Today’s Cache | ChatGPT-rival Ernie bot meets the world, Starlink offers global roaming plan, and Microsoft warns of Russian cyber attacks

File photo of Baidu CEO Robin Li
| Photo Credit: AP

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ChatGPT-rival Ernie bot meets the world

Ernie, the AI chatbot being developed by Chinese internet giant Baidu made its debut on Thursday in spite of company CEO Robin Li admitting that the chatbot was not yet perfect. While investors were eagerly looking forward to a live demonstration of the chatbot they hope will overtake OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Li instead presented a recorded clip of Ernie’s capabilities. Shares dropped by around 10%, but the CEO insisted that 650 companies had already signed up to use the chatbot in their business functions.

Li confessed that there was a lot of pressure to ship the product quickly. While most chatbots work with English language text and prompts, Ernie will largely cater to Chinese users. The full form of Ernie is “Enhanced Representation of Knowledge Integration.”

Starlink offers global roaming plan

The Elon Musk-founded SpaceX has announced that its satellite internet service Starlink, has a new global roaming plan. The new plan is aimed at users traveling to locations where other forms of internet connectivity are poor in quality or simply not available. Tech outlet The Verge reported that the global roaming plan will cost about $200 per month, not including the cost of the Starlink device known as “Dishy.”

Starlink is currently pending regulatory approval in India, but is available in parts of the U.S., Canada, Western Europe, Australia, Japan, and South America. It was also rolled out for the use of Ukrainians after the country was invaded by Russia in 2022. In order to work, Starlink users need a clear and unobstructed view of the night sky.

Microsoft warns of Russian cyber attacks

In a research report, Microsoft warned that Russian hackers were preparing to launch cyber attacks against the organisations supporting Ukraine and its essential functions as the Russian army continues its invasion. Microsoft warned it was likely that Russian hackers would resort to ransomware-style attacks where attackers break into databases, encrypt the data, and extort money in exchange for returning access. They may also choose to simply wipe the data.

Microsoft in its report warned that not just Ukrainian organisations were at risk, but also civilian and military assets belonging to its partners such as America and other European allies.

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