US Apple Fans Get Hands on $3,500 Vision Pro 

The Apple Vision Pro headset is displayed in a showroom on the Apple campus after it's unveiling on June 5, 2023, in Cupertino, Calif. (AP)
The Apple Vision Pro headset is displayed in a showroom on the Apple campus after it's unveiling on June 5, 2023, in Cupertino, Calif. (AP)
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US Apple Fans Get Hands on $3,500 Vision Pro 

The Apple Vision Pro headset is displayed in a showroom on the Apple campus after it's unveiling on June 5, 2023, in Cupertino, Calif. (AP)
The Apple Vision Pro headset is displayed in a showroom on the Apple campus after it's unveiling on June 5, 2023, in Cupertino, Calif. (AP)

US Apple stores on Friday will start selling the Vision Pro, the tech giant's $3,499 headset and its first major release since the Apple Watch nine years ago.

Vision Pro's release by the world's most iconic device maker is a major milestone for the lovers of virtual or augmented reality, who see the technology as the next chapter in online life after the smartphone.

But with a high sticker price, and the middling success of similar and cheaper releases from Facebook owner Meta, early reviews are unconvincing that the Vision Pro will be a game-changer, at least initially.

The Vision Pro is an "astonishing" product, wrote The Verge, but "also represents a series of really big trade-offs" that are "impossible to ignore."

It is "an impressive product, one that has been many years and billions of dollars in the making" but "even after trying it, I still have no idea whom or what this thing is supposed to be for," wrote The New York Times.

Critics acknowledge a definite "wow" factor, noting its state-of-the-art image and the joy of opening and closing apps floating in space with your eyes and fingers.

However, the headset is heavy, messes up the user's hair and requires a clunky battery pack, they add.

In a big promotional push, Apple CEO Tim Cook on Thursday appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair wearing the Vision Pro.

He drew criticism at a conference in June when he revealed the device without ever trying it on.

Apple refers to the Vision Pro as its first foray into "spatial computing," refusing the term virtual reality, which is typically associated with tech geeks and gamers.

In ads, in addition to streaming movies, users are shown wearing the Vision Pro to work or chat with friends or toggle through apps.

Apple says there are 600 specifically designed apps and games available for the Vision Pro alongside one million compatible apps.

"These incredible apps will change how we experience entertainment, music, and games," said Susan Prescott, Apple's vice president of worldwide developer relations.

Disney has partnered with Apple and will provide 150 3D movies at launch, the companies said.

Netflix, Spotify and Google for now have declined to modify their apps specifically for the headset.

The Vision Pro can be tested out by appointment in US Apple stores. That is because the device requires finely-tuned adjustments and some training as "most consumers don't have experience with gesture controls," Forrester Research wrote in a note.

According to analysts from Wedbush Securities, pre-orders have been strong and Apple should expect to sell about 600,000 units this year.

"For Apple the ultimate goal in our opinion is that Vision Pro will work alongside the iPhone and other Apple devices over the coming years," said Dan Ives of Wedbush.



Elon Musk Sues OpenAI for Abandoning Original Mission for Profit

Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla and owner of X, formerly known as Twitter, attends the Viva Technology conference dedicated to innovation and startups at the Porte de Versailles exhibition center in Paris, France, June 16, 2023. (Reuters)
Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla and owner of X, formerly known as Twitter, attends the Viva Technology conference dedicated to innovation and startups at the Porte de Versailles exhibition center in Paris, France, June 16, 2023. (Reuters)
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Elon Musk Sues OpenAI for Abandoning Original Mission for Profit

Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla and owner of X, formerly known as Twitter, attends the Viva Technology conference dedicated to innovation and startups at the Porte de Versailles exhibition center in Paris, France, June 16, 2023. (Reuters)
Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla and owner of X, formerly known as Twitter, attends the Viva Technology conference dedicated to innovation and startups at the Porte de Versailles exhibition center in Paris, France, June 16, 2023. (Reuters)

Elon Musk has sued ChatGPT-maker OpenAI and its CEO Sam Altman, saying they abandoned the startup's original mission to develop artificial intelligence for the benefit of humanity and not for profit.

