Morning Brew - ☕ Cooking up

Apple’s big, belated plans for AI…
June 11, 2024 View Online | Sign Up | Shop

Morning Brew

Ooni

Good morning. Do any other animals besides humans have names? Turns out yes. Bottlenose dolphins have been observed calling each other by “names,” and as of yesterday, elephants have too. A new study published in Nature Ecology & Evolution revealed that elephants may have names for other elephants that they vocalize not through their famous trumpeting, but through low-frequency rumblings.

Dr. Seuss knew this over eight decades ago.

—Sam Klebanov, Molly Liebergall, Cassandra Cassidy, Adam Epstein, Neal Freyman

MARKETS

Nasdaq

17,192.53

S&P

5,360.79

Dow

38,868.04

10-Year

4.469%

Bitcoin

$69,482.45

Oil

$77.87

Data is provided by

*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 4:00pm ET. Here's what these numbers mean.

  • Markets: The big indexes went Mariano Rivera mode and closed strong, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq ascending to new record highs. The vibes are good ahead of this week’s key Fed meeting and the release of the latest inflation data, as investors await word of interest rate cuts. Oil also ticked up as analysts expected a summer of solid demand.
 

TECH

Apple is putting AI in your pocket

Apple CEO Tim Cook Picture Alliance/Getty Images

The “A” in AI stands for Apple, the techies attending Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) were told yesterday. CEO Tim Cook and Co. unveiled Apple Intelligence, a host of AI-powered features that will debut on iPhones, iPads, and Macs this fall.

The all-out AI push comes after the company initially appeared uninterested in jumping on the AI hype train, and even refused to mention “artificial intelligence” at last year’s WWDC.

Here’s what Apple is Cooking up:

  • It’s bringing ChatGPT to Siri and other Apple apps through a partnership with OpenAI. A more personal Siri will be able to act as an iPhone user guide, pull info from ChatGPT, and perform tasks across apps like texting photos from a specific event to a contact or playing a podcast that a friend recommended over text.
  • Writing Tools can rewrite texts, emails, or notes to adjust for tone.
  • Mail app’s new feature will summarize emails and rank them by importance.
  • The calculator app is finally coming to the iPad, and users will be able to write out math problems using an Apple Pencil that’ll be solved automatically.

For those concerned about privacy, Apple assures that the AI will be run either locally on the device (without the need for internet) or on the company’s own servers through the cloud.

Is Apple behind?

As it deals with sluggish iPhone sales, Apple has been far slower to adopt AI than rivals Google and Microsoft, which have launched their own AI features and integrated them into their devices and offerings. Apple is known for being fashionably late to embrace new tech but still outdoing the competition when it gets there, as it did with the iPod, which was far from the world’s first MP3 player.

Some commentators believe that Apple’s devices are uniquely positioned to become the physical shells that AI bots need to become a daily part of your life.

Apple Intelligence won’t appear on your device…unless you have an iPhone 15 Pro, 15 Pro Max, or an iPad or Mac with the newest M1 chips.—SK

   

PRESENTED BY OONI

Fire it up

Ooni

You know what they say: “Sun’s out, oven’s out.” Okay, maybe that’s not the correct phrasing. But with summer in full swing, it’s time to turn the heat up on your feast game.

There’s no better way to do it than with Ooni’s biggest, most versatile oven yet: the Koda 2 Max.

This bad boy is top-notch, seriously. It offers dual-zone cooking, a digital temperature hub, and a supersized 24-inch-wide cooking area capable of baking one 20-inch New York–style pizza, two 12-inch pizzas, or three 10-inch pizzas simultaneously.

Plus, the Koda 2 Max is hooked up with Ooni Connect™, so you can receive detailed oven-temperature info straight to your phone.

Level up your eats.

WORLD

Tour de headlines

European Union Getty Images

EU election results are rocking European markets. The euro, French banks, and other stocks across Europe fell on Monday in response to the European Parliament’s rightward shift and French President Emmanuel Macron’s surprising decision to hold snap elections in the country. France’s benchmark index, the CAC 40, dropped 1.3% to its lowest close since February, while the euro tumbled 1% against the dollar. French banking giant Société Générale sank 7%. Investors are worried that a right-wing upset of the centrist status quo in the European Parliament could weaken EU economic integration efforts, risk climate gains, and force Europe to be tougher on trade—which in turn could hurt automakers and other companies that do business with China.

Moderna says its Covid-flu combo shot is a winner. The biotech company that became a household name after it developed a Covid-19 vaccine says its new shot, which combines Covid and influenza vaccines into one jab, is more effective than the existing standalone shots. After publishing late-stage trial data, Moderna will file for regulatory approval this summer, with the hope that the shot will be ready for Americans in 2025. Rival pharma giants Pfizer and Novavax are also developing shots that combine Covid and flu vaccines.

🪧 US dockworkers are threatening to strike. The union that represents more than 45,000 dockworkers at ports throughout the US canceled labor talks yesterday and is threatening a work stoppage to protest the use of automated machinery, the WSJ reported. Union leader Harold Daggett vowed the group would go on strike if a new contract with the ports is not reached by September 30, when the current agreement expires. An October strike could add another wrinkle to the upcoming presidential election and uncertainty to the holiday shopping season, which relies on goods traveling from overseas into US ports.

