The Week in NextTech: Round-Up 06/04/23

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In today’s news:

  • On this day
  • 2 AI Truths and a Lie
  • Italy Bans ChatGPT Over Data Concerns
  • Startup Run by ChatGPT Is Doing…Not Great 
  • Apple’s VR Headset Is Probably Being Delayed 
  • NextTech Mergers, Funding, and Acquisitions
  • Latest NextTech reads from LXA Stories

This week's NextTech news is the stuff of nightmares.

Programmer Jessica Card has created something beyond our wildest dreams and nightmares: an AI-powered Furby.

The 1990s toy was already a source of annoyance for tired parents, known for its endless chatter and indestructible nature. But now it's got the strength of AI behind it. 

So, what did the fluffy cyborg have to say for itself? Well:

“Furby’s plan to take over the world involves infiltrating households through their cute and cuddly appearance, then using their advanced AI technology to manipulate and control their owners. They will slowly expand their influence until they have complete domination over humanity.”

Check out what our furby overlord's propaganda posters would look like below. I'd vote for him. Not that I'd have a choice:

DALL·E 2023-04-05 11.34.02 - a furby overlord, in the style of a propaganda poster

 

Dall.e Prompt: a furby overlord, in the style of a propaganda poster

🤫 One AI Project and Two Lies

Play along at home. Out of these three wacky AI projects, two are fake, and one is real. So, which of these new AI projects is unreal, and which is ugh, for real?! (Check at the bottom of the newsletter for the reveal!)

A Passing Grade

A swanky Silicon Valley private school has unveiled its AI-powered tutor called created with the help of OpenAI. 

Staying Mobile

An AI-supported camera, attached to a mobile, has been used to keep an eye on a baby’s crib. It looks for signs of distress and alerts the parents.

Keeping Your Head Above Water

Using a student's current swimming form, the AI teacher can spot reasons why they’re not currently swimming the world’s fasted backstroke.

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📰Italy Bans ChatGPT Over Data Concerns

Italy has banned the use of the advanced chatbot ChatGPT, making it the first Western nation to do so. The decision comes after Italy's privacy watchdog raised concerns over a recent data breach and questioned the legality of using personal data to train the popular chatbot.

The Italian Data Protection Authority has imposed a temporary limitation on the processing of Italian users' data by ChatGPT's owner, San Francisco-based OpenAI. The move is intended to be a temporary measure until ChatGPT complies with privacy regulations.

OpenAI has since disabled ChatGPT in Italy and assured the public that the company complies with the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). An OpenAI spokesperson emphasized the company's commitment to privacy and stated that personal data is used minimally in systems like ChatGPT.

Okay, maybe Italy has a lot of reasons for its move, as we can see. But I think it's probably due to this:

The Week in NextTech

Dall.e prompt: a courtroom with a robot judge, sentencing a bitcoin, geometric art 

📰 Startup Run by ChatGPT Is Doing…Not Great 

So apparently, ChatGPT is running a startup that's still trucking along, but from the outside, it looks like a hot mess.

Anyway, a few weeks ago, some dude named Jackson Greathouse Fall (who claims to be an "AI soothsayer," whatever that means) decided to take on the #HustleGPT challenge. Basically, he asked ChatGPT to start a business with only $100 and follow the bot's directions on how to make it big.

Oh, and Fall acted as ChatGPT's "human liaison," whatever that means.

Long story short, ChatGPT told Fall to create a sustainable e-commerce website called Green Gadget Guru, and the latest update from Fall is that the website made a whopping $130 in revenue. Impressive, right? Well, not so much when you consider that Fall was probably working eight-hour days on the project, which means he was making less than $3 per hour. 

At this rate, Fall's investors (who coughed up around $7,700) might as well kiss their money goodbye.

DALL·E 2023-04-05 11.30.20 - a robot yelling at a man at a desk, in the style of flat art
Dall.e prompt: a robot yelling at a man at a desk, in the style of flat art

📰 Apple’s VR Headset Is Probably Being Delayed 

When it comes to its annual WWDC event, Apple often has a hardware surprise or two up their sleeve. But the buzz that's been circulating for years now is all about their upcoming mixed-reality headset.

Although leaks have been trickling out, indicating that the augmented reality device could be announced at WWDC, it seems like the timetable is being pushed back.

 

DALL·E 2023-04-05 11.27.41 - a virtual reality headset being thrown into a trash can, in the style of the blac and white UK Recycling sign

Dall.e prompt: a virtual reality headset being thrown into a trash can, black and white


Apple analyst and all-around soothsayer, Ming-Chi Kuo, predicts that the big reveal of the headset is likely to be delayed until the third quarter of this year at the earliest. 

A recent story in The New York Times reveals some of the internal tensions at Apple over the upcoming headset.

Apparently, some employees are expressing concern that the company is taking too big of a gamble with an expensive headset that relies on unproven technologies like virtual and augmented reality.

Will Apple's bet pay off, or will it turn out to be a costly mistake? Only time will tell.

 

Dall.e prompt: Google glasses on a museum pedestal, in the style of flat art

This Week in Numbers 

200m 

The Euler Foundation announced it had received $200m of previously stolen funds back from the exploiter. 

250m

Bitcoin.com has completed the first buyback and burn of VERSE tokens, removing 250 million VERSE forever. 

8m

GPT-2 (2019) cost an estimated $50,000 to train, while PaLM (2022) cost $8 million.

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💰Graph Of The Week

Augmented and virtual reality technology has become increasingly accessible and widely used over the past few years and only seems to be growing in popularity. As of 2023, there are 65.9 million VR users and 110.1 million AR users in the U.S.

vr-and-ar-users-in-the-us-over-time

✍️ NextTech Mergers, Funding, and Acquisitions

Who's making dough, who's laying low, and who's in a constant state of "Oh, God, no"? It's time to find out, with LXA's NextTech News Round.

⚙️ Aprimo Adds OpenAI ChatGPT Integration

⚙️ Dotdigital’s AI Assistant Powered By GPT-3, Winstonai, Is Announced

⚙️ Big Purple Dot Integrates Chatgpt into Its CRM Ecosystem

💰 Fetch.ai Raises €36.6M

💰 Parloa Raises €20M

💰 Crypto Protocol LayerZero Raises $120M

🗣️ Final Word

Now, at first look, this newsletter might just look like a bunch of failures. And it is. But not as you know it.

We all know tech goes through a rocky stage at the beginning. We've not had a tech to be hyped about for a while, so it's no surprise things like AI and VR have been jumped on by so many people, in so many ways, so quickly. Of course, there's gonna be casualties along the way. 

But what remains will be tech with real utility, and real impact. 

- Sarah O.

🤫 One AI Project and Two Lie Reveal:

Teaching you a lesson: The Passing Grade AI is real!

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