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Frontier’s unlimited flight passes are chaotic, but will be value it

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Frontier’s unlimited flight passes are chaotic, but will be value it

You would possibly perhaps win you money’s value and additional — as lengthy as you possibly would possibly perhaps be flexible.

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Frontier airplane on ground at airport with sunset in background

The unlimited seasonal pass applies to both home and international locations.
Credit: Devasahayam Chandra Dhas / Getty Photos


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UPDATE: Aug. 10, 2023, 1:00 p.m. EDT This put up has been up to date to contemplate contemporary pricing for the summer season all-you-can-scurry pass as smartly as more contemporary availability of the tumble and iciness all-you-can-scurry pass and a month-to-month pass.

Frontier is letting passengers scurry as a lot as they need all summer season (or tumble, or iciness) for a flat price that competitors the moderate price of a single round-outing home flight.

The GoWild! all-you-can-scurry summer season pass, which first grew to modified into readily available in February 2023, is the distinctive shorter model of Frontier’s already-existing annual pass. In have to $999 for unlimited flights at some level of the summer season (Frontier’s “retail label” for a summer season pass), the one-time purchase of a GoWild! pass (plus one cent in costs for every outing) unlocks unlimited flights to both home and international Frontier locations. Frontier serves extra than 100 airports across the U.S., Mexico, the Caribbean, and Latin The US, with unusual areas continuously being introduced to the lineup.

Anybody who snagged the GoWild! pass in the month or so after its debut easiest needed to exercise $399. Pricing has long gone up since then, going for $699 for a good deal of the spring till a tumble support to $499 in Would possibly perhaps well well well also unbiased. Even supposing it used to be a reasonably solid take at any label level thanks to how smartly-liked and costly summer season commute can win, Frontier has a more in-depth unlimited deal now that we’re nearer to the cooler months.

Abet by smartly-liked quiz, Frontier would possibly perhaps be offering a $299 tumble and iciness model of its GoWild! unlimited flight pass to collect where the summer season pass leaves off. This pass covers Sept. 2, 2023 thru Feb. 29, 2024, so there may be about a overlap with the summer season pass, which expires on Sept. 30. The tumble and iciness pass is $299 — a full $100 less expensive than the summer season pass ever used to be. Each seasonal passes supply(ed) roughly five months of unlimited commute, but at this level in the 12 months, it be obviously wiser to proceed for the pass that covers the final fragment of 2023 and early months of 2024.

Limitless month-to-month commute with Frontier would possibly perhaps be an option for these that’d treasure less dedication. Frontier announced a month-to-month GoWild! pass at the end of July 2023, which is free for the principle month (rather than a $49 enrollment price) and renews for $149 month-to-month after that. Your unlimited month-to-month pass begins the day you purchase it and runs for 30 days every duration.

On paper, any of the seasonal passes sound treasure an improbable deal. Many folk maintain begrudgingly coughed up a identical amount for a single roundtrip flight at the least once. That used to be potentially an additional-frequent abilities for the duration of the unparalleled airfare spikes in 2022. Bankrate’s evaluate of ultimate 12 months’s Bureau of Labor Statistics stumbled on that the moderate label of a “perfect deal” roundtrip home flight used to be $398 — up $100 from 2021. There will not be any ask that an ultra-accessible summer season pass is truly a predominant vacation hack at a time when every little thing, commute-connected or now not, is extra costly.

However you would quiet be factual to be skeptical. Frontier’s standing for arbitrary baggage costs and sketchy customer provider — plus the frequent drama of canceled flights by all airways that has plagued commute for a whereas now — makes the premise of unlimited flights sound too perfect to be actual.

aspect hit upon of a frontier airplane with Stride Wild all-you-can-scurry graphic

Whereas you commute previous the annual vacation or two, the GoWild! pass would possibly perhaps also save you a ton of money.
Credit: Frontier Airways

Frontier’s unusual summer season pass is legit, but now not without its caveats

The main allotment of beautiful print to take into yarn is the lack of wiggle room the pass affords planning-wise. GoWild! easiest covers home flights booked *tests notes* the day earlier than and international flights booked 10 days or less earlier than. No reserving previous 24 hours manner no reserving roundtrip. As a alternative, you would technically must book your flight support on the final day of your outing, and 1. Hope that Frontier has a flight home that works to your agenda and resort or condo take a look at-out times or 2. Be down to pay for a non-Frontier flight. (Connected itineraries are integrated granted there are quiet seats readily available.)

