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Chinese companies pay up to $14,000 a year to “hire” a virtual employee

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The development of people and virtual workers is becoming a quite lucrative business in china, to the point that there are companies that are already paying several thousand dollars a year for the hiring of virtual workers. According to Baidu, the number of virtual staffing-related projects it is working on has doubled in a year, and companies pay between 2,800 and $14,300 a year for enlisting the services of a digital employee.

These workers, according to CNBC, are a combination of animation, sound technology and machine learning, capable of actions ranging from singing to interacting in a live chat. Among the companies that hire their services are financial services companies, local tourism entities and state media. Meanwhile, the technology that develops them is improving, and the costs of creating them have fallen by about 80% since 2021. According to Baidu data, the virtual staffing sector is expected to grow by 50% per year until 2025.

An example of its growth and expansion is in the city of Beijing, which last August announced a plan for the development of a municipal virtual people development sector until 2025. Meanwhile, several central government ministers detailed a plan to incorporate more virtual reality. Among them, in the sectors related to communication and manufacturing. And the country’s latest five-year plan, announced last year, included a section calling for greater digitization of the economy, as well as augmented and virtual realities.

As we have mentioned, the communication sector is very interested in the use of virtual staff and how to generate content with it. Also Chinese brands, which are looking for alternative spokespersons after many celebrities have been plagued by personal scandals and tax evasion.

Meanwhile, in the country’s society, according to Kantar, at least 36% of consumers have seen the representation of a virtual influencer or a digital celebrity in the last year. Another 21% have seen a virtual person present a news program, or an event. And by 2023, 45% of advertisers say they are likely to use a virtual influencer or invite a virtual person to join their brand event.

Many of China’s big tech companies have already developed products related to the virtual human creation sector. One of them is the creator of the video and game streaming app bilibilione of the first to popularize the virtual persona industry in China.

This company kept the equipment that developed the virtual singer Luo Tianyi, whose image and sound are artificially generated. Last year, its creators improved the texture of his voice with an artificial intelligence algorithm for the singer, launched in 2012 and who has almost 3 million followers and has even performed at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Beijing, held last year.

Bilibili also has many “virtual presenters”, which are avatars of people using special technology. According to the company, since 2019, 230,000 virtual presenters have begun to broadcast from its platform, and the broadcast time of virtual presenters increased by 200% between 2021 and 2022.

Tencent is another of the big ones that is advancing in the sector. In their last presentation of results, their spokespersons pointed out that Tencent Cloud AI Digital Humansits division in charge of this, is in charge of providing chatbots to companies in the financial services and tourism sectors so that they have automated customer support. Next Studiosanother of its subsidiaries, has also developed a virtual singer and a digital sign language interpreter.

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PayPal will cut 2,000 positions, and NetApp, 960 jobs

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Lately not a week goes by without one or more technology companies announcing several hundred or thousands of layoffs. To date, many of the industry’s top heavyweights have already done so, including Meta, Alphabet, Salesforce, Microsoft, IBM, and SAP. And now it’s their turn to PayPal and NetAppthat have confirmed that they will lay off, respectively, 2,000 and 960 employees.

Layoffs at PayPal account for 7% of its workforce, and according to the Company CEO Dan SchulmanThe layoffs will take place over the next few weeks. They will not affect all departments equally, although for now it is unknown which will bear the most staff cuts.

According to Schulman, they will treat those who lose their employment “with the utmost respect and empathy, giving them generous compensation, getting involved in consulting where necessary and supporting them in their transitions«. The manager also thanked them for the important contributions they have made to PayPal. On the other hand, he has blamed the layoffs on the “complicated macroeconomic environment” in which the company finds itself.

Schulman has further stressed that they have had no choice but to cut staff, because they have made notable progress in adjusting their «cost structure, and focused resources on strategic priorities“, they still have “work to do” about.

As for the layoffs at NetAppwill occur over the next three months, and will reach 8% of your workforce. The company confirmed this workforce reduction by sending the relevant documentation to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The NetApp CEO George Kurian has assured employees in an email that the layoffs are due to NetApp having to cut costs due to worsening economic conditions, which has led to technology spending.”more conservative«. More or less the reasons that other CEOs have given to justify the reduction in staff, Kurian has stressed that they are not «immune to these problems“, and that “against this background“, must be”agile, meet short-term commitments, and prepare for long-term success«.

When the company presented its results for the second quarter of 2022, at the end of last October, it already warned that the economic situation was experiencing a slowdown, and that they saw more reluctance in companies when approving budgets, and more completeness in terms of approval levels. They also began to face longer sales cycles, and deals deferred to other quarters. So, Kurian already pointed out that they had decided to freeze hiring and reduce spending. The situation, in view of the layoffs, has not improved.

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Microsoft increases the staff of its artificial intelligence center in Barcelona by a hundred

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Microsoft aumenta en un centenar la plantilla de su centro de inteligencia artificial en Barcelona

After the company announced a total of 10,000 layoffs worldwide, representing 5% of its workforce, Microsoft is now announcing the hiring of 100 new employees for its artificial intelligence (AI) center in Barcelona. This new wave of hiring, which contrasts with the economic recession and job cuts in the technology sector, adds to the 80 people who have joined the center in recent months.

