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Puzzled about federal student loan forgiveness? Here is what it is likely you’ll per chance maybe per chance also have to perceive.



Puzzled about federal student loan forgiveness? Here is what it is likely you’ll per chance maybe per chance also have to perceive.

A sketch person chases after a giant buck bill.

Trillions of bucks of federal student loan debt nonetheless loom over People, no subject makes an attempt at forgiveness.
Credit score: Vicky Leta / Mashable

With a cumulative federal student loan debt of $1.6 trillion held by bigger than forty five million borrowers — a nearly unfathomable resolve shared periodically by the federal authorities — the nation and its post-graduate borrowers are pining for some relief. 

Student loan forgiveness has been a hot congressional subject, peaking according to the added monetary constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic and successive makes an attempt by federal actors to alleviate, or continue, the generally devastating loan burden. 

Because the nation’s student loan debt is vulnerable as a political bargaining chip, the aptitude for confusion is high amid the altering programs, complex payment processes, and sheer quantity of loans, payment plans, and financial insurance policies — specifically as promises of forgiveness are pledged and struck down. 

Here is the rundown of the put student loan forgiveness, and compensation, stand. 

Are student loan repayments nonetheless paused? 

On March 13, 2020, addressing rising issues about the COVID-19 pandemic, Biden issued an unswerving administrative forbearance, or dwell, on federal student loan payments. The administration additionally put all curiosity, which would in most cases accrue even while loans had been in a forbearance interval, to zero percent. The dwell failed to apply to privately-held student loans. 

In 2021, the administration and the performing secretary of education extended the student loan compensation dwell and nil curiosity, writing, “Too many People are struggling to pay for classic requirements and to provide for his or her families. They need to nonetheless now not be forced to originate a need from paying their student loans and placing meals on the table.” The U.S. Department of Education additionally extended the parameters of the forbearance to consist of some privately-held loans, comparable to these under the Federal Family Education Mortgage (FFEL) Program

With this announcement, the persisted forbearance utilized to all federal Teach Loans (defaulted and nondefaulted), FFEL Program loans (defaulted and nondefaulted), Federal Perkins Loans (defaulted and nondefaulted), defaulted FFEL Program loans now not held by the Department of Education, and defaulted loans by strategy of the Effectively being Education Assistance Loans (HEAL) program.

The dwell used to be extended several extra times by strategy of 2022 and early 2023, no subject persisted stress from congressional Republicans. In Would possibly maybe per chance additionally, as portion of a legislative deal to raise the national debt ceiling, the forbearance interval used to be called to an discontinue, and Biden used to be blocked from extending the interval once more.

Student loan curiosity will originate accruing all once more on Sept. 1, 2023. Student loan payments will restart in October. 

What’s the plot of Biden’s $400-billion forgiveness belief?

In 2022, Biden announced the finest student loan forgiveness belief yet, pledging to forgive up to $20,000 for particular person lower- to center-earnings borrowers. The forgiveness belief relied on the Increased Education Reduction Opportunities for Students (HEROES) Act of 2003, which gives the secretary of education authority to regulate student loans according to a national emergency. Below this one-time belief, borrowers earning less than $125,000 yearly would be eligible for $10,000 in loan forgiveness after making exercise of. Borrowers who had taken out need-basically based Pell Grants may maybe per chance maybe apply for another $10,000 cancellation, for a total loan forgiveness of $20,000. 

Following an software program interval in October 2022, 16 million People had been authorized for the forgiveness belief, however the Biden administration’s effort used to be speedily met by several upright challenges. Many borrowers had been additionally perplexed by a series of emails that incorrectly identified eligible borrowers

In February, two court cases issued in opposition to Biden’s belief went to the Supreme Courtroom, now not easy Biden’s exercise of the HEROES Act. The principle case (Biden v. Nebraska) used to be issued collectively by six states: Nebraska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and South Carolina. The second (Department of Education v. Brown) is a Texas-basically based case issued on behalf of two particular person borrowers. 

In June, the Supreme Courtroom ruled in favor of the states in Biden v. Nebraska, deciding that federal law doesn’t allow the Biden administration to unilaterally kill student debt. 

Thanks to this decision, the $400-billion forgiveness belief has been canceled. Student loan forgiveness can now not pass forward under this belief, even supposing an particular person submitted an software program and used to be deemed eligible for forgiveness. 

What is Biden’s SAVE belief?