Now not all airports participate, both. For instance, Frontier would not abet LAX. The “unlimited” calendar would possibly perhaps be field to blackout intervals, including Memorial Day itself and the Friday earlier than, the Fourth of July and surrounding days, and diversified random dates that would possibly perhaps also throw a wrench into plans.

If something goes spoiled, don’t count on stay customer provider

All airways attain with their comely portion of cancellation or delay woes. Whereas lower-price airways treasure Frontier and Spirit face the brunt of peril-connected airline memes, Frontier definitely canceled fewer flights than Southwest, American, and United between the summer season of 2021 and 2022. It used to be also one of the well-known airways with the least mishandled baggage considerations.

If something does trip awry for the duration of your Frontier scuttle, nonetheless, perfect success with a timely decision. Abet in November 2022, Frontier made up our minds that a stay customer provider mobile phone line wasn’t that crucial. Customers with considerations can both are trying the ever-recommended stay chat instrument on-line or talk to an employee at the airport.

Frontier’s baggage coverage has…baggage

Except you possibly would possibly perhaps pack every little thing you may perhaps need in a bag that fits below the seat in front of you, you may perhaps be paying extra than “$0.01 in airfare plus acceptable taxes” per flight.

Whereas most airways easiest manufacture you pay for checked baggage and enable a non-public merchandise and a lift-on merchandise free of fee, Frontier costs for the lift-on. (So does Spirit.)

The coverage is stingy but tolerable for these that don’t scurry that on the entire. However for the amount of flying that you just may perhaps potentially be squeezing in to fabricate the GoWild! pass value the money, you possibly would possibly perhaps end up spending an additional few hundred bucks on prime of the pass label over the course of the summer season.

Budgeting for a lift-on bag would possibly perhaps be extra of a tough estimate than a confirmed calculation with Frontier. That is for the explanation that airline adjustments what it costs for non-deepest devices relying on your flight date, time, distance, etc. A lift-on would possibly perhaps also price as little as $30 for these that add it at the time of reserving, though that number can attain between $50 and $90. It relies on how Frontier’s Gain Impress Checker is feeling that day.

Social media is stuffed with Frontier passengers complaining that they were charged for a lift-on that they articulate is deepest merchandise-sized. Whereas dimension restrictions are listed on-line and pattern compartments to measure your baggage ought to be reward at your gate, many folks were hit with shock costs factual earlier than getting on the airplane.

Is the GoWild! summer season pass value it?

Whereas you were already planning on doing rather somewhat of jet-setting this summer season or would be on the transfer if it were extra less expensive, $399 to $699 for all or most of your airplane tickets is hard to pass up. The pass would possibly perhaps be a no brainer for these that were already researching a wide dream vacation save outing and know that your flight would were extra than the value of a GoWild! pass anyway.

However you may perhaps must be OK with flying by the seat of your pants. Airplane pun very intended.

Whether the (lack of) developed reserving hit upon is sufficient cushion depends on your particular plans — and your stress levels. For flights at some level of the U.S., now not being in a discipline to book extra than 24 hours upfront manner reserving a roundtrip flight is off the desk — so you may perhaps must part in the probability of now not having solid return plans if you happen to enable. That would possibly perhaps also unbiased now not save of abode off as a lot of a scurry for these that’re visiting any person with a flexible agenda. However for these that’re facing a condo with strict checkout times or a hardcore cancelation coverage, a backup arrangement with backup funds is predominant.

The beautiful print, worrying baggage costs, and frequent planning chaos don’t rob a ways off from the props Frontier deserves for making commute this accessible — particularly for the duration of inflation. The GoWild! pass would possibly perhaps also reward serious exploring opportunities for of us who weren’t frequent vacationers earlier than, or would possibly be a persons’ key to traveling in a single more nation for the very first time. Now, win on that passport utility.

Leah Stodart

Leah Stodart is a Senior Taking a explore Reporter at Mashable. She covers procuring trends, reward solutions, and merchandise that manufacture existence more uncomplicated, specializing in vacuums, TVs, and sustainable swaps. She graduated from Penn Narrate College in 2016 and is observing terror films or “The Assign of commercial” when she’s now not procuring on-line herself. You would possibly perhaps be in a discipline to utilize her on Twitter at @notleah.

