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Generative AI threatens voter confidence in what’s real   

Artificial intelligence surrounds U.S. political life, from fundraising to campaign advertising. Some lawmakers are looking to better police the use of generative content in this year’s presidential election as they say it threatens voter confidence in what is real. VOA correspondent Scott Stearns reports. …

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Taiwan attracting Southeast Asian tech students

Taiwan is looking to Southeast Asia as a pipeline to fill its shortage of high-tech talent. The numbers of foreign students coming to the island has been growing, especially from Vietnam and Indonesia. VOA Mandarin’s Peh Hong Lim reports from Hsinchu, Taiwan. Adrianna Zhang contributed. …

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LogOn: Hologram-like experience allows people to connect

The Dutch company Holoconnects are experts in the field of holographic illusions and are now delivering life-size personal connections with a 2-meter-tall box that make it feel like the person you are talking to is physically present. Deana Mitchell has more from Austin, Texas in this week’s episode of LogOn. …

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EU may suspend TikTok’s new rewards app over risks to kids

LONDON — The European Union on Monday demanded TikTok provide more information about a new app that pays users to watch videos and warned that it could order the video sharing platform to suspend addictive features that pose a risk to kids.  The 27-nation EU’s executive commission said it was opening formal proceedings to determine whether …

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Connected Africa Summit addressing continent’s challenges, opportunities and bridging digital divides

Nairobi, Kenya — Government representatives from Africa, along with ICT (information and communication technology) officials, and international organizations have gathered in Nairobi for a Connected Africa Summit. They are discussing the future of technology, unlocking the continent’s growth beyond connectivity, and addressing the challenges and opportunities in the continent’s information and technology sector. Speaking at the …

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Doctors display ‘PillBot’ that can explore inner human body

vancouver, british columbia — A new, digestible mini-robotic camera, about the size of a multivitamin pill, was demonstrated at the annual TED Conference in Vancouver. The remote-controlled device can eliminate invasive medical procedures. With current technology, exploration of the digestive tract involves going through the highly invasive procedure of an endoscopy, in which a camera at …

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Apple pulls WhatsApp and Threads from App Store on Beijing’s orders

HONG KONG — Apple said it had removed Meta’s WhatsApp messaging app and its Threads social media app from the App Store in China to comply with orders from Chinese authorities. The apps were removed from the store Friday after Chinese officials cited unspecified national security concerns. Their removal comes amid elevated tensions between the U.S. …

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EU politicians embrace TikTok despite data security concerns

Sundsvall,  Sweden — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s short videos of his three-day trip to China this week proved popular in posts on Chinese-owned social media platform TikTok, which the European Union, Canada, Taiwan and the United States banned on official devices more than a year ago, citing security concerns. By Friday, one video showing highlights of …

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Meta’s new AI agents confuse Facebook users 

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts — Facebook parent Meta Platforms has unveiled a new set of artificial intelligence systems that are powering what CEO Mark Zuckerberg calls “the most intelligent AI assistant that you can freely use.”  But as Zuckerberg’s crew of amped-up Meta AI agents started venturing into social media in recent days to engage with real people, …

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Developers: Enhanced AI could outthink humans in 2 to 5 years

vancouver, british columbia — Just as the world is getting used to the rapidly expanding use of AI, or artificial intelligence, AGI is looming on the horizon. Experts say when artificial general intelligence becomes reality, it could perform tasks better than human beings, with the possibility of higher cognitive abilities, emotions, and ability to self-teach and …

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Google fires 28 workers protesting contract with Israel

New York — Google fired 28 employees following a disruptive sit-down protest over the tech giant’s contract with the Israeli government, a Google spokesperson said Thursday. The Tuesday demonstration was organized by the group “No Tech for Apartheid,” which has long opposed “Project Nimbus,” Google’s joint $1.2 billion contract with Amazon to provide cloud services to …

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New TikTok Lite app raises concerns in EU

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US Commerce Dept. grants Samsung $6.4 billion for Texas chip plants

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AI-generated fashion models could bring more diversity to industry — or leave it with less

Chicago, Illinois — London-based model Alexsandrah has a twin, but not in the way you’d expect: Her counterpart is made of pixels instead of flesh and blood. The virtual twin was generated by artificial intelligence and has already appeared as a stand-in for the real-life Alexsandrah in a photo shoot. Alexsandrah, who goes by her first …

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Instagram blurring nudity in messages to protect teens, fight sexual extortion

LONDON — Instagram says it’s deploying new tools to protect young people and combat sexual extortion, including a feature that will automatically blur nudity in direct messages. The social media platform said in a blog post Thursday that it’s testing out the features as part of its campaign to fight sexual scams and other forms of …

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Swarms of drones can be managed by a single person

The U.S. military says large groups of drones and ground robots can be managed by just one person without added stress to the operator. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports, the technologies may be beneficial for civilian uses, too. VOA footage by Adam Greenbaum. …

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Indiana aspires to become next great tech hub

The Midwestern state of Indiana aspires to become the next great technology center as the United States ramps up investment in domestic microchip development and manufacturing. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more from Indianapolis. Videographer: Kane Farabaugh, Adam Greenbaum …

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Indiana aspires to become next great tech center

indianapolis, indiana — Semiconductors, or microchips, are critical to almost everything electronic used in the modern world. In 1990, the United States produced about 40% of the world’s semiconductors. As manufacturing migrated to Asia, U.S. production fell to about 12%.   “During COVID, we got a wake-up call. It was like [a] Sputnik moment,” explained Mark …

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Ukrainian civilians help build up their country’s drone fleet

Inexpensive first-person view – or radio controlled – drones have become a powerful weapon in Ukraine’s war against Russian invaders. As the country presses the West for more military aid, many Ukrainian civilians are stepping in to help by making homemade attack drones. Lesia Bakalets has the story from Kyiv. …

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Biden administration imposes first-ever national drinking water limits on toxic PFAS 

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Altman Back as OpenAI CEO Days After Being Fired

The ousted leader of ChatGPT-maker OpenAI is returning to the company that fired him late last week, culminating a days-long power struggle that shocked the tech industry and brought attention to the conflicts around how to safely build artificial intelligence. San Francisco-based OpenAI said in a statement late Tuesday, “We have reached an agreement in …

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Largest Crypto Exchange Fined $4 Billion; CEO Pleads Guilty to Allowing Money Laundering

The U.S. government dealt a massive blow to Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, which agreed to pay a roughly $4 billion settlement Tuesday as its founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao pleaded guilty to a felony related to his failure to prevent money laundering on the platform.  Zhao stepped down as the company’s chief executive, …