Straight following the court decision, the Biden administration announced a unique compensation belief, intended to originate an cheap payment possibility for the massive majority of borrowers. Identified because the Saving on a Treasured Education (SAVE) belief, the earnings-driven compensation belief “will lower borrowers’ monthly payments in half of, allow many borrowers to originate $0 monthly payments, set up all diversified borrowers a minimal of $1,000 per twelve months, and be obvious borrowers don’t look their balances develop from unpaid curiosity,” according to the White House. 

Particulars of the belief consist of:

  • Borrowers earning under 225 percent of the federal poverty level — the annual the same of a $15 minimal wage, according to the Department of Education — is now not going to have to originate monthly payments. 

  • Undergraduate loan payments will be lower from 10 percent to 5 percent of the borrower’s discretionary earnings. 

  • For borrowers with starting up loans of $12,000 or less, closing loan balances will be forgiven after 10 years of payments, in region of 20. 

  • Borrowers may maybe per chance maybe now not be charged with unpaid monthly curiosity.

Whereas student loan compensation begins in October, the unique lowered payments under the SAVE belief is now not going to hurry into carry out till July 2024

All student borrowers in compensation will be eligible to signal up within the SAVE belief. Borrowers already enrolled in a Revised Pay as You Manufacture (REPAYE) belief will be robotically enrolled within the unique SAVE belief. To learn extra, learn by strategy of the SAVE belief fact sheet or impart over with the earnings-driven compensation belief put.

borrowers can now apply for the SAVE belief under the up to this level earnings-driven compensation software program.

Who is tormented by the latest student loan settlements?

To boot to the continuing efforts to kill federal student loan debt for customary borrowers, civil settlements may maybe per chance maybe secure an impact on these with both federal and non-public loans. 

On July 25, the Biden administration authorized $14.7 billion in debt relief for 1.1 million student loan borrowers “whose colleges took advantage of them or closed all of sudden.” It additionally announced it’d be forgiving $130 million in student debt for 7,400 borrowers who attended CollegeAmerica, a now-defunct non-public institution that used to be accused of deceptive borrowers about loans.

In April, the U.S. Supreme Courtroom gave the inexperienced gentle to a $6-billion student loan debt cancellation settlement brought forth by college students of 151 for-income tutorial and vocational institutions. After these institutions had been came upon to be deceptive their student borrowers and saddling them with higher debt, the Department of Education pledged to forgive the money owed of affected borrowers. 

Eligible borrowers who attended one in all these colleges and utilized for a borrower defense loan discharge — a federal reveal on behalf of borrowers who notify they had been defrauded by their colleges — on or before June 22, 2022, are entitled to computerized relief. Some borrowers may maybe per chance maybe additionally be reimbursed for previous payments. 

Talk over with the Federal Student Relieve or Department of Education websites to learn extra about ongoing cases and latest borrower defense updates. 

Are there any diversified forgiveness plans within the works?

In an announcement following the Supreme Courtroom decision, Biden announced a doable course forward for nationwide student loan forgiveness under the Increased Education Act of 1965, a the same provision to the first law invoked for student loan forgiveness however with extra critical language, giving the secretary of education the authority to “compromise, waive, or unlock any honest, title, reveal, lien, or quiz, however bought, including any equity or any honest of redemption.” Some congressional Democrats, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Score. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez secure argued for the exercise of this law to grant frequent student loan forgiveness.

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As of July, the Biden administration has yet to provide extra files about this route.  

Instruct of Earnings-Driven Compensation (IDR) plans

In April 2022, the Biden administration and Department of Education announced that the department would retroactively aid borrowers who struggled to repay student loans due to poorly managed Earnings-Driven Compensation (IDR) plans, following several investigative studies and court cases alleging administrative mess ups left borrowers in decades-long limbo. At the time, the department planned to apply a “one-time yarn adjustment” to present borrowers credit score for any time spent in what it considers unjustifiably long forbearances. It would additionally provide speedy debt cancellation for a minimal of 40,000 borrowers who now certified for Public Carrier Mortgage Forgiveness under unique guidelines. A lot of thousand borrowers would additionally qualify for debt cancellation under adjusted IDR. 

In July, Biden formally announced a most inspiring higher IDR borrower pool, with a total of $39 billion in federal student loan debt relief. Borrowers are eligible if they’ve accrued the the same of both 20 or 25 years of qualifying months, the U.S. Department of Education explains. Distribution of the computerized payments began in August for bigger than 804,000 borrowers, with eligible borrowers receiving notification straight from their loan servicer by strategy of electronic mail.