This publication would possibly perhaps also unbiased enjoy advertising and marketing, deals, or affiliate hyperlinks. Subscribing to a publication signifies your consent to our Terms of Utilize and Privateness Policy. You would possibly perhaps also unbiased unsubscribe from the newsletters at any time.

Sahil Sachdeva is the CEO of Level Up Holdings, a Personal Branding agency. He creates elite personal brands through social media growth and top tier press features.

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Temporary Pause: McDonald’s Halts AI Drive-Thru Ordering

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McDonald’s affirms IBM as a valued partner but hints at exploring alternative AI providers following a temporary halt in AI drive-thru ordering at their global locations.

In 2021, McDonald’s and IBM joined forces to introduce Automated Order Taking (AOT) technology as part of McDonald’s growth strategy, “Accelerating the Arches.” This initiative aimed to simplify and expedite the ordering process for customers and restaurant teams alike. IBM praised AOT for its advanced capabilities, citing its speed and accuracy as standout features that enhance efficiency in demanding operational environments.

The partnership highlighted a commitment to innovation in the quick-service industry, positioning McDonald’s at the forefront of technology adoption. By integrating AOT technology, McDonald’s aimed to improve overall service quality and customer experience across its global chain of restaurants, reinforcing its dedication to meeting evolving consumer expectations.

“While McDonald’s is revaluating and refining its plans for AOT, we look forward to continuing to work with them on a variety of other projects,” IBM said in a statement.

McDonald’s reassures that its AI endeavours are ongoing, with plans to assess sustainable voice-ordering solutions by the close of 2024.

According to David Henkes, senior principal and head of strategic partnerships at Technomic, AI is poised to play a crucial role in enhancing restaurant automation and efficiency, although its capabilities are still developing. McDonald’s exemplifies both the potential benefits and current limitations of AI technology.

Beyond McDonald’s, other fast-food chains are also exploring AI innovations. For instance, White Castle tested an automated drive-thru ordering system in 2021, while Wendy’s expanded its collaboration with Google Cloud to introduce its own AI-powered ordering tool last year.

Despite enthusiasm from these companies to integrate AI into their operations, challenges persist. Issues such as inaccuracies in order processing, attributed to difficulties in accent recognition and distinguishing voices from background noise, underscore the technology’s ongoing evolution.

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Reviving iPhone Cool: Apple’s Golden Opportunity Today

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Apple Faces Crucial Moment to Revitalise iPhone Sales Amidst AI Evolution”

Apple has faced a four-year drought in compelling reasons for customers to upgrade their iPhones since introducing 5G with the iPhone 12. This trend has slowed sales growth, a critical concern for the tech giant heavily reliant on iPhone revenue. The longer upgrade cycles have been particularly challenging, exacerbated by fierce competition in China and legal battles over antitrust issues.

At its upcoming Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple plans to unveil new artificial intelligence features that could reinvigorate its products and bring it back into the competitive AI landscape. The iPhone, pivotal to Apple’s strategy, stands to benefit significantly from these advancements.

Despite ongoing challenges, Apple remains a formidable force in the tech industry, boasting substantial iPhone earnings and a resilient stock performance. Analysts stress that rejuvenating iPhone sales is vital for sustaining Apple’s growth trajectory, emphasising the need for compelling reasons to entice consumers to adopt the upcoming iPhone 16.

Investors are closely watching Apple’s ability to assert itself in the evolving AI field, especially as competitors like Nvidia and Microsoft advance their AI-powered offerings. The outcome of Apple’s strategic moves at this juncture will likely shape its standing as a technology leader moving forward

Eagerly Anticipating the AI-Enhanced iPhone

For years, Apple has quietly integrated AI into its products, enhancing user experiences in subtle yet impactful ways. Now, Apple is poised to unveil its most user-focused AI updates yet.

Expected to be announced on Monday, these updates are anticipated to include new generative AI features for iOS, particularly enhancing Siri’s capabilities. This could enable Siri to perform tasks like retrieving old photos or answering detailed queries about weather, news, or trivia. Over time, Siri could personalise responses based on user preferences and even learn their personality traits.

Drawing from trends in AI integration by competitors, Apple may also introduce additional tools such as email summarization or drafting assistance

Traditionally, Apple has prioritised delivering a premium user experience rather than being the first to introduce new technologies. Now, there’s heightened anticipation for Apple to impress consumers with features that surpass those offered by competitors like Samsung and Microsoft.

