Week in Review - ChatGPT rivals step into the ring and TikTok CEO testifies before Congress

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Week in Review logo

By Henry Pickavet

Saturday, March 25, 2023

As the fallout from the SVB crash continued, the topic of AI reclaimed its spot at the top this week, and the TikTok CEO appeared before Congress. Read on for a roundup of the best of the week.

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Image Credits: TechCrunch/Bryce Durbin

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Kyle reports that OpenAI’s AI-powered chatbot can now browse the internet. The company launched plug-ins for ChatGPT, which extend the bot’s functionality by granting it access to third-party knowledge sources and databases, including the web. Read more.

This week, Google announced Bard, its ChatGPT competitor, and opened its waitlist to U.S.- and U.K.-based users. More on that here. And Devin quickly compared it to OpenAI’s offering and Claude, Anthropic’s ChatGPT competitor. In its early days, perhaps unsurprisingly, Bard is lacking. Read the comparisons here.

In addition to AI, the big news from the week was TikTok. CEO Shou Zi Chew testified before Congress Thursday, and our team covered everything, from the hearing to who benefits if a U.S. ban happens:

Veteran hacker Kelly “Aloria” Lum passed away on Sunday. She was well-known in the cybersecurity community, especially the one in New York, which was her home for many years. The Twitter account of the New York City security conference Summercon announced her death on Monday, prompting a seemingly endless list of people to publicly mourn her loss and pay tribute to her life. Read Lorenzo’s own tribute.

Amazon confirmed another round of layoffs that impacts 9,000 people, mostly from its AWS business, but also from Twitch and other units. Read more here. And for a deeper look into the AWS news, click here.

One of those units that got caught up in the Amazon layoffs this week was camera review site DPReview. “The team’s knowledge, acumen and extensive objective testing contributed to reviews that famously reached near-comical lengths at times, but that was because shortcuts simply were not taken,” Devin said in his piece. Read it here.

Tech consultancy giant Accenture also announced this week that it plans to cut 19,000 jobs, or 2.5% of its workforce. Read more here.

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TC+ subscribers get access to in-depth commentary, analysis and surveys — which you know if you’re already a subscriber. If you’re not, consider signing up. Here are a few highlights from this week:

“Cloud-first strategies may be hitting the limits of their efficacy, and in many cases, ROIs are diminishing,” writes Thomas Robinson, COO of Domino Data Lab. Robinson shares suggestions for “a few things that can be done to ensure future flexibility for where workloads are created.” Read more.

A decade ago, Fellow launched a Kickstarter campaign for a product called Duo, a coffee maker that’s the best of both worlds: a cross between a French press and a pour-over. Haje wrote about how the company bootstrapped for 8 years to build its coffee empire. Read more.

We can now all agree that AI is top of mind for enterprises. Kyle writes that corporate investment in AI is on the rise, driven by the tech’s promise. Read about it here.

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