Morning Brew - ☕ AI over everything?

Tech giants want you to know: They're focused on AI.
February 06, 2023

Emerging Tech Brew


Happy Monday. In a surprising turn of events for a large AI model, ChatGPT is apparently much more of a humanities buff than it is a math nerd. According to the WSJ, the model frequently messes up basic math problems (although it is always very confident in its answers).

Anyway, let this be a reminder to you at the start of the new week: You too can defy expectations.

In today’s edition:

Google, Microsoft, and Meta tout renewed AI focus
How apprenticeships are helping diversify the tech workforce

Hayden Field, Aman Kidwai, Dan McCarthy


AI is priority No.1 for some tech giants

AI is priority No. for some tech giants Hannah Minn

“Difficult changes.” “Challenging time.” “Tough choices.”

Big Tech companies’ recent layoff announcements and earnings calls have had these familiar buzzwords in common, but many of them have also shared an overarching vision: That AI advancement is the future, and it’s time to shift more focus and funding toward machine learning projects.

  • So far this year, 270+ tech companies have reportedly laid off more than 86,000 workers, which includes headcount reductions of about 12,000 at Alphabet, 10,000 at Microsoft, and 8,000 at Amazon, according to industry tracker
  • In November, Meta announced it would lay off 11,000 of its staff. These announcements follow nearly 160,000 layoffs of tech workers in 2022, per

Three of the most influential tech companies—Alphabet, Microsoft, and Meta—have said that, in part, they’re using the period of retrenchment to try and elevate their in-house AI projects.

Big picture: The aim is to potentially better position themselves to compete in a landscape where generative AI, a sector that raised $1.4 billion last year according to Pitchbook data, has quickly sparked widespread interest and adoption across industries. OpenAI’s ChatGPT recently became the fastest-growing consumer application ever recorded, according to a UBS study, netting ~100 million monthly active users in two months. Read the full story on the rise of AI.HF



PhD not required


This big blue blob is actually a patented, genetically engineered protein developed by Cytonics to treat osteoarthritis, a debilitating disease that affects 600m worldwide.

And you don’t need a PhD to understand the investment potential of this scientific breakthrough:

  • To date, there are no effective treatments for osteoarthritis––a scary truth for the 25% of adults who will be affected by 2030.
  • Cytonics’ research shows that CYT-108 has the potential to slow the degradation of cartilage and eventually reverse the progression of cartilage damage in arthritic joints.
  • CYT-108 is headed to phase 1 human clinical trials, a key step toward FDA approval and the biggest catalyst in Cytonics’ corporate history.

Where do you come in? Invest now and help bring this revolutionary biotech treatment to the $240b osteoarthritis market.


The best ships are…apprenticeships?

A 1980s computer Phiwath Jittamas/Getty Images

Apprenticeships have existed for centuries, but they may be seeing a surge in popularity.

As tech companies including LinkedIn, Twilio, Intuit, and IBM have struggled to recruit and retain talent, they’ve turned to this form of on-the-job training for potential hires who, as Tracy Stone, Intuit’s director of DE&I, told HR Brew, “may not have had the opportunity to have educational or work experience in technology,” but have the potential to develop into valued employees.

Recruiting with a wider lens. In the good old days, apprenticeships offered one of the only opportunities to learn a trade. Today, these programs are used by HR teams to expand and diversify recruiting pipelines, especially in historically homogeneous industries like tech.

“There’s so much talent in the industry that gets filtered out because they don’t have the right credentials, they don’t have the right degree,” Shalini Agarwal, senior director of engineering at LinkedIn and leader of the company’s REACH apprenticeship program, told HR Brew. “All of those people are overlooked in our recruiting pipelines…so we wanted to open up that opportunity funnel.” Read the full story from HR Brew here.AK



Coworking with…Jack Cohen

Coworking with…Jack Cohen Jack Cohen

Coworking is a weekly segment where we spotlight Emerging Tech Brew readers who work with emerging technologies. Click here if you’d like a chance to be featured.

How would you describe your job to someone who doesn’t work in tech?

The intersection of engineering, finance, and manufacturing. At this stage of the tech and product development, the amount of value engineering and design for manufacturability is highly correlated to the long-term design language of the product and thus the cost. If we can integrate the supply base early and often—from machine shops to electronic manufacturers, from specialty coaters to tube benders—we can get feedback at the right time so our design engineers can pick which industrial processes to use and which to develop specially for our application.

What’s your favorite emerging tech project you’ve worked on?

Even though I have worked in very cool tech projects most of my career, including rockets and sustainable aviation, nothing has come close to how I feel about fusion energy…Fusion so far has been experimental in nature—this means that there is no supply base developed that can produce more than a couple of pieces of hardware a year. If they can produce them in the first place.

It is not uncommon for companies to want to be part of the supply chain just because the hardware is so different from what is in their shop now; statements like “making parts like this is why I got into this business” make a manufacturing nerd like me very happy.

One thing we can’t guess from your LinkedIn profile?

I co-owned a small pizza shop with my now-wife—girlfriend back then—for a while. We both had full-time jobs in which we worked during the day and then took over from the day manager after 6pm every weekday. Then 12pm-12am on Saturdays and Sundays.



Meta logo image Nurphoto/Getty Images

Stat: In 2022, Meta lost $13.7 billion on its metaverse division, officially known as Reality Labs. In the past, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said metaverse losses would only deepen in 2023…but TBD on how that will be reconciled with his new promise that this will be the “year of efficiency.”

Quote: “Autonomy is going to come to all of the airplanes eventually.”—Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun, in an interview with Bloomberg TV

Read: The Biden admin’s plan to build a domestic EV battery industry is off to a hot start.


  • Netflix and GM are teaming up for a Super Bowl ad about EVs.
  • Apple and Google were encouraged to ban TikTok from their app stores by Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat from Colorado who sits on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
  • Apple is reportedly dropping the role of design chief, a post that was occupied by legendary industrial designer Jony Ive up until four years ago. Its design team will now report to the COO.
  • Twitter will no longer offer free access to its API, although it hasn’t yet announced a pricing plan.
  • Arena Group, which publishes outlets like Sports Illustrated, said it’s using AI to generate articles for Men’s Journal.
  • Google reportedly invested $300 million in Anthropic, a buzzy AI startup founded in 2021 by OpenAI alums.


It’s the first trivia of February. Time to start the month strong.

Click here to play.


The Crew

Trend alert, cybersecurity edition: One thing’s for sure in 2023—cybersecurity will continue to be a high-impact sector. Nearly every company has some need for tech, and hacks of all kinds are increasing. Check out our predictions about the 3 biggest cybersecurity trends of ’23.


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Written by Hayden Field, Dan McCarthy, and Aman Kidwai

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