Beyond the features themselves, the main question at WWDC is which Apple devices will support these advancements: Will the new AI tools be available on older iPhones, or restricted to upcoming models launching in the fall, possibly due to hardware requirements like new chips or faster processors?

If these features are exclusive to newer devices, it could potentially drive a significant upgrade cycle for iPhones, influencing Apple’s overall performance. Analysts suggest that lacklustre features or widely available AI capabilities on older iPhones could negatively impact Apple’s stock, while compelling new technology prompting upgrades in the fall could lead to substantial gains.

The critical factor lies in whether Apple can deliver compelling innovations that encourage users to upgrade, potentially marking a pivotal moment akin to their last significant surge in upgrade activity four years ago.

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Pope Francis Advocates for Church’s Role in Global AI Discussions

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Last year, a manipulated image of Pope Francis wearing a trendy white puffer jacket caused a stir online, sparking discussions about his fashion choices and speculation about the involvement of a stylist. However, the image was revealed to be a ‘deep fake,’ generated using artificial intelligence.

This week, Pope Francis is set to address the pivotal topic of artificial intelligence at the G7 summit in southern Italy’s Puglia region. His participation marks a historic moment as he becomes the first pope to engage in discussions at this level, specifically focusing on AI during a dedicated session. Notably, US President Joe Biden, who shares a close rapport with the pontiff, is expected to attend the summit.

At 87 years old, Pope Francis is committed to leveraging the influence of his position to advocate for the ethical development of AI, emphasising its potential to benefit humanity while cautioning against the emergence of unforeseen dangers akin to a modern-day ‘Frankenstein’s monster.’

Drawing from his background in chemistry, the pope welcomes advancements in science and technology, recognizing the promising opportunities AI presents. However, he also remains vigilant about the potential serious risks it may pose.

In a recent communication, Pope Francis issued a cautionary message about the potential emergence of a ‘technological dictatorship’ if proper regulations are not established, particularly emphasising concerns regarding AI-controlled weaponry and the risk of technology being exploited for surveillance and election interference. Stressing the importance of AI serving the ‘common good’ and not exacerbating inequalities, the pontiff has advocated for an ethical framework in its development and application.

The Vatican, through its Pontifical Academy for Life, has been actively promoting the ‘Rome Call for AI Ethics,’ a set of principles including transparency, inclusion, responsibility, and impartiality. Major tech firms like Microsoft, IBM, and Cisco Systems, alongside international organisations and religious leaders, have endorsed this initiative.

At the upcoming G7 summit, Pope Francis is expected to rally global leaders towards collaborative efforts in AI regulation, echoing his previous call for an ‘international treaty’ to curb harmful AI practices. While the European Union has passed legislation in this regard, bipartisan efforts in the United States signal a growing momentum towards federal regulation.

Father Paolo Benanti, a key figure in Vatican discussions on AI, underscores the pope’s focus on the societal impacts of technology, particularly its implications for inequality and misinformation. With a global perspective, Pope Francis recognizes disparities in technology access and aims to address these issues alongside broader humanitarian challenges such as migration and climate change.

According to Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, international regulation is crucial to effectively address the misuse and manipulation of emerging technologies like AI. The Pontifical Academy for Life’s advocacy for ethical AI aims to promote sustainable development for humanity as a whole.

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Italy, currently holding the G7 presidency, imposed a temporary ban on ChatGPT due to privacy concerns and plans to enforce penalties for AI misuse. Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni believes Pope Francis’ participation in the summit will significantly contribute to establishing an ethical and cultural framework for AI regulation. Meloni emphasises the importance of integrating ethical considerations into algorithmic development, citing the ‘Rome Call for AI Ethics’ as a pivotal step towards fostering ‘algorethics’.

Father Antonio Spadaro, a papal adviser, remarked that Pope Francis’ participation in the G7 summit reflects his commitment to engaging in meaningful dialogues where significant decisions are made. By attending the summit in Puglia, the pope aims to engage directly with policymakers, demonstrating his vision of an actively involved Church in worldly affairs.

Father Philip Larrey, an AI expert and former dean, views Pope Francis’ decision to attend the summit as unexpected yet influential. Larrey anticipates the pope’s presence will have a significant impact on the summit’s outcomes, highlighting the pope’s role as a catalyst for meaningful discussions.

