January 13, 2022
Photo: Ana Lanza/Unsplash
Chip-making equipment and talent is expensive. TSMC, the engine behind an enormous amount of the chips that run the world, announced plans Thursday to invest up to $44 billion in capital expenditures this year; that’s almost as much as is called for in the U.S. chip subsidies bill that’s been stalled in Congress for what feels like forever.
Representatives from some of the biggest tech companies in the U.S. spent more than five hours Thursday locked in discussions with the White House about what to do about a pressing problem: the security of the open-source projects that are the foundation of the modern economy.
This is not a new problem; the Heartbleed OpenSSL vulnerability in 2014 should have been enough of a wake-up call for both the government and private industry, but almost eight years later, here we are. Thursday’s summit was prompted by the discovery last month of the Log4j vulnerability, and as GitHub Chief Security Officer Mike Hanley told Protocol Enterprise after getting out of the meeting, “there will be another big deal at some point in the future that we’re going to need to respond to.”
One key conclusion reached by the group? Open-source projects can’t be treated like corporations affected by the Biden administration’s May 2021 cybersecurity executive order, which participants otherwise recognized as an important step forward.
Still, consumers of open-source software — almost all modern enterprise tech vendors and buyers at this point — also need to do their part to improve open-source security.
Meetings such as Thursday’s summit only help if they are followed by concrete action. The White House is expected to follow up in the next few days with some specific proposals as well as a plan for a second meeting involving major tech CEOs, according to several participants.
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Ebay chief artificial intelligence officer, Nitzan Mekel-Bobrov, is on a mission to make eBay what he calls an “AI-first company.” What exactly does that look like?
“You’ll be seeing more products rolling out, especially on our mobile platform, to close the gap between ecommerce and physical retail to enable buyers to experience products in an immersive way so they have full confidence in their buying decision,” said Mekel-Bobrov in an interview this week with Protocol. The December launch of its AI-based 3D product view technology was just the beginning of eBay’s strategy to bring computer vision, natural-language processing, streaming and computer graphics to its site.
Getting to AI-first means taking domain-specific AI strategies used inside the marketing and advertising science teams and buyer experience divisions, and then “feeding into the broader enterprise-wide strategy around maturing our AI,” he said.
But that does not mean letting eBay-ers run rampant by using no-code and low-code AI tools without best practices and safeguards in place. Mekel-Bobrov is setting up an internal group to develop data and AI governance standards for use of low-code AI tech.
“We have to be very careful as we do this because we need to understand what’s being put into production in front of our customers,” he said. “With AI, the piece of software could be performing correctly, but you need to monitor it because the world changes and it’s reacting to the world.”
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Karen Pavlin is ServiceNow’s new chief equity and inclusion officer. Pavlin formerly led Accenture’s equality efforts as managing director and North America inclusion and diversity leader.
John Allessio has been named chief customer officer at Digital.ai, a DevOps management platform. Allessio formerly held customer-facing roles at IBM Software Group, Red Hat and PROS.
Dustin Grosse has been appointed chief marketing and strategy officer for Talend, a data integration and governance company. Grosse has held marketing roles at DocuSign and Microsoft.
Rob Dillon is the new CFO for data analytics company Incorta. Dillon formerly led Navis through its divestiture from Zebra Technologies.
Intel is reportedly building a new semiconductor factory in Ohio to bolster its manufacturing capability.
Databricks launched Lakehouse for Retail, an analytics platform that helps retailers gain insights from their data.
Databricks CEO Ali Ghodsi isn’t concerned about the cloud stock slide, saying growth rates will determine valuations. The company is widely expected to file for an IPO this year.
Cloudastructure, an infrastructure platform for video surveillance, is buying smart-parking startup Visionful.
Orca Security discovered a vulnerability in AWS CloudFormation that could have been used to leak sensitive files but was plugged through the responsible disclosure process, and it doesn’t appear to have been exploited.
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