Elon Musk finally admits Tesla is building its own custom AI chips

And gives us the news that god-like machines will take over within a decade

Elon Musk has revealed that Tesla, his electric automobile company, is developing its own custom chips for its driverless cars.

Musk revealed the effort at a Tesla party that took place at the intelligence conference NIPS. Attendees at the party told The Register that Musk said "I wanted to make it clear that Tesla is serious about AI, both on the software and hardware fronts. We are developing custom AI hardware chips".

Musk offered no details of his company's plans, but did tell the party that “Jim is developing specialized AI hardware that we think will be the best in the world."

"Jim" is Jim Keller, a well-known chip engineer who was lead architect on a range of silicon at AMD and Apple and joined Tesla in 2016. Keller later joined Musk on a panel discussing AI at the Tesla Party alongside Andrej Karpathy, Tesla’s Director of AI and chaired by Shivon Zilis, a partner and founding member at Bloomberg Beta, a VC firm.

Musk is well known for his optimism about driverless cars and pessimism about whether AI can operate safely. At the party he voiced a belief that “about half of new cars built ten years from now will be autonomous”. He added his opinion that artificial general intelligence (AGI) will arrive in about seven or eight years.

Stephen Merity, an AI researcher at Salesforce and attendee at the party said that Musk's belief that AGI machines replacing human workers would be a problem before drivers lose their jobs to self-driving vehicles was an “insanely optimistic estimate”.

In his remarks, Musk acknowledged the fact that he has repeatedly “[sounded] the alarm bell again and again about the dangers of AI” and people have responded with “there he goes again” and "stop being a buzzkill".

“But I think there are a lot of ways that AI can be useful short of being god-like," he concluded.

The Register has sought details from Tesla and will update this story if they are forthcoming. ®

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Microsoft pledges Malaysian Azure region after winning government cloud gig

Complete with availability zones, coming real soon now after it turns local kids onto the cloud

Microsoft has announced a new Azure region in Malaysia.

As is often the case, Microsoft hasn’t said when its new data centres will fire up or if they’ll offer a complete range of Azure services. The company has said that Azure, Microsoft 365 and the Dynamics 365 and Power Platform will be offered.

Microsoft has also pledged to build Availability Zones, suggesting at least three data centres will be constructed.

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Far-right internet haven Parler to be allowed back onto Apple's App Store with added content moderation

Social network for web outcasts can be downloaded again from next week for iThings, we're told

Parler is set to return to Apple's App Store next week after the social network agreed to moderate hate speech on its platform.

In a letter [PDF] to Congress on Monday, Apple’s senior director of government affairs in the Americas, Tim Powderly, confirmed a duly updated version of Parler will be allowed into the iGiant's software souk.

The decision comes months after the self-described “free speech social network” was deplatformed by Big Tech over concerns it was used by far-right netizens to spread hate speech and whip up violence, particularly around the January 6 insurrection attempt at the US Capitol.

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Lock up your Peloton smart treadmills, watchdog warns families, following one death, numerous injuries

Trendy exercise gear 'poses serious risks to children', says CPSC

America's Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has urged owners of the hi-tech Peloton Tread+ treadmill to use caution after a child was killed by one of the machines last month.

"CPSC is aware of 39 incidents including one death," the US government agency said in a statement on Saturday.

"CPSC staff believes the Peloton Tread+ poses serious risks to children for abrasions, fractures, and death.

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Who knew Uncle Sam had strike teams for SolarWinds, Exchange flaws? Well, anyway, they are disbanded

Lessons learned and mission accomplished, apparently

The US government's response groups for dealing with recent SolarWinds and Microsoft Exchange vulnerabilities have reached the end of the road.

In a statement on Monday, US Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Technology Anne Neuberger said the two Unified Coordination Groups (UCGs) formed in January and March respectively will be disbanded.

"Due to the vastly increased patching and reduction in victims, we are standing down the current UCG surge efforts and will be handling further responses through standard incident management procedures," said Neuberger.

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'There was no one driving that vehicle': Texas cops suspect Autopilot involved after two men killed in Tesla crash

Model S took corner at high speed, left road, and smashed into a tree

Updated Authorities are investigating a Tesla crash in Texas in which two men were killed this weekend. The authorities are probing whether the vehicle was operating in its Autopilot mode with neither occupant in control.

According to reports, the collision happened at 23:25 local time on 17 April in the Houston suburb of The Woodlands.