Pope Francis is closely monitoring developments in AI and emerging technologies, seeking to leverage the depth of Catholic tradition to address their ethical implications. His active involvement, notably his presence at the G7 summit, underscores the urgency of his message. Francis advocates for ‘person-centred AI,’ emphasising the need for ethical considerations in technological advancement.

The infamous ‘deep fake’ incident, where an AI-generated image of the pope went viral, highlighted the potential for technology to manipulate visuals. Francis has addressed this issue, warning against the spread of false information and acknowledging his own experiences as a target of such manipulation.

Recognizing AI as a pivotal aspect of the current era’s transformation, Francis aims for the Church to play a central role in shaping discussions around its development. He believes in ensuring that new technologies serve the greater good of humanity.

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Apple’s Highly Anticipated Unveiling: The Next Big Innovation

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Apple stands at the brink of what could be one of its most pivotal moments in recent history, as it confronts a barrage of challenges on multiple fronts. The company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference, slated to commence on Monday, is widely anticipated to herald a significant partnership with OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, and introduce a suite of groundbreaking generative AI tools integrated into its mobile operating system.

This strategic foray into AI holds immense potential to catalyze growth in iPhone sales and services for the foreseeable future, particularly as consumers increasingly defer device upgrades amidst economic uncertainty, compounded by lingering effects of the pandemic, particularly in markets like China. Concurrently, Apple finds itself navigating regulatory scrutiny in the United States, exacerbated by recent shifts in market dynamics that saw chip maker Nvidia surpass it as the nation’s second-largest publicly traded company.

Apple’s Chief Executive Officer, Tim Cook, hinted at the impending AI initiative during the company’s latest earnings call, underscoring its strategic significance and positioning within the broader technological landscape. While Apple traditionally adopts a cautious approach to integrating emerging technologies, the rapid proliferation of generative AI is seemingly accelerating its timeline, compelling the company to maintain its competitive edge in the smartphone market.

Anticipation is rife regarding the nomenclature of Apple’s AI endeavor, rumored to be christened “Apple Intelligence” and set to be accessible exclusively on select devices such as the iPhone 15 Pro or those equipped with an M1 chip or newer iterations. Speculation abounds regarding the potential enhancements AI could bring to Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant, by leveraging OpenAI’s latest ChatGPT-4o model to imbue it with advanced conversational capabilities akin to those of a chatbot.

Beyond Siri, generative AI holds promise for revolutionizing various facets of Apple’s ecosystem, potentially augmenting user experiences across core applications like Apple Maps, iMovie, and iPhoto. Analysts anticipate Apple’s unveiling to spotlight on-device AI’s manifold benefits, emphasizing its seamless integration into daily routines while elucidating the company’s long-term vision for AI-driven innovation.

Crucially, Apple’s purported collaboration with OpenAI could be pivotal in shaping its AI trajectory, representing a concerted effort to harness external expertise in advancing its technological prowess. However, such partnerships entail inherent risks, potentially impinging on Apple’s autonomy in product development and its unwavering commitment to data privacy and security.

As Apple embarks on this transformative journey into AI, it remains steadfast in its commitment to consumer privacy and security, underscoring the imperative of responsible AI deployment amidst mounting concerns over its ethical implications. Moreover, the company is expected to provide updates on its Vision Pro mixed reality headset, positioning AI as a cornerstone of its immersive experiences strategy aimed at unlocking new frontiers in enterprise adoption.

Ultimately, Apple’s bold foray into generative AI underscores its unwavering commitment to innovation, poised to redefine the future of human-computer interaction while navigating the complex interplay of technological advancement and societal impact.

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Following Employee Revolt, OpenAI Establishes New Safety Board

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OpenAI announced on Tuesday the establishment of a new committee dedicated to advising the company’s board on matters of safety and security. This move comes just weeks after the company dissolved its previous AI safety team.

According to a blog post by OpenAI, the newly formed committee will be spearheaded by CEO Sam Altman, along with Bret Taylor, the board chair, and board member Nicole Seligman. The creation of this committee follows significant changes within the company’s leadership and strategy concerning AI safety.

Earlier this month, Jan Leike, an OpenAI executive focused on safety, resigned from his position, citing insufficient investment in AI safety work and escalating tensions with the company’s leadership as his reasons. Leike’s departure highlighted growing concerns within the organization about its commitment to AI safety.

