The Week in NextTech: Round-Up 11/08/23


In today’s news:

  • On This Day
  • 2 AI Truths and a Lie
  • X is taking over iconic accounts
  • Musk says Zuck fight will ‘be live-streamed on X’
  • AI Writes 3,000 Articles Each Week for Australian Media Company
  • More NextTech stories
  • Graph of the Week
  • NextTech Mergers, Funding, and Acquisitions
  • The Latest NextTech reads from LXA

This week's NextTech news is saying goodbye (for now).

Time for some news about us. Self-centered much? I know. 

This'll be the last The Week in NextTech for just a while. Please reach out to your friends and family for support. I joke. 

We'd love to hear your feedback on what you like about the newsletter, what needs improvements, and what we can introduce in TWIN 2.0. 

But what else is going on in the world of NextTech? 

Well, following the Screen Writers Guild and Writers Guild strikes, we've been hearing concerns about actors being replaced by AI. But the roots to start this AI overhaul have already been planted. 

Background actor Alexandria Rubalcaba recounts her experience, along with numerous fellow background actors, of being individually selected and guided into a trailer during her time on the Marvel series "WandaVision."

Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of cloud stats (23)

Here, they underwent a meticulous 15-minute scanning process using an array of cameras, resulting in the creation of a detailed digital representation of each of them.

"I fear that AI is eventually going to weed out background actors," Rubalcaba said. "They won't have any use for us anymore."

🤫 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!)

Outta this world.

Scientists are already using AI for spacecraft navigation, and are now using it to track near-earth objects.

Put it on the bill

Scientists are using AI to track duck migration patterns, finding out they tend to like shady green areas near motorways.


Bombs away

Scientists are predicting, using AI data sources, where the next bomb is likely to go off.

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📰 X is Taking Over Iconic Accounts

Elon Musk has been on a rampage snatching up X accounts with iconic names without the consent of the original owners.
X's official account has now transitioned from @Twiter to @X, a move made without compensating the previous holder of the concise one-letter handle, as per sources.

The username was originally in the possession of Gene X. Hwang, who co-founded the photography company Orange Photography. Hwang maintained ownership of the account for over 16 years until Twitter's abrupt rebranding on Monday drew attention to the situation.

Mr Hwang mentioned on Tuesday that neither Elon Musk nor the X app had made any contact with him. However, by Wednesday, the tech mogul's company had taken control of the account. 

DALL·E 2023-08-09 15.20.57 - a man dressed like a robber, stealing a giant X, cartoon

Dall.e Prompt: a man dressed like a robber, stealing a giant X, cartoon

A similar incident occurred with the @music account. Initially managed by software developer Jeremy Vaught, the @music handle amassed approximately half a million followers. Last week, Vaught expressed his frustration when X claimed the account for itself, a surprising development 16 years after its establishment in 2007.

X's email informed Vaught, "The user handle associated with account @Music will be affiliated with X Corp." The message continued,

"Accordingly, your user handle will be changed to a new user handle." X also extended an offer to transfer Vaught's data, comprising his followers and followed accounts, to a new account of his preference.

At that time, the data had been migrated to @musicfan, although X proposed other alternatives such as @musicmusic, @music123, and @musiclover as potential options.

📰 Musk says Zuck fight will ‘be live-streamed on X’

 Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg have been engaged in a war of words on social media for some time. Now, they're taking it to the cage. 

In June 2023, Musk responded to a tweet about Meta preparing to release a new Twitter rival called Threads by saying that the world would soon be "exclusively under Zuck's thumb with no other options."

A Twitter user then jokingly warned Musk of Zuckerberg's jiu-jitsu training, to which Musk replied, "I'm up for a cage match if he is lol."

Now, Elon Musk has stated that the fight would be broadcasted on his social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

Musk shared in a post on the platform on Sunday, "The Zuck v Musk fight will be live-streamed on X. All proceeds will be directed towards charitable causes benefiting veterans."

Via his Threads social media account, Zuckerberg responded, "Shouldn't we consider employing a more dependable platform that can effectively generate funds for charitable purposes?"

📰 Google Announced Launch of Project IDX

Google has launched a new AI-enabled browser-based development environment called Project IDX, designed to make it easier for developers to build full-stack web and multiplatform apps.

Project IDX currently supports frameworks like Angular, Flutter, Next.js, React, Svelte and Vue, and languages like JavaScript and Dart, with support for Python, Go and others in the works.

Project IDX uses AI to help developers with a variety of tasks, including:

  • Code completion
  • Error detection and correction
  • Auto-formatting
  • Code linting
  • Documentation generation
  • Testing
  • Deployment

Project IDX is still in beta, but it is available for free to anyone who wants to try it out. Google plans to make it a commercial product in the future.

