Top AI-generated charts, Apple saves money and Microsoft abandons Twitter
Hello, folks, and welcome to the latest edition of Week in Review (WiR), the weekly newsletter where we recap the last (or so) days in tech news. We’d say there’s no better way to get your news fix, but we’d be biased. Always! Trust us when we say it’s a labor of love.
Before we get to this week’s events, remember that Disrupt, TechCrunch’s annual flagship conference, is on the horizon. This year’s Disrupt will host six – that’s right, six – standalone industry TC session events, with stages showcasing industry-specific programming tracks. Well worth the trip to San Francisco.
Before that, our next TechCrunch Live session with SignalFire and ClassDojo. They will discuss ClassDojo’s mission to revolutionize education by creating a classroom community.
Now, without further ado!
False Drake: A song featuring the vocals of Drake and The Weeknd called “Heart on My Sleeve” has amassed over 250,000 Spotify streams and 10 million views on TikTok. But the two musicians had nothing to do with the song – an artist named “Ghostwriter” generated the song using AI. Amanda to the story.
Apple saves money: Starting this week, Apple Card customers in the US can open a savings account with Apple and earn up to 4.15% interest. Apple partnered with Goldman Sachs for the banking function; savings accounts are technically managed by Goldman Sachs, which means they are covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Roman reports.
Apple plans to open: Apple has kept the iPhone app distribution system relatively closed so far, allowing users to download apps only from the App Store. But the company could soon add gates to its walled garden. Ivan reports that Apple is considering letting people download apps to iPhones and we may see an announcement about it at the upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference in June.
A massive Apple Watch update: The Apple Watch software is expected to receive the biggest update since its release. Sarahciting a Bloomberg report, writes that the watchOS 10 update will “bring bigger improvements” than the versions planned for iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple TV, including an “updated interface” that will tell you “the most of what you need to know about the Apple Watch in 2023.”
Love Is Blind, but sometimes cancelled: Netflix had serious problems with the livestream of its reunion episode “Love Is Blind”, Amanda writing. After a 75-minute delay, the streaming service ended the live broadcast due to seemingly unsolvable technical issues.
Microsoft abandons Twitter: Microsoft announced this week that it was removing Twitter from its advertising platform nearly two months after Twitter announced it would begin charging users of its API a minimum of $42,000 per month. With its market cap of $2.15 trillion and roughly $100 billion in cash at the end of last year, Microsoft obviously has the money to pay Twitter what it wants, so the decision seems like a bit a statement — though Microsoft declines to elaborate on its decision.
Meta lays off more workers: Meta released another round of massive layoffs this week, Rebecca reports. They are among 10,000 layoffs CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced in March, many of which relate to “low priority projects”. The massive job cuts are part of a broader restructuring at Meta that Zuckerberg has dubbed “the year of efficiency,” which began with 11,000 layoffs announced in November.
More check-in kiosks: Alaska Airlines recently launched a three-year, $2.5 billion project to improve the airport experience at its hubs and in target cities like Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles. As part of the project, the airline is looking to modernize the lobby experience – and as the company announced today, the most visible change here will be the removal of the good old check-in kiosk, Frederic writing.
Snapchat AI is for everyone: Snapchat’s AI chatbot is opening up to a global audience, the company announced at its Snap Partner Summit this week. Initially launched in February, the feature originally allowed paid Snapchat subscribers to chat with an AI chatbot powered by OpenAI’s GPT technology directly within its app. Now it will be available for free and upgraded with features like the ability to add the chatbot to group chats, get recommendations for places on Snap Map and Lenses, and share Snaps with the chatbot to receive answers to the chat. Sarah see you.
Tesla lowers prices: Tesla cut the price of its Model 3 and Model Y electric vehicles for the second time this month. Tesla’s most popular models will now start at less than $40,000 before incentives.
Looking for podcast material to pass the time? TechCrunch has you covered, as always. This week, the Equity team recorded at Early Stage, TechCrunch’s event for founders, and covered topics ranging from rockets to profits and how a certain company is cutting costs. At Found, Trevor Martin, the co-founder of Mammoth Biosciences, came to discuss how the company uses CRISPR systems to detect and cure genetic diseases. Chain Reaction interviewed Jesse Pollak, Head of Base and Head of Protocols at Coinbase. And on the latest episode of TechCrunch Live, Mark Batsiyan, co-founder and partner of Inspired Capital, and Brynne McNulty Rojas, co-founder and CEO of Habi, the Colombian real estate startup that achieved unicorn status last year – spoke about their respective experiences in the field of technology.
TC+ subscribers get access to in-depth commentary, analysis and polls, which you know if you’re already a subscriber. If not, consider signing up. Here are some highlights from this week:
Photonics and AI: The growing computing power needed to train sophisticated AI models like OpenAI’s ChatGPT could eventually hit a wall with consumer chip technologies. Are light-based chips, otherwise known as photonic chips, the answer? Maybe, but it’s not clear yet.
There is always money in the coffee stand: Blank Street claims to have cracked the code on how to ensure that a chain of more than 65 brick-and-mortar cafes has the right metrics to attract venture capitalists. They recently closed a $20 million Series B round in a year when fundraising plunged, even for companies with low overheads. Rebecca to the story.
Should you launch an AI startup? : It seems like the best case scenario for founders considering launching an AI startup, especially with OpenAI releasing ChatGPT to the masses. But it could be the opposite, depending on which investors you ask. Ron try to get to the bottom of things.
Leave a Reply