The Week in NextTech: Round-Up 10/03/23


In today’s news:

  • On this day
  • 2 NFT Truths and a Lie
  • What is ERC-4337? 
  • AI Voices are Scamming the Elderly
  • NextTech Mergers, Funding, and Acquisitions
  • Latest NextTech reads from LXA Stories

This week's NextTech newsletter is apocalypse-ready.

We've been reading up on the brand new "Misalignment Museum", which is basically a tribute to an apocalypse that hasn't happened yet.

The exhibit imagines the future as one in which AI has become self-aware and sets about killing off humanity. Optimistic. 

Audrey Kim, the artist, says the museum is to raise conversations about the destabilising effects of intelligent technology. So, what do the art pieces look like?

The museum has a deepfake of Arnold Schwarzenegger speaking from a script generated by ChatGPT, a statue of two people embracing made from 15,000 paper clips, and robots made from Spam tins with little arms. Spam-pocalypse. 

Copy of Copy of Copy of data rooms

🤫 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!)

Riddle Me This

In a process which involved entering a record number of riddles into an AI, researchers have developed a programme which can solve every riddle proposed to it, even ones made up by the researchers themselves.

Putting The Pieces Back Together

After breaking a vase, an AI has been taught how to fix the object. Using the Japanese mending technique of Kintsugi, or “gold joinery”, the AI can repair a broken pot in just 5 minutes.

There He Is

An AI has been developed to find Waldo in around 4 seconds. It is also paired with a robotic arm with a plastic hand attached to it so that the AI can point out where he is on the page.

nexttech newsletter banner (2)📰 What is ERC-4337?

No, ERC-4337 is not a new disease. It's actually potentially something more catching.

This shiny buzzword is an Ethereum upgrade which has recently gone live and introduced 'Account Abstraction', which allows Ethereum to operate as smart contracts. 

Basically, the whole thing revolves are crypto legitimacy. This upgrade essentially enables a bunch of the same features a bank offers, without the need for the middleman. 

So, let's look at some of the features. 

The update allows for the recovery of lost private keys, where designated users have the ability to restore access to a waller, reducing the anxiety around misplacement. It also allows for the securing of wallets without a seed phrase, enabling two-factor authentication or biometrics, such as a fingerprint, to protect the wallet. 

Users can also carry out automated payments and set time-based spending limits and can send gasless transactions. Decentralised applications can cover the costs for customers, making things cheaper and easier. 

DALL·E 2023-03-08 10.57.29 - a woman shaking hands with a robot, with an angry male banker having a temper tantrum in the background, in a geometric style

📰 AI Voices are Scamming the Elderly 

Now, when someone says "call your Grandma", at least you know you can automate it. That's a joke, give her a ring. 

But this tech has been used in an even more sinister way. AI models designed to simulate a person's voice have allowed criminals to mimic loved ones' voices in distress. This has led to vulnerable people forking over thousands of dollars. 

The AI software only needs a few sentences of audio to produce speech and has been used to target elderly relatives of people. 

For example, 73-year-old Ruth Card heard what she thought was the voice of her grandson, saying he needed $3,000 for bail. Luckily, a bank manager flagged them down and prevented the scam.

But one couple sent $15,000 to a scammer after an AI-generated version of their son told them he needed legal fees after being involved in a car accident which killed a US diplomat. 

For the elderly, it can be difficult to detect when a voice is inauthentic, with the voice making an implausible situation seem real. 

DALL·E 2023-03-08 11.05.05 - an old lady talking to a robot on the phone, geometric style

This Week in Numbers 


Meta could be set to lay off thousands of workers in a new round of job cuts starting this week. This is in addition to the 13% of employees let go in November 


According to the National Customer Rage Survey, 9% of consumers who had a bone to pick with a company took “revenge” by publicly shaming them.


A new survey of more than 2,000 American adults suggests 20% own crypto and the vast majority see an urgent need to update the financial system.

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💰Graph Of The Week

Bitcoin's price reached an all-time high in 2021, as values exceeded over $65,000 in November 2021. That particular price hike was connected to the launch of a Bitcoin ETF in the United States, and also due to events involving Tesla and Coinbase. 

The market was noticeably different by the end of 2022, however, with Bitcoin prices reaching roughly 22421.89 as of March 06, 2023, after another crypto exchange, FTX, filed for bankruptcy.


✍️ 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. 

💰 Diffusiondata Secures €1.12m From Nedcf For Its Intelligent Data Platform

⚙️Shiba Inu Layer 2 Blockchain Shibarium To Release Beta Version

💰 AI-Driven Fintech Candidly Nabs $20.5m Series B

💰 Jack Dorsey’s Payments Company Block Seeks Input On Mining Kit

💰 Yuga Labs Concludes $16M Twelvefold Auction

✍️ Coinbase Acquires One River Digital Asset Management

🗣️ Final Word

International Women's Day was this week, and it's time to celebrate women in marketing, tech, and beyond. You rock. 👏

If you were thinking that there's no utility in NFTs any more, check out this article - go and support the talented women in this list if you can.

Despite the new tech frontier, there are still the same ol' gender distinctions. Let's take this year to work on it. 

- Sarah O.

🤫 One AI Project and Two Lie Reveal:

Right in the corner there, to the left, no- my left. The Where's Waldo AI is real!

✒️ The Latest NextTech Reads from LXA

The Ultimate A-Z of AI and ML for Marketing
posted at 3/6/23 2:10 PM
Keeping on top of all the new AI terms is a full-time job. It seems like there's a new article every day about connective-this and behavioural-that and generative-whatsit. So, log out of LinkedIn,...Read more

WTF NFT - The Top 10 NFTs You Can Buy Right Now in 2023
posted at 3/2/23 9:15 AM
Got a spare pile of cash you were wondering what to do with? We got you with this non-exhaustive list of top NFTs you can invest in, in the brand new year of 2023! Basically, consider this the Argos...Read more

Key Takeaways from the 2023 ML, AI & Data Landscape Report
posted at 2/22/23 4:49 PM
The global AI market is projected to reach $190.61 billion by 2025, with an estimated 8.4 billion AI-powered digital assistants expected to exist by 2024, surpassing the global population. The pace...Read more

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