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New York – Microsoft’s efforts to acquire American video game company Activision Blizzard, stuck in a regulatory window, began to see a resolution with the release of a positive decision in California and the start of cooperation with the British Competition Authority.

The Silicon Valley giant cleared two major hurdles in its plan to buy Activision after a US judge approved the $69 billion deal, while British regulators hinted they may reconsider their opposition to the deal.

A federal judge in the state of California denied the U.S. Competition Commission’s request to immediately halt the acquisition, the first setback for the U.S. government in the case.

The ruling, dated Monday and released last Tuesday, relates to actions brought by the FTC on an expedited basis and not on a later basis in litigation. A hearing is scheduled to be held in this matter at the end of August.

Brad Smith: We will provide all justifications to address acquisition concerns

The US Competition Commission has urgently asked a federal court in San Francisco to temporarily halt Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision.

According to the complaint filed in mid-June, the court relied on press articles that “Microsoft and Activision are seriously considering completing the acquisition” despite the move and an injunction issued by British authorities.

The British Competition Commission also opposed the deal, saying it would harm competition in the cloud gaming industry.

However, Microsoft chairman Brad Smith announced on Tuesday that the group would submit proposals to Britain’s Competition Authority to “address its concerns” about the acquisition of Activision in an “acceptable” manner.

The authority confirmed to AFP its readiness to “consider any proposal from Microsoft to amend the contract”.

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In a quiet gesture, Microsoft decided to suspend its appeal in the British courts over the regulator’s main objection. The appeal was scheduled to be heard at the end of July.

Microsoft has proposed a “secondary” sale of shares to get the green light from the authority, CNBC reported.

Last May, the European Commission approved Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision, which would make the American company the world’s third largest video games company.

According to estimates by professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, the gaming market is expected to grow 36 percent to $321 billion over the next four years.

Although the California court’s decision was only a temporary decision to end the rush, its reasoning held the Federal Trade Commission in contempt and indicated a difficult legal path for the regulatory body.

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Economy

4 new AI tools you can use to edit photos on Instagram

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4 new AI tools you can use to edit photos on Instagram
As part of Meta’s Connect conference last Wednesday, Mark Zuckerberg revealed several creative AI features that will be useful for some content creators and influencers. For example, users will be able to use Meta’s AI technology, revealed as Emu. In the Instagram app.


Zuckerberg said Meta will begin rolling out these photo-editing and generative AI tools to Instagram “in about a month,” and Meta’s Emu technology will take seconds to generate images, Zuckerberg said during the Connect conference.


In addition to photo editing tools, Meta is already releasing AI stickers that use Emu and Llama 2 technology, and advanced applications of AI will soon appear in Meta apps in the form of chatbots or AI-powered assistants. Meta will begin testing the beta feature immediately.


Here’s a full rundown of the new AI features Meta brings to Instagram:


– New photo editing tools in the Instagram app:


Like many apps and generative AI filters that are ubiquitous on TikTok, Instagram is adopting its own generative AI tools. Users can also edit photos by “re-styling”, which changes the artistic style of the photo, similar to altering the photo. A watercolor, or “background,” that allows users to replace the background of the image with an illustration.


Any image edited using these tools “represents the use of artificial intelligence,” Mitta wrote in a blog post.


– AI-generated stickers for use in direct messages:


Instead of sticking with Instagram’s existing preloaded stickers or emojis, Meta is rolling out a new tool that lets users create unique stickers using AI. Meta wrote in his blog post that the feature will be rolling out to “select English users next month.”

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AI stickers are also available in Instagram features like Live Messages and Stories, and other apps like WhatsApp, Messenger and Facebook’s Stories feature.


– Interactive AI bots – or characters:


In addition to its general AI assistant called “Meta AI,” Meta is working with celebrities and influencers to develop 28 AI chatbots. The first cast uses celebrities and popular influencers like Tom Brady and Kendall Jenner. MrBeast, LaurDIY, and Charli D. Amelio and the AI ​​characters will have their own profiles on Instagram and Facebook.



– Creators will be able to build their own robots in the future:


“We’re building a platform to build AI that can help you do things or have fun,” Zuckerberg said. “The way it works is that people can interact with these AI systems across the entire product universe. .”


Zuckerberg pitched these AI bots as a potential way for creators to “engage” with their communities. The creator of these bots should be “authorized” and “directly controlled,” Meta wrote in a blog post. Already, many startups have released AI tools. Similar applications allow creators to create AI versions such as Afterparty or Render Media.

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Inflation in the euro zone fell to its lowest level in a year

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Inflation in the euro zone fell to its lowest level in a year

Economic data released today on Friday showed that the euro zone’s core inflation rate fell to its lowest level in nearly a year this month, bolstering expectations that the European Central Bank will keep interest rates on hold at its next meeting to assess. The consequences of an unprecedented campaign to raise interest rates throughout the past.

European statistics agency Eurostat reported today that sales, excluding highly volatile items such as food and energy, fell to 4.5% this September, while analysts polled by Bloomberg News had expected a drop of 4.8%, compared with 5.3%. In the month, in the past.

At the same time, the headline inflation rate eased to 4.3% this month from 5.2% last August, the lowest level in nearly two years and well below expectations, thanks to a fall in energy prices. Accelerating rate of rise in prices of services.

The data released today is a strong indication that core inflation, a key measure for the central bank’s monetary policymakers, is on a downward path following a period of statistical deterioration over the summer months.

Despite the decline, general and core inflation rates have been more than twice the central bank’s target of 2% annually.

At the same time, there is a wide disparity in inflation rates between the euro zone’s twenty member states, with the inflation rate in Germany falling to its lowest level in two years this month, while the rate in Spain rose by more than 3. % again.

The current September consumer price inflation rate showed a new decline, reaching its lowest level in more than a year and a half, with the Italian statistics office saying the inflation rate fell to 5.3 for the current month. % y/y compared to 5.4% last month, while the core inflation rate, excluding highly volatile food and energy prices, fell to 4.6% this month, down from 4.8% last month.

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Economy

Meta unveils new artificial intelligence products

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Meta unveils new artificial intelligence products

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of MetaPlatforms, has introduced a group of new products powered by artificial intelligence, including smart glasses that can answer questions and broadcast live on Facebook, as well as “bot” programs to create images and an advanced headset for virtual reality. .

Zuckerberg described the products as bridging the virtual and real worlds, and asserted that low-cost or free artificial intelligence in what Meta offered could be integrated into daily routines.

The MetaQuest virtual reality headset is one of the most popular in the burgeoning virtual reality industry, and company executives described it as the best value in the industry, marking the imminent launch of an expensive headset from Apple.

Speaking from the central courtyard at Meta’s sprawling campus in Silicon Valley, Zuckerberg said Meta’s new generation of Ray-Ban smart glasses will launch on October 17 for $299.

The device will have a new assistant from Meta that works with artificial intelligence and will be able to live-stream what the user sees on Facebook and Instagram, a feat compared to the previous generation’s ability to take pictures.

Earlier during the presentation, Zuckerberg said that the latest mixed reality headset (Quest) will start rolling out on October 10.

Zuckerberg’s statements came at the MetaConnect conference, the social media company’s biggest event of the year and the first to be held in person since the start of the Covid pandemic.

It launched the first consumer-oriented generative artificial intelligence products, in which a chatbot (meta AI chatbot) can generate text responses and realistic images.

Zuckerberg emphasized: “It’s not just about answering inquiries. It’s about helping people do things for entertainment and interacting with the people around you.”

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