Here are some additional details about Project IDX:

  • It is a cloud-based service, so developers can access it from anywhere.
  • It is integrated with Google's other development tools, such as Google Cloud Platform and Google App Engine.
  • It supports a variety of programming languages and frameworks.
  • It is constantly being updated with new features and improvements.

📰 Apple’s Job Listings Reveal Possible Paths for Using Generative AI

 In the midst of a landscape where numerous companies are currently navigating the implications of the latest advancements in AI and their relevance to their operations, Apple appears to be no exception.

However, there is a clear stance that Apple is determined to incorporate more talent who specialise in generative AI into its operations.

Apple, based in Cupertino, has listed at least a dozen advertisements on its career platform, specifically seeking experts in the field of generative AI.

The company is actively pursuing machine learning specialists who are “passionate about building extraordinary autonomous systems”, whatever that means. 

The recruitment listings, some of which might encompass similar roles or solicit applications from multiple candidates, were initially visible starting April 27, with the latest batch published earlier this week.

DALL·E 2023-08-09 15.24.04 - an apple in a suit working behind a desk, digital art

Dall.e Prompt: an apple in a suit working behind a desk, digital art

These job postings coincide with a mixed narrative from the company concerning generative AI.

In the company's Q2 earnings conference earlier this month, CEO Tim Cook evaded providing concrete answers to inquiries on the company's initiatives in this area — although he refrained from dismissing the topic.

While acknowledging generative AI's captivating potential, he emphasised Apple's intention to adopt a deliberate and thoughtful approach.

Strikingly, recent reports from the Wall Street Journal suggested that the company had commenced restricting the usage of external generative AI tools like OpenAI's ChatGPT for some employees due to apprehensions about the potential leakage of proprietary data through these platforms.

📰AI Can Steal Data by Listening to Keystrokes

 A team of researchers from the UK have developed an AI model that can interpret keystrokes remotely based solely on audio. The model was trained on recordings of people typing on a MacBook Pro, and it was able to predict what was typed with up to 95% accuracy.

This means that sensitive information like passwords and messages could be intercepted by anyone within earshot of someone typing away on their laptop, either in person or virtually through a video call. The researchers call this type of attack an "acoustic side-channel attack."
DALL·E 2023-08-09 15.26.21 - a robot looking over a persons shoulder, the person is at a desk with a computer, digital art
Dall.e Prompt: a robot looking over a person's shoulder, the person is at a desk with a computer, digital art

Acoustic side-channel attacks have become much simpler in recent years due to the abundance of microphone-bearing devices like smartphones that can capture high-quality audio. Combined with the rapid advancements in machine learning, this makes these kinds of attacks feasible and a lot more dangerous than previously thought.

To prevent someone from hacking your keystrokes, the researchers recommend the following:
  • Change your typing style. This will make it more difficult for the AI model to predict what you are typing.
  • Use randomised passwords. This will make it more difficult for the AI model to guess your password, even if it can hear you type it.
  • Add randomly generated fake keystrokes for voice call-based attacks. This will make it more difficult for the AI model to distinguish between real and fake keystrokes.
  • Use biometric tools, like fingerprint or face scanning. This will prevent someone from hacking your keystrokes even if they can hear you type.

The researchers hope that their work will raise awareness of the risks of acoustic side-channel attacks and encourage people to take steps to protect their sensitive information.

This Week in Numbers 


OpenAI will fund a new journalism ethics initiative at New York University's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute with a $395,000 grant.


Curve Finance has placed a $1.85M bounty to help identify the hacker that stole $70M last week. 


On-chain data from Solana reveals that a crypto wallet suspected to be tied to the hacker made away with around 38,500 SOL tokens and $123,184 USDC, raking a total of $1,035,203

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💰Graph Of The Week

The below Google Trends timeline shows how interest in the metaverse has dropped worldwide since mid-2022, and is continuing to decline. 

Screenshot 2023-08-09 112624

✍️ 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. 

💰 CoreWeave raised $2.3 billion in debt to build specialized GPUs for AI.
💰 Deepset secures $30M to expand its LLM-focused MLOps offerings
💰 Tenstorrent, which builds AI hardware, raised $100 million
⚙️Rollbit announces revamped Tokenomics
⚙️ Google launches Project IDX, a new AI-enabled browser-based development environment
👥Nvidia teams up with Hugging Face to offer cloud-based AI training
💰 Simon Data raised $54 million for its marketing automation software.
💰 Inworld AI secured $50 million for its platform that generates virtual AI characters.
💰 Tractian, which uses AI to forecast mechanical failures, Earned $45 million.
💰 Flower lands $3.6M to grow its platform for federated learning

🤫 One AI Project and Two Lie Reveal:


Don't feel spaced out, the outta this world AI is real!

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