That Microsoft hires 100 new employees for its AI center is not trivial, since since its opening in September 2021 its activity and productivity based on the development of models on artificial intelligence have not stopped growing. And it is that this space, attached to the division WebXT (Web Experiences Team), works to improve services such as Azure, Bing or Windows.

Microsoft seeks to strengthen its technology hub in Barcelona by attracting talent in new vacancies for specialists in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Software Development and Data Science.

With implementations in software engineering, data science, and machine learning, new AI models and innovative web experiences can be developed. The goal is to create a diverse work team in gender, culture and nationalities.

The president of Microsoft Spain, Alberto Granadoshas appeared during an event organized by the New Economy Forum and has stated that the employment adjustment plan will not affect the data center projects that exist in our country, although they will give priority to certain areas in order to face new challenges and projects .

However, he values ​​the global layoffs as a conservative and positive lineafter having increased its workforce by more than 50% in recent years.

Granados has assured that the layoffs from Microsoft will neither reach Spain nor will they affect the construction of data centers in Madridas well as the launch of his cloud region. Similarly, it ensures that the data centers of Meco, Algete and San Sebastián de los Reyes will have a impact of 15,000 million euros in the national economy and will generate 50,000 jobs.

A clear commitment to AI

The AI ​​center in Barcelona is the fourth that Microsoft has opened in Europe, after those in London, Paris and Munich, the eighth in the world and the first in Spain. It must be taken into account that AI does not stop growing and that, in addition to having been declared ‘the word of the year’ by the FundéuRAE, it is expected to that ends up being fully integrated into the business structure and assuming a brutal transformative effect on the economy.

Since Microsoft announced its investment in Open AI, its commitment to the integration of all Technologys (such as ChatGPT) in its products is complete. Thus, it is sought that it can be applied in Azure or Power Point so that users could generate texts or images organically. The objective of the company in Spain, in the words of Granados himself, is to Mark new opportunities with various Ibex 35 companies.

The WebXT organization It works as a start-up environment where you work on challenges that allow you to improve the consumer experience through optimal products and services such as Bing, Edge and MS News.

Spain, core of digital talent

To speak of Spain is to do it one of the ten countries that most attract and retain digital talent, being the fourth country in Europe, after the United Kingdom, Germany and France, in number of professionals and developers in the cloud. All this represents 10% of professionals certified in advanced Technologys in Europe.

With its new AI center in Barcelona, ​​Microsoft seeks to make Spain and Catalonia a reference in the sector. His plan is to continue working in partnership with universities, research centers and technology companies to promote training in AI and Machine Learning Technologys.

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OpenAI launches a tool to catch those who use ChatGPT and other AIs to generate texts

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OpenAI has announced the launch of a tool to distinguish between human-generated texts and the created by Artificial Intelligence systems, such as ChatGPT and GPT-3. Is named OpenAI AI Text Classifier, and for now it is not excessively accurate, since it has a success rate of 26%. However, according to OpenAI, if used in combination with other systems, it can be useful in preventing users of text-generating AI systems from abusing them.

Until now, mostly because students were starting to cast texts created with ChatGPT as part of their homework. They have also used them in other areas, which has led various institutions to prohibit the use of ChatGPT on their networks and equipment. This is the case of several schools in the United States. They have done so out of fears of the impact they may have on student learning.

Among the entities that have banned ChatGPT is Stack Overflow, whose managers have decided that their users cannot share content generated with ChatGPT, alleging that Artificial Intelligence makes it very easy for users to flood their discussion forums with more than dubious answers to the questions posed.

In other words, their mission will be to help discover those who use texts generated by Artificial Intelligence, ensuring that they have written them, or any other human. Of course, as the company points out, it is best to use it as a complement to other systems for identifying the text source, instead of using it as a primary tool to identify if it is written by humans.

In addition, it is a classification tool considered initial by OpenAI, although the company has decided to launch it to obtain information from its users about its utility. In OpenAI they also assure that they hope to share improved systems in the future, although without specifying.

As with ChatGPT, OpenAI AI Text Classifier is an Artificial Intelligence language model trained with a multitude of publicly available text examples on the web. But unlike said tool, it is tuned to predict the probability that the text it analyzes is generated by any Artificial Intelligence model capable of generating text.

Specifically, OpenAI has trained this tool with text from 34 text generation systems from five different organizations, including OpenAI. This text was matched with somewhat similar human-written text on Wikipedia, websites pulled from links shared on Reddit, and a set of human-written samples compiled by an older OpenAI text generation system.

Text Classifier does not work, yes, with any type of text. You need me to have a minimum of 1,000 characters, or between 150 and 200 words. In addition, it does not detect plagiarism, and according to the company, it is more likely to fail to detect texts written by an AI if the text is written by children or in a language other than English. The latter is mainly due to the fact that the data with which the tool has been trained is fundamentally in English.

The tool, when analyzing a text, displays a response, which determines the probability that the text is or is not generated by Artificial Intelligence. Thus, it will classify it as “very unlikely” that it is generated by an AI when it believes that this probability is less than 10%; “unlikely”, when the probability of this being the case is between 10% and 45%; “not clear” if the probability that it was not written by a human is between 45% and 90%; “possibly” generated by AI if it has between 90% and 98% probability that it is so, and “probably” generated by an AI if the percentage probability exceeds 98%.

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