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Abu Dhabi’s G42 Acquires $100 Million Share In ByteDance

The move comes as TikTok considers a separation from its parent company to address ongoing privacy concerns.

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abu dhabi's g42 acquires $100 million share in bytedance

Thanks to substantial government investment, Abu Dhabi is rapidly emerging as a MENA tech hub, and with that, high-profile investments are taking place on a frequent basis. Abu Dhabi-based AI firm G42 continued the trend by recently acquiring a $100 million-plus stake in ByteDance, the Chinese parent company of TikTok.

G42 is led by the UAE’s Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who acquired the stake from existing investors through the 42XFund.

Shortly after the move, another fund invested $225 billion to acquire ByteDance, a figure well off the company’s peak valuation of $460 billion back in 2021.

Also Read: Top 10 Best Video Games Set In The Middle East

It’s thought that G42’s investment was a nod to ByteDance’s long-term potential as the Chinese economy finally begins to rebound from endless pandemic restrictions. The growing enthusiasm for AI could also be part of renewed interest in ByteDance, as TikTok is acknowledged as pioneering algorithms a decade ago to get users hooked on videos and news.

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Truecaller To Use Microsoft Azure AI Speech For Call Answering

The new service features a powerful speech generation tool to allow users to create AI versions of their voices.

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truecaller to use microsoft azure ai speech for call answering
Truecaller

Truecaller, a well-known app for identifying and blocking spam calls, is enhancing its services by allowing users to create AI versions of their voices. The new feature, available to those with access to Truecaller’s AI Assistant, stems from a partnership with Microsoft and its Azure AI Speech tool, allowing the generation of realistic AI voices that accurately mimic users’ speech patterns and tone.

“This groundbreaking capability not only adds a touch of familiarity and comfort for the users but also showcases the power of AI in transforming the way we interact with our digital assistants,” explained Truecaller product director and general manager Raphael Mimoun in a recent blog post.

The AI Assistant in Truecaller screens incoming calls, informing recipients of a caller’s purpose. Based on this information, users can decide whether to answer the call themselves or let the AI Assistant handle it.

When the feature was introduced in 2022, users could only choose from a collection of preset voices. The ability to record one’s own voice represents a significant step towards the complete personalization of the service.

Also Read: Getting Started With Google Gemini: A Beginner’s Guide

Azure AI Speech, showcased during the last Build conference, only recently added a personal voice feature that lets people record and replicate voices. Microsoft explained in a blog post, however, that Personal Voice is available on a limited basis and only for specific use cases like voice assistants.

To maintain ethical standards, Microsoft’s Azure AI Speech automatically adds watermarks to AI-generated voices. Additionally, a code of conduct requires companies to obtain full consent from individuals being recorded and prohibits impersonation.

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