Top Tech News of the Week: December 3

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This week, the tech industry continued to be dominated by new developments in the world of AI. Amazon launched Tranium 2, a chip designed to train foundation and large language models. Researchers, meanwhile, conducted a study on the carbon footprint of AI, comparing various generative models and their output.

On the hardware side, Axel Arigato and Transparent designed a speaker made out of recycled shoe soles. And OnePlus teased its new flagship smartphone, the OnePlus 12, now available in a marble green colorway.

Below, Hypebeast has rounded up the top tech stories of the week so you can stay up to date on trends in the industry.

Researchers Conducted a Study on the Carbon Footprint of AI Text and Image Generation

Amid the rise of generative AI, researchers are looking into the implications of the technology and its effect on the environment. Researchers from Carnegie Mellon and the AI community platform Hugging Face investigated the carbon footprint of different types of generative AI models.

The study ran the models through a process of performing a task 1,000 times on a select set of data. Results showed that text-based AI, such as ChatGPT, expended the same level of energy used to charge a smartphone to 16% to perform the task 1,000 times. Generative image models – those creating a photo or work of art – had a comparably larger footprint, energy as 950 smartphone charges “or nearly 1 charge per image generation,” per the report.

Axel Arigato and Transparent Launched an Upcycled Speaker Made From Sneaker Soles

Swedish label Axel Arigato has a new collaboration with audio brand Transparent, an upcycled speaker. Made out of second-hand sneaker soles, the speaker features a grainy, almost popcorn-like finish with crisp white hardware.

While Transparent typically creates devices with clear accents – allowing owners to see the mechanics within them – this particular collaboration focuses on sustainability above all else. For those interested in personalizing their speakers, however, the device can be dismantled and reassembled.

Only 29 speakers will be produced and each one will retail for $1,766 USD, available on Axel Arigato’s website.

Amazon Revealed an Advanced Second-Gen AI Chip, Tranium2

Amazon is leaning further into AI with a new chip specifically for training models. The company revealed Trainium2, which it lauds as its most advanced AI chip to date.

Compared to the first-gen model, Tranium2 will train both foundational models and large language models four times faster. Amazon will likely sell the chip to various AI companies working on text and image-based generative AI, among other kinds.

“Silicon underpins every customer workload, making it a critical area of innovation for AWS,” Vice President of Compute and Networking at AWS David Brown said. “By focusing our chip designs on real workloads that matter to customers, we’re able to deliver the most advanced cloud infrastructure to them.”

OnePlus Previewed the New Flagship OnePlus12 in Green Marble Colorway

OnePlus has a new flagship smartphone on the way. The London-based tech brand has unveiled the OnePlus 12 in a teaser video and photos. While the technical specs of the device aren’t known, the phone comes in a new marble green colorway, alongside the standard black and white shades.

Other than that, the phone looks largely similar to the OnePlus 11 with the same camera configuration and “1+” logo. Fans will have to wait until the phone launches on December 5 to learn more about its capabilities.

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