In addition to Leike’s exit, Ilya Sutskever, a prominent figure in OpenAI’s “super alignment” team, also left the company. The superalignment team was tasked with ensuring that AI development aligned with human needs and priorities. Sutskever had previously played a pivotal role in the unexpected removal of Sam Altman as CEO last year, a decision that was later reversed when Sutskever supported Altman’s return.

In response to these high-profile departures, OpenAI stated that dismantling the super alignment team and redistributing its members across the company would better facilitate the achievement of its super alignment objectives. An OpenAI spokesperson told CNN that this restructuring aimed to enhance the company’s focus on aligning AI development with its overarching goals.

In its blog post, OpenAI also revealed that it has started training a new AI model intended to succeed GPT-4, the current model powering ChatGPT. The development of this new model marks another step toward the company’s vision of achieving artificial general intelligence (AGI).

OpenAI expressed pride in developing and releasing models that lead the industry in both capability and safety. However, the company also welcomed robust debate at this critical juncture. The blog post emphasized the importance of ongoing evaluation and improvement of OpenAI’s safety protocols.

One of the initial tasks assigned to the new Safety and Security Committee will be to assess and refine OpenAI’s safety processes and safeguards over the next 90 days. At the end of this period, the committee will present their recommendations to the full board. Following the board’s review, OpenAI plans to publicly share an update on the adopted recommendations in a manner that maintains consistency with safety and security protocols.

This proactive approach reflects OpenAI’s commitment to addressing safety and security concerns amid the rapid advancement of AI technology. By establishing this committee and inviting open discourse, the company aims to reinforce its dedication to developing AI in a safe and responsible manner.

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Eligible iPhone Users May Receive $349 Settlement Payout for Audio Issues

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Some iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus owners may be eligible for a payout as part of a $35 million settlement.

Owners of iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus devices who experienced audio chip issues may receive up to $349 in compensation as part of a 2019 lawsuit filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California.

To qualify, users must have owned these models between September 16, 2016, and January 3, 2023, and either complained to Apple about issues such as FaceTime, the loudspeaker, Siri, or the voice memo app not working, or paid for a related repair.

Apple has denied that these devices had such issues and any allegations of wrongdoing, according to the Settlement Administration website. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The issue involved the audio chip, which manages sound output through speakers or headphones. In September 2016, Apple removed the headphone jack from the iPhone 7 models to improve sound quality, achieve a thinner design, and enhance water resistance.

Eligible users might receive an email or postcard about the settlement. The deadline to file a claim is June 3, and the final approval hearing will be held on July 18.

This isn’t the first lawsuit payout for iPhone 7 models. Apple customers who purchased the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus, or SE before December 21, 2017, were eligible for $25 as part of the company’s settlement of a $500 million class-action lawsuit that accused Apple of slowing down older devices with system upgrades, which in turn forced users to upgrade to the latest iPhone model.

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Big Tech Executives Warn That Europe’s New AI Law Could Stifle Innovation

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Executives from major technology companies are expressing concerns that Europe’s newly proposed AI legislation might hinder innovation. The law, designed to regulate the development and deployment of artificial intelligence, aims to ensure ethical standards and protect consumer rights. However, industry leaders argue that the stringent regulations could slow down technological advancements and place European companies at a disadvantage compared to their global counterparts.

The AI Act, introduced by the European Commission, seeks to impose strict guidelines on the use of AI, particularly in high-risk applications. It includes provisions for transparency, accountability, and oversight, requiring companies to conduct rigorous assessments and provide detailed documentation of their AI systems. While the goal is to mitigate risks and prevent misuse, tech executives worry that the bureaucratic burden and compliance costs could be prohibitive, especially for smaller firms and startups.

Critics of the law contend that it might drive innovation outside Europe, as companies might prefer to develop and deploy AI technologies in regions with more flexible regulatory environments. They argue that a balanced approach is needed, one that safeguards public interest without stifling technological progress. The debate highlights the challenge of crafting policies that both foster innovation and ensure the ethical use of AI.

As the legislation moves through the European Parliament, tech industry representatives are calling for revisions that would reduce the regulatory burden while maintaining the law’s core protective measures. The outcome of this legislative process will significantly shape the future landscape of AI development in Europe and its global competitiveness in the tech sector.