The lawsuit filed late on Thursday in San Francisco is a culmination to the billionaire's long-simmering opposition to the startup he co-founded and has since become the face of generative AI, partly due to the billions of dollars in funding from Microsoft.

Musk alleged a breach of contract, saying Altman and co-founder Greg Brockman originally approached him to make an open source, non-profit company, but the startup established in 2015 is now focused on making money.

Recounting OpenAI's founding, Musk said the three men had agreed to work on artificial general intelligence (AGI), a concept that machines could handle tasks like a human, but in a way that would "benefit humanity", according to the lawsuit.

OpenAI would also work in opposition to Google, which Musk believed was developing AGI for profit and would pose grave risks.

Instead, OpenAI "set the founding agreement aflame" in 2023 when it released its most powerful language model GPT-4 as essentially a Microsoft product, the lawsuit alleged.

Musk has sought a court ruling that would compel OpenAI to make its research and technology available to the public and prevent the startup from using its assets, including GPT-4, for the financial gains of Microsoft or any individual.

OpenAI, Microsoft and Musk did not respond to Reuters requests for comment.

The billionaire is also seeking a ruling that GPT-4 and a new and more advanced technology called Q* would be considered AGI and therefore outside of Microsoft's license to OpenAI.

Reuters in November was first to report on Q* and warnings from OpenAI researchers about a powerful AI discovery.

Musk, who runs Tesla and rocket maker SpaceX and bought Twitter for $44 billion in October 2022, stepped down from OpenAI's board in 2018 and has on several occasions called for regulation on AI.

OpenAI's tie-up with Microsoft is under antitrust scrutiny in the United States and Britain following the startup's boardroom battle last year that resulted in the sudden ouster and return of Altman and the creation of a new temporary board.

The startup is planning to appoint new board members in March, the Washington Post reported on Thursday. Microsoft said in November it would have a non-voting, observer seat on the board.

Some legal experts said Musk's allegations of breach of contract, which is partly based on an email between Musk and Altman, could fail to hold up in court.

While contracts can be formed through a series of emails, the lawsuit cites an email that appears to look like a proposal and a "one-sided discussion", said Brian Quinn, a law professor at Boston College Law School.

"To the extent Musk is claiming that the single e-mail in Exhibit 2 is the 'contract', he will fall well short," Quinn said.

Musk's xAI

Musk has mounted a rival AI effort with his startup xAI, which is made up of engineers hired from some of the top US technology firms such as Google and Microsoft that he hopes to challenge.

The startup started rolling out its ChatGPT competitor Grok for Premium+ subscribers of social media platform X in December and aims to create what Musk has said would be a "maximum truth-seeking AI".

The billionaire, who has called AI a "double-edged sword", was among a group of AI experts and industry executives that last year called for a six-month pause in developing systems more powerful than OpenAI's GPT-4, citing great risks to humanity and society.

Since its debut, ChatGPT has been adopted by companies for a wide range of tasks from summarizing documents to writing computer code, setting off a race among Big Tech companies to launch their own offerings based on generative AI.


Dell Rides on the AI Wave to New Record High

This photograph shows Dell Technologies' logo during the Mobile World Congress (MWC), the telecom industry's biggest annual gathering, in Barcelona on February 28, 2024. (AFP)
This photograph shows Dell Technologies' logo during the Mobile World Congress (MWC), the telecom industry's biggest annual gathering, in Barcelona on February 28, 2024. (AFP)
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Dell Rides on the AI Wave to New Record High

This photograph shows Dell Technologies' logo during the Mobile World Congress (MWC), the telecom industry's biggest annual gathering, in Barcelona on February 28, 2024. (AFP)
This photograph shows Dell Technologies' logo during the Mobile World Congress (MWC), the telecom industry's biggest annual gathering, in Barcelona on February 28, 2024. (AFP)

Dell Technologies shares surged 25% to hit a record high on Friday, following an upbeat annual forecast that indicated the tech equipment maker was benefiting from the AI boom.