AIRLINES

Southwest’s big new investor wants its execs gone

Southwest planes Mark Ralston/Getty Images

Diss track alert: The activist investor hedge fund Elliott Management revealed itself as one of Southwest Airlines’ largest shareholders yesterday and lambasted the struggling company’s “stubborn unwillingness” to overhaul its “antiquated operations” in a letter calling for a total leadership shakeup.

News of the fund’s $1.9 billion (~11%) stake in Southwest sent the airline’s stock climbing toward its biggest single-day gain since November 2020. Southwest’s stock has more than halved over the past three years due to intense competition, outdated tech (like the computer systems that contributed to the 2022 holiday travel meltdown), and the company’s exclusive use of delay-ridden Boeing 737 planes.

Elliott’s proposal: Southwest’s stock could soar 77% in 12 months if the company 1) replaces the CEO and chairman with outside hires 2) fills the board of directors with industry vets who have experience at other airlines (none currently do) and 3) refocuses on modernization and monetization, Elliott said.

Will Southwest take the advice? The airline said it looks forward to “better understanding” Elliott’s “views” but that its board is “confident” in Southwest’s leadership. Elliott has a proven record of snapping up large stakes in underperforming companies and forcing CEO replacements—including at Crown Castle, NRG Energy, and Goodyear since May 2023.—ML

   

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Adobe Express

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CANNABIS

Martha’s Vineyard weed supply levels are not high

Island Time cannabis dispensary in Martha’s Vineyard Boston Globe/Getty Images

The tiny island known for inspiring Vampire Weekend songs is on the verge of running out of weed due to a state regulation that prohibits the transportation of marijuana across the sea.

The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission, which takes the fun out of everything regulates marijuana, has remained cautious against violating federal law. For years, marijuana growers have produced and tested the cash crop on Martha’s Vineyard to avoid any run-ins with the CCC, but the island’s only commercial grower is shutting down its operation due to regulatory and financial difficulties.

What’s a dispensary to do? Trading the penjamin for an actual pen, two local dispensaries sued the CCC in May. There are already precedents to make changes set by other states: California, Washington, Hawaii, and Maine have amended laws to allow for the shipment of weed over water.

Looking ahead…the commission meets on Thursday to decide what to do. Business owners and advocates—there are over 230 medical marijuana users on Martha’s Vineyard—are urging the CCC to adopt an emergency order that would allow cannabis to cross state waters this summer.—CC

   

STAT

Prime number

Spaghetti in the shape of a dollar sign Illustration: Francis Scialabba, Photo: Teine/Getty Images

The US restaurant industry is doing its best impression of the “Call an ambulance—but not for me” meme. After some observers were writing its obit during the height of the pandemic, the industry is now on track to have its best year ever in 2024, with $1.1 trillion in sales, according to the National Restaurant Association. That’s up from $864 billion in 2019, just before the pandemic. Meanwhile, the average US household spent 53% of its gastronomic budget on food outside the house—the highest proportion of all time, the WSJ reported. The restaurant renaissance has powered through inflation and other economic headwinds thanks to a variety of factors, including improved technology, new takeout and delivery options, and, yes, foodie culture.

NEWS

What else is brewing

  • Dan Hurley reportedly turned down a six-year, $70 million offer to become the head coach of the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers to stay at UConn, where he’s won back-to-back NCAA titles.
  • The Supreme Court agreed to consider Meta’s bid to shut down a class-action lawsuit over the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
  • Edgar Bronfman Jr. and Bain Capital are interested in buying National Amusements, the company that owns Paramount Global, for up to $2.5 billion, the WSJ reported, while Paramount is exploring a merger with Skydance Media.
  • The WNBA reported its best early-season TV viewership in league history and the highest attendance in 26 years, due in part to the arrival of star Caitlin Clark.
  • Bad Boys 4, Will Smith’s first major film since he slapped Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars, had a successful $104.6 million global box-office debut.

RECS

Tuesday To Do List

Watch: Tennis legend Roger Federer’s well-received commencement address at Dartmouth.

Party in the back: A hilariously detailed infographic on the number of mullets in Australian rules football.

Impress dad: Last-minute Father’s Day gifts that will arrive by Sunday.

Become fluent in AI: Develop and maintain your AI expertise with year-round courses, events, community, and office hours with AI experts.*

Discover the COZ Series: Your ultimate collection of polos and shorts perfect for the golf course, the office, or Zoom calls. Use code MORNINGBREW for 20% off.*

Brain chips: It’s really happening, folks. Learn about the (rather large) market for brain implants and how this cutting-edge tech could change just about everything. This video, sponsored by Timeline Nutrition, explains it.*

*A message from our sponsor.

GAMES

The puzzle section

Brew Mini: Try out today’s wild-looking Mini, and if you don’t like it, you can always give it to your dog. Play it here.

European football crests

The Euros are just days away, and you’re going to be seeing a lot of epic crests on teams’ kits.

Can you name the European countries represented by the six crests below?

European soccer crests

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ANSWER

  1. England
  2. Portugal
  3. Ukraine
  4. The Netherlands
  5. Croatia
  6. Georgia

Word of the Day

Today’s Word of the Day is: gastronomic, meaning “relating to cooking or eating food.” Thanks to Namrata from San Jose, CA, for serving us the suggestion. Submit another Word of the Day here.

         
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