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Winners and Losers: The Steam Deck sees its first sale as Microsoft drops its AI ethics team

It’s Sunday morning, meaning it’s time for us to recount our winner and loser in tech from the last week. 

Samsung launched two new mid-range updates to its A series this week in the form of the Galaxy A54 and the Galaxy A34. Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon 7 Plus Gen 2, while Spotify reassured music fans that its hi-res Spotify HiFi tier was still in the works

Our winner this week is Valve as the company announced some exciting news regarding the Steam Deck, while Microsoft made a questionable decision in the midst of its recent Bing success. 

Steam Deck with Google Chrome browser

Winner: Valve 

Valve celebrated the Steam Deck’s first birthday with the news that the handheld gaming PC would be included in the company’s Steam Spring Sale

This means that all three configurations will be listed at 10% off until the sale ends on March 23. 

More specifically, the 64GB model has dropped from £349 to £314.10, the 128GB version has gone from £459 to £412.10 and the 512GB Steam Deck has been reduced from £569 down to just £512.10. 

Not only that, but you can save quite a bit of cash on games in the sale, including popular titles like Hades, Stray and Cyberpunk 2077. That means you can get the console and cross a couple of games off your to-play list all at once. 

We were highly impressed with the Steam Deck when we tested it out last year. If you’re looking for a device that’ll allow you to play plenty of any PC game on the go, you should definitely check out our review of the Steam Deck before heading to the Steam sale to swipe one up for yourself. 

New Bing Search

Loser: Microsoft 

Meanwhile, Microsoft caught flak for reportedly laying off its entire AI ethics team right as the new ChatGPT-powered version of Bing is taking off. 

According to a report by Platformer, Microsoft has gotten rid of its AI organisation’s ethics and society team – a division of Microsoft dedicated to ensuring the company adheres to AI principles. The cuts came as part of a larger batch of layoffs that have affected around 10,000 employees across the company. 

This news feels terribly timed considering Bing is finally getting its hour in the spotlight with the success of its latest update. The new Bing leverages technology from OpenAI, including its ChatGPT-4 model, the latest and most advanced version of the AI chatbot to date.

In fact, we’d argue that there hasn’t been a more important time for Microsoft to have an AI ethics team onboard.

The team had already been cut to around seven people back in October as pressure mounting by higher-ups resulted in other members of the team being relocated to different areas within the organisation.

According to meeting audio following the reorganisation of the team and obtained by Platformer, John Montgomery, corporate VP of AI at Microsoft, explained that CTO Kevin Scott and CEO Satya Nadella had been putting pressure on its AI teams to implement OpenAI’s models faster.

Now, the team has apparently been dismantled altogether, raising questions about Microsoft’s approach to AI and ethics.

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