Neither of the two unnamed victims – born in 1962 and 1951 – were in the driver's seat at the time of the accident, according to Sgt Cynthia Umanzor of the Harris County Constable Precinct 4, who spoke to local TV station Khou-TV (geo-restricted).

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WordPress core contributor proposes treating Google FLoC as a security vulnerability

Let's opt every WordPress site out of FLoC. Nice idea, but security update? Really?

A proposal by a WordPress core contributor to treat Google's FLoC ad tech as a security vulnerability, and therefore backport an automatic opt-out to previous WordPress versions, shows the depth of community opposition to the technology.

FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts) is Google’s scheme to replace third-party cookies with an ad personalisation system based on groups of users. It has run into wide opposition from privacy advocates and browser makers, but Google has nonetheless pressed ahead with trials in the current version of Chrome.

Now a WordPress Core contributor has proposed treating “FLoC as a security concern.”

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Brit Salesforce exec Gavin Patterson becomes transfer target for controversial European Super League

Ex-BT boss is familiar with the football lifestyle – being paid millions for doing very little

Gavin Patterson, former boss of BT, is in the frame to lead a proposed European football league at the centre of a storm of criticism.

According to Sky News, Patterson was approached informally several weeks ago about the role.

Proposals for the European Super League – which UK football clubs Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur have agreed to join – include a "new midweek competition" with teams continuing to "compete in their respective national leagues". AC Milan, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus and Real Madrid have also agreed to join the controversial league, which plans say will have 20 teams: the 12 founding members plus the three unnamed clubs they expect to join soon, and five teams who qualify annually according to their domestic achievements.

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Won't somebody please think of the children!!! UK to mount fresh assault on end-to-end encryption in Facebook

Change the record, nobody's fooled by this now

UK Home Secretary Priti Patel will badmouth Facebook's use of end-to-end encryption on Monday evening as she links the security technology with paedophilia, terrorism, organised crime, and so on.

The ever-popular politician will say at the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) event: "Sadly, at a time when we need to be taking more action, Facebook are pursuing end-to-end encryption plans that place the good work and progress achieved so far [on fighting the issue of child abuse] in jeopardy."

Patel's speech is intended to kickstart a fresh round of government campaigning against end-to-end encryption, as previewed by Wired a few weeks ago.

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UK digital secretary Oliver Dowden starts national security probe into proposed Arm-Nvidia merger

Share price immediately dips for GPU-maker

The proposed sale of Arm to Nvidia looks a bit more tenuous today after UK digital secretary Oliver Dowden issued a Public Interest Intervention Notice (PIIN) indicating he may intervene in the sale on national security grounds.

The disptach of the PIIN has kicked-off a further degree of scrutiny, with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) instructed to include any potential national security concerns in its upcoming report on the merger. These would be obtained via consultation with relevant third parties, and come as an addition to its existing focus on jurisdictional and competition issues.

Depending on the outcome of the review, Dowden can choose to clear the transaction, impose certain conditions, or refer the it to a more intensive “phase two” investigation.

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Microsoft bows to the inevitable and takes Visual Studio 64-bit for 2022 version

When 4GB is just not quite enough

Microsoft is to drag veteran code wrangler Visual Studio kicking and screaming into the modern world with a 64-bit version.

It has been a while coming. Visual Studio dates back to the last century and started out life as Visual Studio 97 (replete with the likes of J++) before version 6.0 turned up to round out the 1990s. Microsoft stuck with naming by year thereafter (aside from a brief dalliance with slapping everything with the .NET moniker at the start of this century).

Which brings us to Visual Studio 2022 and one of the larger overhauls for the suite, not least of which is the long-awaited move to a 64-bit application.

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Codecov dev tool warns of stolen credentials from compromised script, undiscovered for two months

Environment variables full of secrets uploaded to attacker server

Codecov, makers of a code coverage tool used by over 29,000 customers, has warned that a compromised script may have stolen credentials over a period of two months, before it was discovered a few weeks ago.

Code coverage measures how much of an application’s code is the subject of unit tests, the idea being that the higher the percentage, the more reliable the application is likely to be. It is a useful but imperfect metric, since it does not take into account the quality of the tests.

Codecov is a cloud-based tool which integrates with GitHub, GitLab, Atlassian Bitbucket, or any Git-based repository. Developers run tests using their own CI (Continuous Integration) tool and then upload the results to Codecov using a tool called Bash Uploader. Codecov then generates a report which is accessed on its site. Source code itself is not stored on Codecov’s site, but the tool does require read access to a repository in order to display code alongside reports on demand.

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