We are 11 days deep into February and already, a lot has happened! Grab your favourite drink and tune in for Sunday Rundown #103 🙂

EU’s AI Act passes last big hurdle on the way to adoption

The European Union’s AI Act, a risk-based plan for regulating applications of artificial intelligence, has passed what looks to be the final big hurdle standing in the way of adoption after Member State representatives today voted to confirm the final text of the draft law.

The development follows the political agreement reached in December — clinched after marathon ‘final’ three-way talks between EU co-legislators which stretched over several days. After that, the work to turn agreed positions on scrappy negotiation sheets into a final compromise text for lawmakers’ approval kicked off — culminating in today’s Coreper vote affirming the draft rules.

The planned regulation sets out a list of prohibited uses of AI (aka unacceptable risk), such as using AI for social scoring; brings in some governance rules for high-risk uses (where AI apps might harm health, safety, fundamental rights, environment, democracy and the rule of law) and for the most powerful general purpose/foundational models deemed to pose “systemic risk”; and applies transparency requirements on apps like AI chatbots. But ‘low-risk’ applications of AI will not be in the scope of the law.

Google’s AI now goes by a new name: Gemini

Google is famous for having a million similar products with confusingly different names and seemingly nothing in common. (Can I interest you in a messaging app?) But when it comes to its AI work, going forward there is only one name that matters: Gemini.

The company announced that it is renaming its Bard chatbot to Gemini, releasing a dedicated Gemini app for Android, and even folding all its Duet AI features in Google Workspace into the Gemini brand. It also announced that Gemini Ultra 1.0 — the largest and most capable version of Google’s large language model — is being released to the public. 

Threads Is Testing a New Option To Save Posts

Threads has announced that it’s now testing the ability to save posts in the app, which has been a highly requested feature update and will bring Meta’s real-time discussion platform more into line with other apps.

Specifically, for those in the test pool, Threads’ new “Save” option will be available in the three dots menu on any post in the app. Moreover, saved posts will then be available in your profile menu options, the same as they are on Instagram.

Bonus links

Thank you for taking the time to read our Sunday Rundown #103. If you have a story that you want to see in this series, reply to us below or contact us.