The MetaverseUA Chair Newsletter #8 - March 2024

Hey there, Metaversian friends!

Here we are again with your favorite appointment: the newsletter from the Academic Chair for the Responsible Development of the Metaverse! In the past two weeks, the world hasn’t stopped, and it seems that the European Union hasn’t either. So we haven’t either. We have worked to help you stay updated and kick off the weekend in the best way. Get your popcorn (or coffee) ready, here’s newsletter #8 for you!

AI Act finally approved!

Great news, everyone! After many years of discussions and negotiations, the AI Act has finally been approved! There were certainly some lively debates and compromises made along the way, but we’ve finally made it to the finish line.

Before the AI Act can officially take effect, it still needs to be approved by the Council and undergo legal verification. But once those steps are complete, here’s what you can expect:

  • The regulation will become official 20 days after it is published in the Official Journal of the EU.
  • It will start being enforced 24 months after it takes effect. However, some provisions won’t be enforced until 6, 9, 12, or 36 months after the regulation takes effect.
Here’s a little more detail on the timeline:
  • Bans on prohibited practices will be enforced 6 months after the regulation takes effect.
  • Codes of conduct will be enforced 9 months after the regulation takes effect.
  • Rules for general-purpose AI systems, including governance, will be enforced 12 months after the regulation takes effect.
  • Obligations for high-risk systems will be enforced 36 months after the regulation takes effect. 

The AI Act will have a big impact on many different fields, so it’s important to stay informed about the changes it will bring. That’s why the EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office) has organized a webinar to help you stay up-to-date on all the latest development

The US antitrust authorities are suing Apple

There doesn’t seem to be any respite for big tech company Apple. Following the tough measures in Europe that affected it, the company has now been accused of having a monopoly in the American phone market, which harms consumers, developers, and rival companies with its ‘astronomical’ valuation. This news immediately hit Apple’s stock price, which dropped 4% in Wall Street.

According to the Department of Justice, Apple takes actions such as blocking cross-platform messaging apps, restricting third-party wallets, compatibility of smartwatches, and blocking non-App Store programs and cloud-streaming services to ensure that consumers continue to purchase iPhones. These issues have already been raised in Europe, and Apple is currently making some changes in the European market to be compliant with the Digital Market Act. The Justice Department wants a court order barring Apple from using its app store to block innovative new apps. It also wants the court to block Apple-imposed restrictions that prevent other messaging apps, smartwatches, digital wallets and other technologies from integrating with the iPhone.

As expected, Apple has not taken well the accusations from the US Department of Justice and has stated that this lawsuit threatens the entire company, which has built its fortune on these systems.

Nvidia Launches the most powerful chip on the world

Things you can buy with 30 thousand dollars:

  • A car;
  • A Rolex GMT-Master II;
  • A trip around the world;
  • 8 Apple Vision Pro Headsets;
  • The Nvidia Blackwell B200 Chip;

That’s right, Nvidia has announced the launch of a new GPU for artificial intelligence. Nvidia has announced that this will be the world’s most powerful AI chip, 30 times more powerful than its predecessor and consuming 25 times less energy. The chip is named after David Harold Blackwell.

The chip is named «Blackwell» in honor of David Harold Blackwell, an American statistician and mathematician who made significant contributions to game theory, probability theory, information theory, and statistics. He was the first African American inducted into the National Academy of Sciences.

This news confirms, if ever needed, that there are several hardware investments being made in AI, and it is what can actually boost the development of this technology.

The first Virtual Presenter

In Spain, the Telecinco show «Supervivientes» will be hosted by Alba Renai. No, we haven’t become a tabloid. However, the news is interesting because Alba Renai, in reality, does not exist. She was entirely created using Artificial Intelligence. In this video, you can see Alba’s television debut, who is said to be «very excited». Considering that Artificial Intelligence cannot experience emotions, it is already an excellent actress.

Not bad for a freshman!

Recommended readings

  • Artificial Intelligence can do many things. Some even better or faster than you. In some tasks, it can completely replace a person. But what would happen if you asked Chat GPT to manage your life? Maxwell Strachan tried to respond this question.
  • The company Figure is attempting to create «the first general-purpose commercial humanoid robot in the world». This robot uses AI systems to complete requested tasks, and it can speak, reason, and move as humanoid robots have only been seen in movies before. Learn more here
  • The World Economic Forum just published a super interesting report about identity in the Metaverse. Take a look here

With this, the eighth appointment with your favorite newsletter comes to an end. We hope you enjoyed it and that it helps you start your weekend off right. Now that your coffee is finished and you have enough readings for the entire weekend, we can say goodbye. See you soon!

Meanwhile, remember: next Monday 15 April 2024 at 16:00 (CET) the Chair for the responsible development of the Metaverse is organizing the Webinar “Final Fantasy: A Roadmap for Virtual Property in the Metaverse”. You are still in time to register here!

May your code run smoothly, and your quests be grand.

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