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Why OpenAI Should Be Concerned About a Potential Lawsuit from Scarlett Johansson

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In recent years, the intersection of artificial intelligence and entertainment has led to groundbreaking advancements in creating lifelike digital avatars of celebrities. However, this promising technology is not without its legal and ethical implications, as evidenced by the looming threat of a lawsuit from Scarlett Johansson against OpenAI.

The crux of the matter lies in OpenAI’s use of Johansson’s likeness without her consent. The organization, renowned for its cutting-edge AI research, developed an AI model capable of generating realistic images of individuals based on textual descriptions. In a demonstration of the model’s capabilities, OpenAI showcased images resembling Johansson, among other celebrities, without seeking permission from the actors themselves.

Johansson, a prominent Hollywood actress known for her roles in blockbuster films, including the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has long been protective of her image rights. This unauthorized use of her likeness has understandably raised concerns regarding privacy, intellectual property, and the potential for exploitation in the digital realm.

The legal landscape surrounding the use of celebrity likenesses in AI-generated content is complex and evolving. While existing laws offer some degree of protection, they may not adequately address the unique challenges posed by AI technology. Furthermore, the precedent set by this case could have far-reaching implications for the future of AI-driven content creation and the rights of individuals to control their image.

Beyond the legal ramifications, the dispute between OpenAI and Johansson underscores broader ethical considerations surrounding AI development. As AI systems become increasingly sophisticated in mimicking human behaviors and appearances, questions arise regarding consent, authenticity, and the potential for misuse. Striking a balance between technological innovation and ethical responsibility is imperative to ensure that AI serves the greater good without infringing on individual rights.

In response to the controversy, OpenAI has emphasized its commitment to responsible AI development and ethical guidelines. However, the looming specter of litigation serves as a sobering reminder of the complex ethical and legal challenges inherent in the intersection of AI and entertainment.

As the legal battle between OpenAI and Scarlett Johansson unfolds, it is poised to shape the future trajectory of AI-driven content creation and the rights of individuals in the digital age. The outcome of this case will undoubtedly reverberate throughout the technology, entertainment, and legal sectors, leaving a lasting impact on how we navigate the evolving landscape of AI and its implications for society.

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Amazon Web Services CEO to Step Down: Major Leadership Change Announced

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Amazon’s cloud computing division, Amazon Web Services (AWS), is set for a significant leadership change. Adam Selipsky, the current CEO of AWS, will step down from his role next month, the company announced on Tuesday. Selipsky, who has been with AWS since 2005, took the helm in 2021 after former AWS CEO Andy Jassy was promoted to lead all of Amazon.

Matt Garman, currently the vice president of sales, marketing, and global services at AWS, will succeed Selipsky as CEO starting June 3.

The leadership of AWS is crucial for Amazon, as the cloud computing unit contributes nearly two-thirds of the company’s overall profits. With annual revenues exceeding $90 billion last year, AWS outpaces many standalone companies in size.

AWS is at a critical juncture with the rise of artificial intelligence. The company is rolling out new tools and capabilities to establish itself as the preferred computing provider for emerging technologies. However, AWS faces stiff competition from Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure.

Under Selipsky’s leadership, AWS has seen sales grow by more than 85%. Despite this growth, Amazon shares fell by over 1% following the announcement of his departure.

In an email to staff, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy explained that Selipsky’s tenure was always intended to be brief. Jassy noted that when he transitioned from AWS to lead Amazon, he recognized the need for strong leaders at AWS who could benefit from additional experience under an experienced CEO.

“When Adam and I discussed him taking the role in 2021, we agreed it would likely be for a few years, with a focus on preparing the next generation of leadership,” Jassy said. “Adam has skillfully led the business while developing his leadership team.”

Selipsky expressed gratitude for his time at AWS. “I’m humbled by the many customers who have said they wouldn’t be what they are without AWS, thankful to our many partners, and grateful to my passionate and innovative teammates. AWS will be in great hands with Matt and the incredible leadership team,” he shared in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

Matt Garman, who has been with Amazon since 2005, was long considered a top contender for the AWS CEO role. He started as an intern and later became one of AWS’s first product managers. Garman has since held various key positions, including general manager of AWS Compute Services, before moving to lead the sales division.

This leadership transition marks a new chapter for AWS as it continues to navigate a competitive landscape and rapidly evolving technological advancements.