Assistance for the massive majority of federal student loan holders

Following the cancellation of Biden’s student loan forgiveness belief, the Department of Education announced it’d be instituting a 12-month “on-ramp” interval for borrowers whose payments would resume in October. All over this period — operating from Oct. 1, 2023, to Sept. 30, 2024 — “financially vulnerable” borrowers may maybe per chance maybe now not be regarded as delinquent, reported to credit score bureaus, placed in default, or referred to debt series companies if they pass over a monthly payment.

Federal resources 

For added files on the plot of your internal most loans, impart over with the Federal Student Relieve (FSA) net online page online, as nicely because the get online page online of your loan servicer. Servicer files may maybe per chance maybe additionally be came upon for your Federal Student Relieve profile. 

For customary files on federal student loans, impart over with the FSA Mortgage Compensation Net page.

Be taught extra about easy suggestions to protect away from falling for student loan compensation scams as you revisit your compensation plans. 

The Particular person Monetary Protection Bureau additionally gives resources on student loans and compensation, including the basics on finding files for your internal most loans, deciding between compensation alternate choices, and even a files to key terms borrowers will stumble upon. 

Additional resources

Whereas borrowers need to nonetheless flip in direction of the Department of Education, a Federal Student Relieve put, or their hang loan servicer straight for files, first fee third-social gathering websites may maybe per chance maybe provide extra context for student loan borrowing and payment.  

Monetary websites fancy NerdWallet submit a diversity of student loan resources, including accessible guides to compensation plans; NerdWallet additionally hosts a podcast, Natty Cash, that dives into the student loan debate

The American Bar Affiliation has published a listing of organizations, fancy the National Particular person Laws Center’s Student Mortgage Borrower Assistance Venture and Equal Justice Works, that provide both files and wait on for borrowers. 

Advocacy groups and nonprofits fancy the Student Debt Disaster Center, which advocates for debt-free education and the cancellation of nationwide student debt, additionally provide resources for student loan borrowers.

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Mashable will update this account because the plot of federal student loan forgiveness continues to replace.

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UPDATE: Aug. 25, 2023, 2:30 p.m. EDT This account, first and foremost published in July 2023, used to be up to this level in August 2023 with extra files on the Saving on a Treasured Education (SAVE) belief and Earnings-Driven Compensation (IDR) plans.

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Stride joined Mashable’s Social Upright team in 2020, masking online studies about digital activism, climate justice, accessibility, and media representation. Her work additionally touches on how these conversations manifest in politics, celebrated tradition, and fandom. Each from time to time she’s very droll.

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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TikTok Intensifies Criticism Against Biden Administration Amid Potential Ban




TikTok Steps Up Legal Battle Against US Government Over Potential Ban

In a recent legal move, TikTok has escalated its confrontation with the Biden administration regarding a law that could lead to its ban in the US. The social media giant argues, through a court filing, that forcing it to find a new owner could isolate American users on a content ‘island’, disconnected from global TikTok content. TikTok revealed details of a draft agreement with the US government aimed at addressing national security concerns, which the company claims was discarded in favor of legislation it believes violates First Amendment rights.

The filing represents TikTok’s initial strategy in what could be a pivotal case affecting the app’s future and broader implications for online free speech. TikTok asserts that divesting from its Chinese parent company ByteDance by the 2025 deadline, as mandated by the law signed by President Biden, is not feasible technologically, commercially, or legally.

Furthermore, TikTok contends that the challenged legislation prohibits necessary data-sharing agreements that would allow US users access to international TikTok content. This argument is echoed by a group of TikTok content creators who argue that the law restricts their ability to express themselves freely, impacting their First Amendment rights.

Central to TikTok’s defense is the revelation of the draft agreement with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), highlighting it as a less restrictive alternative that could have met national security goals without resorting to divestiture or a ban. TikTok claims the agreement was never finalized despite extensive negotiations and meetings with US officials.

The filing also includes details of ‘Project Texas’, TikTok’s plan to segregate US user data, with provisions allowing US government oversight to ensure compliance with security measures. TikTok asserts it has already invested $2 billion in implementing these safeguards.

The legal battle underscores TikTok’s stance against allegations of compromising user data to the Chinese government, which US officials have raised concerns about in closed-door briefings. TikTok denies these claims and criticizes the legislative process as flawed and rushed.

As the case unfolds, the outcome could shape not only TikTok’s future in the US but also set precedents for how digital platforms navigate national security and free speech challenges in the future.

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




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




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



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.


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




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




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




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




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




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




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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