The stock climbed to $118.8, and was set to add $17.7 billion to the company's market value and on track to register its best intra-day performance.

The surge provides further evidence that rising AI adoption is driving gains across enterprise technology vendors, and adds to the frenzy on Wall Street following Nvidia's stunning rally.

"We have positioned ourselves well in AI," COO Jeff Clarke said on Thursday, noting that more customers were demanding PCs and servers with AI capabilities.

Orders for the company's AI-optimized servers, including the flagship PowerEdge XE9680, jumped 40% sequentially in the fourth quarter, Clarke said.

At least nine brokerages raised their price targets on Dell after the results. Currently, over three-fourths of the analysts have a "buy" or higher rating with a median target price of $113.

More than 31 million Dell shares had changed hands as of 10:40 a.m. Eastern time, more than seven times the stock's 30-day average trading volume.

"Dell's AI business showed strong progress on key metrics... commentary on the PC market was similar to HP's: that a rebound is coming, but it is being pushed out to the second half of the year," said analysts at Bernstein.

PC and enterprise technology vendor HP's sales declined for a seventh straight quarter in the most recent three-month period.

The recent upside in the business comes after Dell struggled for most part of the last two years as worldwide computer sales sharply declined. While revenue fell less-than-expected in its fourth quarter, annual revenue dropped for the first time since re-listing in 2018.

Dell forecast revenue between $91 billion and $95 billion for its current fiscal year ending January 2025, largely above analysts' average estimate of $92.07 billion.


European Consumers Challenge Meta Paid Service as Privacy 'Smokescreen'

Meta has reaped rich financial rewards by selling its users' data to advertisers, but its model has pit it against EU regulators. Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP/File
Meta has reaped rich financial rewards by selling its users' data to advertisers, but its model has pit it against EU regulators. Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP/File
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European Consumers Challenge Meta Paid Service as Privacy 'Smokescreen'

Meta has reaped rich financial rewards by selling its users' data to advertisers, but its model has pit it against EU regulators. Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP/File
Meta has reaped rich financial rewards by selling its users' data to advertisers, but its model has pit it against EU regulators. Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP/File

Consumer groups from eight EU countries lodged complaints on Thursday against Meta, accusing the US company of illegally processing user data and using its "pay or consent" system as a "smokescreen" for privacy breaches.
Meta has reaped rich financial rewards by selling Facebook and Instagram user data to advertisers, but its business model has pit the US-based firm against EU regulators over data privacy, AFP said.
In November, Meta launched a "pay or consent" system allowing users to withhold use of their data for ad targeting in exchange for a monthly fee -- a model already facing two challenges from privacy and consumer advocates.
Announcing the latest action, the European Consumer Organization (BEUC) called the system "a smokescreen to obscure the real problem of massive, illegal data processing of users which goes on regardless of what users choose."
Eight consumer groups in the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia and Spain are filing complaints with their local data protection authorities, the Brussels-based umbrella body said in a statement.
The groups argue that Meta is still violating the European Union's mammoth general data protection regulation, which has been at the root of EU court cases against the online giant.
"It's time for data protection authorities to stop Meta's unfair data processing and its infringing of people's fundamental rights," said Ursula Pachl, BEUC deputy director general.
BEUC in a report said that Meta is violating the EU data law's principles that demand transparency as well as limiting how much user data it processes and what it is used for.
"Meta seems to be of the opinion that in order for the company to earn money with advertising, it is justified to collect any imaginable data on consumers' activities, location, personalities, behavior, attitudes and emotions," the report said.
"In reality, the massive exploitation of the private lives of hundreds of millions of European consumers for commercial gain fails to respect various fundamental principles of the GDPR."
Flurry of complaints
The Silicon Valley company allows users of Instagram and Facebook in Europe to pay between 10 and 13 euros (around $11 and $14) a month to opt out of data sharing.
Under the GDPR law, consent must be freely given but BEUC argues that its model coerces consumers into accepting Meta's processing of their personal data.
"The company also fails to show that the fee it imposes on consumers who do not consent is indeed necessary, which is a requirement stipulated by" an EU top court.
"Under these circumstances, the choice about how consumers want their data to be processed becomes meaningless and is therefore not free," the report said.
The challenges are the latest in a cat-and-mouse game between the EU and Meta.
The EU's data watchdog, the EDPB, in December told Meta it could not use the personal data of users for targeted ads without their explicit consent.
The EDPB is due to decide in the next few weeks whether a fee system like Meta's violates the bloc's data privacy laws.
Thursday's complaint is the third against Meta's "pay or consent" scheme.
BEUC in November said together with 19 of its members that they had launched a joint complaint with Europe's network of consumer protection authorities against the system.
Before that, the privacy group NOYB, which has won countless victories against Meta and others, filed a complaint.


