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Binance Founder Changpeng Zhao Gets 4 Months In Prison

US prosecutors had initially recommended a three year jail term.

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binance founder changpeng zhao gets 4 months in prison

A federal judge in the United States has handed out a four month prison sentence to Binance founder Changpeng Zhao (known as “C.Z.”). Prosecutors had recommended a three year term after Zhao pleaded guilty to violating the Bank Secrecy Act back in November 2023.

The DOJ accused Zhao of turning a blind eye to criminal activity on the crypto exchange and ignoring its legal obligations “in the pursuit of profit”. U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen also noted that Zhao’s “willful failures allowed money to flow to terrorists, cybercriminals, and child abusers through its platform”.

The U.S. government accused Binance of refusing to comply with sanctions and failing to report transactions related to drugs and child sexual abuse. Prosecutors claimed that Zhao had told Binance employees it was “better to ask for forgiveness than permission” while saying that if Binance had obeyed the law, it wouldn’t be “as big as we are today”.

To avoid a longer jail term, Binance agreed to forfeit $2.5 billion and settle a $1.8 billion fine. Zhao also paid $50 million from his own fortune as part of the settlement.

Also Read: Top E-Commerce Websites In The Middle East In 2024

The Binance founder’s sentence is much shorter than the 25 years recently given to crypto entrepreneur Sam Bankman-Fried of FTX. Zhao played a prominent role in Bankman-Fried’s downfall after Tweeting in November 2022 that his company would liquidate all FTX holdings. The posts not only destroyed FTX but rocked the wider crypto community, likely attracting attention from the U.S. government.

With Zhao heading to prison, DOJ lawyer Kevin Mosley remarked: “This wasn’t a mistake — it wasn’t a regulatory oops […] breaking U.S. law was not incidental to his plan to make as much money as possible. Violating the law was integral to that endeavor”.

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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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