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It's All About A.I. Now, We Get It!
Friday, May 19th, 2023
1. Montana's TikTok Ban Sparks Backlash
In a move that will make you question your own freedom to bust a move, five TikTok users in Montana are taking the state to court over its ban on the popular Chinese-owned app. Montana Governor Greg Gianforte thought he could suppress their First Amendment rights by signing legislation to outlaw TikTok within state borders on Wednesday, but these defiant users are not going down without a dance battle. Montana, which has a population of just over 1 million people, said TikTok could face fines for each violation and additional fines of $10,000 per day if it violates the ban. Who needs to keep up with the latest trends, challenges and zeitgeist when you can focus on roping cattle and mending fences? Yeehaw Montana style!
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2. OpenAI's ChatGPT App Drops, Threatens to Make Googling a Lost Art
OpenAI has unleashed a free iOS app for ChatGPT, while teasing an Android version that'll arrive... eventually. Imagine a world where we open our ChatGPT app instead of Google or Safari if you live in the Midwest whenever we need to know how to spell 'guarantee' or how many grammys Beyoncé has... it's 29 by the way. With ChatGPT boasting a fanbase of around 100 million users (or so they say), OpenAI's marketing strategy remains as clear as mud. First, they say ChatGPT is just a not-for-profit experiment, then boom - an app with a $20/month premium subscription.
3. Waymo and Cruise Finally Getting the Green Light to Charge for 24/7 Robotaxis in San Francisco
Despite the city's concerns about safety and traffic nightmares, the California Public Utilities Commission couldn't care less and is likely to grant the autonomous vehicle giants extended hours and service areas. It seems protests and objections from San Francisco are about as effective as shouting into the void. Cruise is already offering limited services (emphasis on 'limited'), while Waymo lets you enjoy a ride with a safety driver. Just a heads-up though, authorization doesn't mean you'll see these driverless wonders flooding the streets immediately. Since the government has to be involed, give it another decade.
4. Coinbase Turns to Subscription-Based Model, We're Still Not Over FTX
Coinbase, the world's second-largest crypto exchange, is trying to keep users hooked and fatten its wallet by launching Coinbase One, a subscription service to a wider set of 35 countries. This comes after the beta version of Coinbase One that was originally introduced in the fall of 2021. Offering no trading charges, juicier staking rewards, and various perks, Coinbase hopes to spice up customer relationships and rake in more cash beyond their pesky trading fees. In Q1 2023, the company saw its subscription and services revenue shoot up by a whopping 138% to a cool $361.7 million, with overall revenues sizzling at a 17x growth to $793 million in 2022. The strategy seems to be working... just like how cryptocurrency seemed to be a rocketship investment at the beginning.
5. Meta's Geeky Masterplan: Custom Chips and Supercomputer
Meta is going all-in with special computer chips and a powerful computer to improve its artificial intelligence capabilities as they want to have complete control over all the technology they use for A.I. They have a new chip called the Meta Training and Inference Accelerator coming out in 2025, which looks promising for handling A.I. tasks, a supercomputer called the Research SuperCluster that supports their research and helps train models, and a new chip called the Meta Scalable Video Processor for working with videos. Basically, a bunch of nerd junk, but nerd junk that's meant to make them more competitive with other big companies such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. We'll see if the investment pays off.