Meta’s Zuckerberg Discusses Mixed Reality Devices, AI with LG Leaders in South Korea 

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, speaks to journalist after meeting Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the latter's official residence in Tokyo, Japan, 27 February 2024 (issued 28 February 2024). (EPA)
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, speaks to journalist after meeting Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the latter's official residence in Tokyo, Japan, 27 February 2024 (issued 28 February 2024). (EPA)
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Meta’s Zuckerberg Discusses Mixed Reality Devices, AI with LG Leaders in South Korea 

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, speaks to journalist after meeting Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the latter's official residence in Tokyo, Japan, 27 February 2024 (issued 28 February 2024). (EPA)
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, speaks to journalist after meeting Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the latter's official residence in Tokyo, Japan, 27 February 2024 (issued 28 February 2024). (EPA)

Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday met LG Electronics executives to discuss a stronger partnership in extended reality (XR) devices as well as potential cooperation in artificial intelligence (AI), LG said.

Zuckerberg arrived in South Korea late on Tuesday and is widely expected to hold talks on AI and meet with President Yoon Suk Yeol and heads of the country's technology powerhouses.

He held discussions with LG Electronics CEO William Cho and parent company LG Corp COO Kwon Bong-seok about business strategy related to next-generation XR device development, LG Electronics said in a statement.

Cho also expressed interest in Meta's large language model-based AI technology and discussed possible on-device AI cooperation, his company said. Cho has previously said LG Electronics is looking for opportunities in XR.

Meta launched its latest mixed-reality headset, Quest 3, in June before rival Apple ramped up competition this month with its Vision Pro device.

It has also been intensifying AI efforts this year including plans for a custom chip and adding AI functions to products.

Zuckerberg is on his first known visit to South Korea in about 10 years. It comes as part of a tour of Asian countries that includes Japan and India, South Korean media reported.

He was due to meet President Yoon as well as Samsung Electronics Chairman Jay Y. Lee, said a government source with knowledge of the matter, declining to be identified as they were not authorized to speak to media.

Zuckerberg is widely expected to discuss AI chip supply and expanding ecosystems for generative AI during his South Korea visit, as Meta seeks to get generative AI technology into its core social media products and hardware devices this year.

Meta plans to deploy into its data centers this year a new version of a custom chip aimed at supporting its AI push, Reuters reported this month. It also plans to secure about 350,000 H100 graphics processing units from leading AI chipmaker Nvidia by end-year to support the push.


Saudi Minister of Communications, Information Technology Meets with Qatari Counterpart

During the meeting, the two ministers discussed ways to expand the strategic partnership between the two countries. SPA
During the meeting, the two ministers discussed ways to expand the strategic partnership between the two countries. SPA
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Saudi Minister of Communications, Information Technology Meets with Qatari Counterpart

During the meeting, the two ministers discussed ways to expand the strategic partnership between the two countries. SPA
During the meeting, the two ministers discussed ways to expand the strategic partnership between the two countries. SPA

Saudi Minister of Communications and Information Technology Eng. Abdullah bin Amer Al-Swaha has met in Doha with Qatari Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mohammed Al-Mannai.
During the meeting on Tuesday, they discussed ways to expand the strategic partnership between the two countries in the field of digital government and digital economy and to enhance the innovation and entrepreneurship system.

