All Tech stories

Could vending machines be scanning your face?

Nowadays, you can’t even grab a sneaky little midday Mars bar without being silently judged by a dang machine.  

What happened: Students at the University of Waterloo are revolting against Mars-owned campus vending machines after discovering the machines were scanning users’ faces without their knowledge. 

Explain It Like I'm Five: AI tokens and context windows

What are AI tokens?

The smallest units of information that AI breaks words and sentences into to make them easier to process. How many tokens an AI can process at once is called a “context window,” and it can include multiple prompts and requests, letting a system consider several things you might have told it at once.

The AI boom is getting more specialized

You know what they say: bot of all trades, master of none.

Google’s new AI model has an image problem

Google’s newest AI model may be the company’s “most capable” yet, but it might need to re-take some history classes. 

What happened: Google has paused its Gemini AI model from generating images of people after it produced inaccurate gender and racial depictions of historical figures — a flaw the company says was an unintended consequence of prioritizing diversity in the model’s training. 

All hail Nvidia, king of the markets

Nvidia just had the type of earnings call that makes investors’ eyes pop out of their sockets like a cartoon wolf. 

What happened: The chip designer shattered estimates by reporting a 265% surge in quarterly revenue and a 769% increase in its net income, as demand for its industry-leading AI chips continues to soar. You don’t need a six-figure MBA to know that that’s very good. 

Walmart has big plans for the small screen

Walmart's new acquisition isn’t about making money selling TVs — it’s about selling the ads people watch on them.

The law locks out LockBit hackers

A shadowy international syndicate of cybercriminals just got a taste of its own medicine. 

What happened: Authorities have seized control of the notorious ransomware gang LockBit’s web infrastructure after a successful operation led by the U.K.'s National Crime Agency. Law enforcement agencies from around the world, including Canada, contributed to the takedown.

Explain It Like I'm Five: Data clean rooms

What is a data clean room?

A secure platform where companies can share and compare their customer data. 

Why would you need a special platform for that?

Most of what’s shared in a clean room is personally identifiable data — email addresses, purchase data, IP addresses — that a company has but isn’t allowed to share. A clean room ensures that sensitive data brought in doesn’t come out, which is generally considered to be safe under most privacy regulations.

OpenAI’s new video generator is scary good

OpenAI’s video generator brings two words to mind: “wow” and “uh-oh.”

Travel chatbots cause turbulence

You can now add “malfunctioning AI chatbot” to your list of potential travel headaches alongside carry-on baggage fees, screaming babies, and doors that blow off in mid-air

What happened: Air Canada must reimburse a B.C. flyer $650.88 after a provincial small claims tribunal ruled that the airline’s chatbot misled the customer about the cost of his flight to Toronto.