’s responses are quite lame and not all that accurate especially when compared with OpenAI’s ChatGPT. There are also reports that Grok AI is giving far too many liberal responses on sensitive topics, which has angered the right-wing fan base. Grok AI has been positioned as an AI chatbot that can give sarcastic and black humour responses. It also has real-time access to X’s posts.


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