This is in line with the aspirations of the Saudi-Qatari Coordination Council to support and strengthen the partnership between the two countries.
The meeting was attended by several leaders of national technology companies in the fields of business, digital transformation, digital health solutions, and others.


Zuckerberg Meets Japan PM in Tokyo to Discuss AI

FILE PHOTO: Meta's CEO Mark Zuckerberg attends a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing at the US Capitol in Washington, US, January 31, 2024. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Meta's CEO Mark Zuckerberg attends a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing at the US Capitol in Washington, US, January 31, 2024. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/File Photo
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Zuckerberg Meets Japan PM in Tokyo to Discuss AI

FILE PHOTO: Meta's CEO Mark Zuckerberg attends a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing at the US Capitol in Washington, US, January 31, 2024. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Meta's CEO Mark Zuckerberg attends a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing at the US Capitol in Washington, US, January 31, 2024. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/File Photo

Meta Platforms Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg discussed artificial intelligence issues with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Tuesday during the Facebook founder's trip through Asia.
"We had a good, productive conversation about AI and the future of technology," Zuckerberg said in brief comments to reporters at the prime minister's residence in Tokyo. He left without taking questions.
The meeting followed reports that Zuckerberg would visit South Korea at the end of this month to discuss AI with Samsung Electronics chairman, Jay Y. Lee, and possibly meet South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol.
Meta, the operator of Facebook, last week confirmed Zuckerberg was planning to visit South Korea.
Japan's government and corporate sector are racing to catch up in AI development. In the past year, Kishida has met with OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang to discuss AI regulation and infrastructure.


Microsoft Announces Principles to Foster Innovation, Competition in AI

 Brad Smith, vice chair and president of Microsoft, speaks at the Mobile World Congress (MWC), in Barcelona, Spain February 26, 2024. (Reuters)
Brad Smith, vice chair and president of Microsoft, speaks at the Mobile World Congress (MWC), in Barcelona, Spain February 26, 2024. (Reuters)
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Microsoft Announces Principles to Foster Innovation, Competition in AI

 Brad Smith, vice chair and president of Microsoft, speaks at the Mobile World Congress (MWC), in Barcelona, Spain February 26, 2024. (Reuters)
Brad Smith, vice chair and president of Microsoft, speaks at the Mobile World Congress (MWC), in Barcelona, Spain February 26, 2024. (Reuters)

Microsoft President Brad Smith on Monday announced a set of principles to foster innovation and competition in artificial intelligence in recognition of its role as a market leader in this technology, a move that could stave off worries about its dominance.

The move by the US tech giant came amid concerns from rivals and antitrust regulators about Microsoft's market power, boosted recently by its collaboration with ChatGPT creator OpenAI.

Microsoft has pushed chatbots into its core products such as its Office software and Bing search engine over the past year, attracting business customers eager to try the tech industry's next breakthrough.

"As we enter a new era based on artificial intelligence, we believe this is the best time to articulate principles that will govern how we will operate our AI datacenter infrastructure and other important AI assets around the world," Smith said in a speech to be delivered at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The AI Access Principles aim "in part to address Microsoft's growing role and responsibility as an AI innovator and a market leader", he said.

"By publishing these principles, we are committing ourselves to providing the broad technology access needed to empower organizations and individuals around the world to develop and use AI in ways that will serve the public good," Smith said.

The principles include providing access and support for AI developers, making AI models and development tools broadly available to software applications developers around the world, and making available public APIs (Application Programming Interface) to enable developers to access and use AI models on Microsoft Azure.

Microsoft will also not use non-public information or data from the building and deployment of developers' AI models in Microsoft Azure to compete with those models, and also allow Microsoft Azure customers to easily export and transfer their data to another cloud provider.


