February 2023 Current Events: Science & Technology News

Updated February 24, 2023 | Infoplease Staff

World News | U.S. News | Disaster News | Current Events This Week

The world is a very busy place, and it's hard to stay on top of everything. Infoplease has got you covered. Here are the Science & Technology news events you need to know so far for February 2023.

  1. PayPal Joins Other Tech Company In Laying Off Workers
  2. ore Countries Join The US To Ban China Over Semiconductor Chips
  3. Chatbot Error Costs Google $100bn In Shares
  4. Tesla Recalls Thousands Of Cars Over Safety Concerns Of Autonomous Cars
  5. Employees Of The European Commission Banned From Using TikTok

PayPal Joins Other Tech Company In Laying Off Workers


Photo Source: AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Wednesday, February 1, 2023 – PayPal joins the trend of other tech companies cutting their workforce by announcing that they will cut 7% of their workers in the coming weeks.

According to the Online payment company, they are forced to cut 2000 jobs because they need to adapt to the “Challenging Macro Economics.” It claimed that layoffs are necessary to cope with the changes and competitive landscape.

Lay-off trends started in Late 2022, with Twitter laying off a massive chunk of its workforce which Alphabet, Amazon, and Microsoft then followed. 

As the tech company continues to see a downward economic trend, more layoffs are expected. In the past week, social media company, Snap, and chip maker AMD also announced a reduced net income. Investors, however, continue to look forwards to better trends before the end of the first quarter of 2023.

Source: BBC 

ore Countries Join The US To Ban China Over Semiconductor Chips

Semiconductor chips

Photo Source: AP Photo/Stefani Reynolds

Wednesday, February 1, 2023 – In October 2022, the United States placed a series of embargoes on the export of chip manufacturing technology to China, which they have been able to evade due to the presence of other competitors in the chip-making industry. 

To ensure the embargo's effectiveness, the United States has begun talks with other major chip manufacturing companies like Netherlands and Japan. Although most of the details of the meeting between these countries have been kept secret, a Washington official made statements that confirmed the existence of an agreement with Japan and the Netherlands to put further restrictions on chipmaking tool exports to China.

The semiconductor sector in China has been a major focus of US export restrictions. Beijing has invested considerably in developing its domestic industry, but its fabrication units, known as fabs, continue to rely largely on foreign-made technology.

Source: The Guardian

Chatbot Error Costs Google $100bn In Shares

Google headquarters

Photo Source: AP

Thursday, February 9, 2023 – Google's new AI chatbot tool Bard, which has yet to be publicly launched, is already being chastised for its incorrect response in a demonstration this week.

A customer asks Bard in the clip, which Google uploaded on Twitter, "What new findings from the James Webb Space Telescope can I tell my 9-year-old about?" Bard answers with a series of bullet points, one of which says, "JWST took the very first images of a planet outside of our own solar system."

After the incorrect response from Bard was publicized, shares of Alphabet, Google's parent company, plunged 7.7%, wiping $100 billion off its market worth.

Bard's error underlines Google's dilemma in integrating the same AI technology that powers Microsoft-backed ChatGPT into its primary search engine.

In an apparent attempt to address that worry, Google previously stated that Bard would be made accessible to "trusted testers" this week, with intentions to make it public in the following weeks.

Source: CNN 

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Tesla Recalls Thousands Of Cars Over Safety Concerns Of Autonomous Cars

Tesla cars are loaded onto carriers at the Tesla electric car plant on May 13, 2020, in Fremont, Calif. Tesla is recalling nearly 363,000 vehicles with its “Full Self-Driving” system to fix problems with the way it behaves around intersections and following posted speed limits, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023.

Photo Source: AP

Thursday, February 16, 2023 – Following Queries by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that Tesla's Self-driving mode could disrupt many local driving laws, Tesla has had to recall about 363,000 vehicles across the US even though Tesla developers have disagreed with the observations of the NHTSA.

These autopilot cars cost $15,000 in North America and allow the car to respond to traffic lights and stop signs, including features like cruise control and steering.

This is the company's second recall involving its full self-driving beta system, which is the most advanced level of autopilot technology. Tesla recalled nearly 54,000 vehicles last year because the system allowed the cars to drive through stop signs.

The most recent recall affects Tesla Model S and X vehicles that have the full self-driving beta software installed or are in the process of being installed. It also affects model 3 cars and model Ys with the system.

Source: BBC 

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Employees Of The European Commission Banned From Using TikTok

Europe TikTok

Photo Source: AP Photo/Martin Meissner

Thursday, February 23, 2023 – Staff and Personnel of the European Commission were directed to remove the social media application TikTok from their personal and corporate devices.

The directive came following the allegation that the Chinese company, ByteDance, which owned the app, harvests User data and delivers it to the Chinese government. The European Commission said the directive aims to protect data and increase cybersecurity.

The Commission has about 32,000 contract and permanent employees, who are now expected to delete the app from their devices before March 15. If the directive is not followed, the commission has stated that corporate application resources will no longer be available to such employees. 

Although ByteDance maintains the Stance of never harvesting the personal data of users, government officials in the U.S. have also banned the use of the app on official devices while other governments, such as the Dutch and U.K. government, have advised its officials to avoid using the App.

Source: BBC 

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