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Australia and US Unveil Cutting-Edge Undersea Drones: Ghost Shark and Manta Ray

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Ghost Shark and Manta Ray might sound like characters from a future Marvel movie, but they represent a significant leap forward in Pacific naval defenses. These prototype uncrewed underwater vehicles (UUVs) were recently introduced by Australia and the United States, and they could revolutionize undersea warfare by enhancing power while minimizing the risks to human life.

Developed by Australia, Ghost Shark, and crafted by Northrop Grumman in the US, Manta Ray, significant advancements in military technology. The Ghost Shark prototype, “Alpha,” was co-developed by the Defence Science and Technology Group, Navy, and Anduril Australia. It offers stealthy, long-range autonomous capabilities for intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and strike missions. According to the Australian Defense Ministry, the first production models are expected by the end of next year, though specific details remain classified.

In the United States, the Boeing-built Orca UUV and Northrop Grumman’s Manta Ray prototype showcase modular designs for varied payloads and efficient deployment. Aerial drones have become commonplace in warfare, and their maritime counterparts are set to follow. Drones have been extensively used by the US in conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan since the 1990s and have become key military hardware in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Kyiv’s naval surface drones have inflicted significant damage on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.

However, controlling drones underwater presents unique challenges. Unlike aerial and surface drones that use satellites and radio waves, underwater drones face communication barriers due to water’s properties. A 2023 study published in the Swiss journal *Sensors* highlights that underwater communications require more energy and suffer significant data loss due to variables like water temperature, salinity, and depth. Makers of the new generation of military UUVs have not disclosed how they will overcome these challenges.

When Australia unveiled Ghost Shark, it called the prototypes “the most advanced undersea autonomous vehicles in the world.” These UUVs are designed to provide the Navy with stealthy, long-range capabilities for persistent intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR), and strike. This innovation marks a significant milestone in undersea defense technology.

Australian officials and those from manufacturer Anduril Australia have not shared specific details on Ghost Shark due to classification. However, they emphasized the speed of development from concept to prototype within two years. “Being ahead of schedule, on budget, it’s pretty unheard of,” said Shane Arnott, Anduril’s senior vice president for engineering. Australia’s chief defense scientist, Tanya Monro, stated that delivering the first Ghost Shark prototype ahead of schedule sets a new standard for rapid capability development.

Emma Salisbury, a fellow at the British think tank Council on Geostrategy, noted that Ghost Shark seems similar to the Orca extra-large UUV being developed in the US. Ukraine has used sea drones effectively against Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, with each drone carrying at least 250kg (500lb) of explosives. Salisbury suggested that these UUVs are likely intended for similar missions, focusing on intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and anti-submarine capabilities.

The US Navy describes the Boeing-built Orca UUV as a cutting-edge, autonomous, unmanned diesel-electric submarine with a modular payload section for various missions. The modular design allows the Orca to carry different weapons or specialized equipment for reconnaissance or intelligence gathering. The Pentagon plans to acquire five more UUVs, but no specific timetable has been provided. The Orca has been in development for over a decade, highlighting the contrast with the rapid progress of Australia’s Ghost Shark.

Chris Brose, Anduril’s chief strategy officer, stated that the company and Australia are proving that these capabilities can be developed much faster, cheaper, and more intelligently. Anduril Australia indicated that Ghost Shark, developed entirely domestically, would be available for export after joining the Australian naval fleet.

Meanwhile, the US continues to innovate with Northrop Grumman’s Manta Ray, which was tested off Southern California in February and March. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) praised Manta Ray’s modularity, which allows payloads to be switched out depending on the mission. The Manta Ray can be broken down to fit into five standard shipping containers, transported to the deployment site, and reassembled in the field. This method saves internal energy for the mission instead of using it to reach the deployment site.

DARPA program manager Kyle Woerner highlighted the innovation in Manta Ray’s design, which began in 2020. Despite slower development compared to Ghost Shark, DARPA is working with the US Navy on the next steps for testing and transitioning the technology. China, identified by the US military as a primary threat in the Pacific, is also advancing in UUV development. Submarine expert H I Sutton suggests that Beijing has at least six extra-large UUVs in development based on open-source intelligence.

Besides Australia, the US, and China, other countries developing UUVs include Canada, France, India, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Norway, Russia, South Korea, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. The rapid evolution of UUV technology underscores the strategic importance of undersea defenses in modern military operations. Ghost Shark and Manta Ray exemplify the cutting-edge advancements leading this transformative shift in naval warfare.

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