Top Tech Investors to Participate in 3rd Edition of LEAP in Riyadh

The event will feature more than 1,000 top speakers at 10 different stages. SPA
The event will feature more than 1,000 top speakers at 10 different stages. SPA
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Top Tech Investors to Participate in 3rd Edition of LEAP in Riyadh

The event will feature more than 1,000 top speakers at 10 different stages. SPA
The event will feature more than 1,000 top speakers at 10 different stages. SPA

LEAP is slated to hold its third edition, from March 4 to 7 at Riyadh Exhibition and Convention Center, Malham, under the theme “Into New Worlds”.
Organized by the Ministry of Communications & Information Technology, the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming, and Drones, and Tahaluf company, the event will feature more than 1,000 top speakers at 10 different stages, according to a statement from the organizing committee.
LEAP will host the Investor Stage, in which world’s top investors will discuss innovative investment opportunities. This stage will also address topics such as the intersection of technology with government policies and innovation, and successful financing strategies.
It will also feature the Startup Stage, in which expert speakers such as Blossom Accelerator CEO & Founder Emon Shakoor, Raiven Capital Founding Partner Supreet Singh Manchanda, and Adaverse Founding Partner Vincent Li will discuss startup growth and innovation.
Sessions will address topics such as business planning and strategies, nurturing concepts into viable startup ideas, and the importance of enhancing user experience.
According to the statement, the Rocket Fuel Pitch competition returns at the third edition of LEAP, with total prizes exceeding $1,000,000 in six categories: LEAP Award $250,000 for the strongest, most outstanding startup across the whole competition, Shooting Star Award $150,000 for the early stage startup beginning its journey, the Aviatrix Award $150,000 for the best, most innovative startup pioneered by women founders, Technology for Humanity Award $150,000 for the startup that best embodies the “tech for humanity” spirit of LEAP, the Into New Worlds Award $150,000 for the most impressive startup occupying the Metaverse and Web 3.0 space, and the Artificial Intelligence Award $150,000 for the startup that presents the most exciting, ground-breaking usage of artificial intelligence.
The third edition of LEAP, held in partnership with the Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority (Monsha'at), and strategic partner STC, will be attended by world leading tech companies like Google, Microsoft, Oracle, Dell, Cisco, Avaya, SAP, ServiceNow, Ericsson, Amazon Web Services, IBM, Alibaba Group, and Huawei.


'Haunted' ChatGPT Cranks out Gibberish for Hours

ChatGPT creator OpenAI said a software tweak had introduced a bug that caused its generative AI tool to malfunction. SEBASTIEN BOZON / AFP
ChatGPT creator OpenAI said a software tweak had introduced a bug that caused its generative AI tool to malfunction. SEBASTIEN BOZON / AFP
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'Haunted' ChatGPT Cranks out Gibberish for Hours

ChatGPT creator OpenAI said a software tweak had introduced a bug that caused its generative AI tool to malfunction. SEBASTIEN BOZON / AFP
ChatGPT creator OpenAI said a software tweak had introduced a bug that caused its generative AI tool to malfunction. SEBASTIEN BOZON / AFP

ChatGPT spewed nonsensical answers to users' queries for hours Tuesday into Wednesday before eventually returning to its senses.
OpenAI, which makes the world-leading generative artificial intelligence (AI) tool, said a software tweak had "introduced a bug with how the model processes language", AFP said.
"Upon identifying the cause of this incident, we rolled out a fix and confirmed that the incident was resolved," it added.
ChatGPT was giving "peculiar" responses, generating non-existent words, incomplete sentences and general gobbledygook, developers using the tool said in a discussion forum on the OpenAI website.
"It gives me meaningless words followed by a bizarre list," one developer lamented.
"It feels as if my GPT is haunted or something has been compromised, either on my end or at OpenAI's (end)."
It wasn't until more than 16 hours had passed that OpenAI updated the page with a message that ChatGPT was operating normally.

The San Francisco-based technology firm replied to an AFP query by directing it to the ChatGPT status page.
OpenAI recently concluded a deal with investors that reportedly valued the start-up at $80 billion or more after a roller-coaster year for the tech firm.
The agreement, reported by The New York Times but not yet confirmed by OpenAI, would mean the value of the company -- a world leader in generative AI -- would have nearly tripled in under 10 months.
OpenAI led a revolution in AI when it placed its ChatGPT program online in late 2022.
The immediate success of the interface sparked tremendous interest in the cutting-edge technology, capable of producing text, sounds and images upon demand.
OpenAI -- which also makes the image-generating DALL-E -- recently released a new tool named Sora, which can create realistic videos of up to a minute long via simple user prompts.
Microsoft has invested around $13 billion in OpenAI, using the start-up's technology in its search engine Bing and other services.
Microsoft is locked in fierce competition with Google to roll out new AI-infused tools, to the point that the US Federal Trade Commission in January launched an investigation into the enormous investments by Microsoft, Google and Amazon in such specialized start-ups.


Nvidia Hits $2 Trillion Valuation as AI Frenzy Grips Wall Street

 This photograph taken in Paris on February 23, 2024 shows a US multinational Nvidia's graphic processing unit (GPU). (AFP)
This photograph taken in Paris on February 23, 2024 shows a US multinational Nvidia's graphic processing unit (GPU). (AFP)
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Nvidia Hits $2 Trillion Valuation as AI Frenzy Grips Wall Street

 This photograph taken in Paris on February 23, 2024 shows a US multinational Nvidia's graphic processing unit (GPU). (AFP)
This photograph taken in Paris on February 23, 2024 shows a US multinational Nvidia's graphic processing unit (GPU). (AFP)

Nvidia hit $2 trillion in market value for the first time on Friday, riding on an insatiable demand for its chips that made the Silicon Valley firm the pioneer of the generative artificial intelligence boom.

The milestone followed another bumper revenue forecast from the chip designer that drove up its market value by $277 billion on Thursday - Wall Street's largest one-day gain on record.

Its rapid ascent in the past year has led analysts to draw parallels to the picks and shovels providers during the gold rush of 1800s as Nvidia's chips are used by almost all generative AI players from chatGPT-maker OpenAI to Google.

That has helped the company vault from $1 trillion to $2 trillion market value in around eight months - the fastest among US companies and in less than half the time it took tech giants Apple and Microsoft.

"For AI companies today - the leaders of the sector - what's going to be binding for them is not going to be demand. It's just going to be their capacity to answer the surging demand," said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote Bank.

Nvidia's shares were last trading up about 2%. They had risen as much as 4.9% to a record high $823.9 earlier in the session, giving the world's fourth most valuable company a market capitalization of $2.05 trillion.

Its shares have surged nearly 60% this year, after more than tripling in value in 2023. The chip designer's 2024 share surge has been crucial to the S&P 500's gains, contributing to more than a quarter of the stock index's rise this year.

Its latest market-beating forecast of a whopping 233% growth in first-quarter revenue helped global markets notch record highs on Thursday.

The breakneck growth has drawn analysts and investors from far and wide to Nvidia.

"I'm a European fund manager, but I must have had more emails about their results than I've had about any other set. There have been calls, every broker doing 10-minute debriefs, it's been mind boggling," said one investor, who declined to be named.

Despite the share surge, Nvidia's valuation has fallen due to rapid increases in analysts' estimates. It has a 12-month forward price-to-earnings ratio of about 31, down from 49 times a year ago, according to LSEG data.

"Leading cloud computing companies plan to boost their capital expenditure to satisfy demand for AI training and inference, and it appears that virtually all this spending will fall into Nvidia's pockets," said Brian Colello, a strategist at Morningstar.

"We anticipate revenue will rise by a couple of billion each quarter throughout fiscal 2025 for Nvidia as more chip supply comes online."