What Are Consumer Brands Doing In Web3, Blockchain and the Metaverse?
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Mar 3, 2023 11 min read

🤔 Wiser! #115: ChatGPT or Bard? | Hollywood 2.0 | TikTok | YouTube | #MWC2023 and the Metaverse

🤔 Wiser! #115: ChatGPT or Bard? | Hollywood 2.0 | TikTok | YouTube | #MWC2023 and the Metaverse
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Wiser! #115: ChatGPT or Google, which is best at search? You think NFTs are so old hat, do you? New YouTube is bullish on web3. Meta are gluttons for punishment. And Elon's done it again with his 8th round of job cuts!

w/Wiser! #115 - Friday 3rd March 2023


Carnaval is over, here in Spain, but that's not the end of the party, because it's my birthday next week. To celebrate, we're off to Cadiz for a few days, a wonderfully vibrant and historic city at the bottom of Spain.

In this week's Wiser!, I've tweaked the format again to keep the email shorter. The top stories are summarised in this email, with enough detail to have the takeaway on the issue if it comes up at the coffee machine at work. But, the bulk of the content, including links, embedded YouTubes, tweets and images, are all on the website under the "continue reading..." link at the end of the summary. let me know what you think of that (remember, there's a comments section and feedback buttons at the bottom of the email.)

ATB and thanks for being Wiser!, Rick

P.s. Remember: Insight and Information Gives You Leverage!

"always a worthwhile read” - Bob Riddler, Wiser! premium subscriber.


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There's no premium article this week. That's partly because I've been working on completing the last drop of consumer brands for the Brand Strategy Collection. It's been in soft launch mode for the past couple of months but now it's ready to go, and I'm real excited about this unique catalogue of consumer brands and their use cases in emerging tech. More next week.

However, paid subscribers are not left completely vacant as I updated last week's premium feature article and added some additional commentary on what happened after I'd posted it last week. You can read it here: 👉 US Supreme Court hears two "Section 230" cases that could decide the future of the Internet


In an unscientific, but entirely reasonable test, the online language learning platform Preply put Google’s Bard and OpenAI’s ChatGPT against each other in a head to head test of which one could do the best Search. Essentially, Preply compared the responses of ChatGPT and Google against a set of routine and standard questions, rating them based on factors such as clarity, detail, and actionability.

  • Their result: Google performed better on basic questions, but ChatGPT was superior in intermediate and advanced questions.

Here's The Thing:  Search is a more complex process than it appears on face value. You should look at the Preply questions to understand the context, because for many Searches, the variables of context, credentials, relevancy, and timing are the key factors. Google take these variables into account in its Search engine, whereas ChatGPT doesn't. Bottom line is that, underneath the presentation layer (plain English text versus a bunch of ad sponsered, read yourself links), the Large Language Models that power generative AI tools like ChatGPT, are not suited to Search.  

Continue reading for charts, a survey on consumer attitudes to AI post ChatGPT and related information ...


2. OpenAI, TikTok, Adobe and the BBC are amongst ten firms that agreed voluntary principles about generative AI

A group of 10 companies, including OpenAI, TikTok, Adobe, the BBC, and the dating app Bumble, have signed up to a new set of guidelines on how to build, create, and share AI-generated content responsibly. The recommendations ask for greater transparency from both technology builders, such as OpenAI, and creators and distributors of digitally created synthetic media, such as the BBC and TikTok, regarding what the technology can and cannot do, and for disclosure when people might be interacting with this type of content.

Here’s The Thing: Whilst it’s fair to say that legislation is lagging when it comes to regulating the use of AI, its definitely on its way. The rapid speed and growth in generativeAI tools is acting as an accelerant to catch the market up. The European Union, for example, is looking to include generative AI in its upcoming AI law, the AI Act, new legislation aimed at curbing the worst harms associated with artificial intelligence.

So, whilst the self-policing actions of the 10 companies is welcome, the reality is that voluntary guidelines rarely work. To stop generative AI becoming a wild west, legislation is going to be required, sooner rather than later.

Continue reading for all source links, additional analysis and related headlines


3. If you think NFTs are so yesterday, think again

Online reporting from Axios found that NFTs are racking up $500 million in monthly sales volume. At its peak in 2022, the NFT markets were turning over 8 times that at around $4 billion a month, but the point is that the market hasn’t gone to zero. More than this, the NFT market, as Axios define it, is looking only at the trading activity of these digital collectables.

Here's The Thing: The takeaway about NFTs is less about speculative trading and more about the utility of non-fungible tokens as a ownership certificates that can unlock a range of benefits and entitlements. This is what I have been tracking and analysing for the past 6 months to build Brand Strategy Collection.

From the Brand Strategy Collection:

To find out more about the use-cases for consumer brands in AI, web3 and the Metaverse, check this out.


4. New YouTube CEO is bullish and upbeat on the future of NFTS and Web3

Web3 enthusiasts are watching closely as Neal Mohan takes over as the CEO of YouTube. Last year, Mohan published a blog post that said YouTube was exploring ways to incorporate Web3 technology, with suggestions that included making the platform more immersive and integrating NFTs in some way.

Mohan wrote that he believes NFTs and blockchain technology can help "creators build deeper relationships with their fans."

Here's The Thing: YouTube are not the only social media platform with an interest in Web3:

  • Twitter announced it was expanding its Tweet Tiles feature to NFTs late last year.
  • Meta lined up a group of digital artists to sell NFTs on Instagram.
  • Little Red Book, a social media platform in China that is similar to Instagram, announced it is integrating the Conflux blockchain into its network of over 200 million active monthly users.

Continue reading for source links and more insight about social media and web3.


5. Meta have another go at launching an AI system

Mark Zuckerberg announced in a Facebook post on Monday that Meta is creating a new product group focused on generative AI. The new product group will bring together a number of teams working on generative AI across the company, with the goal of building “delightful experiences” around the technology across all of Meta’s different products. This came at the same time that Meta introduced a new large language model called LLaMa (Large Language Model Meta AI) to support AI researchers.

Here’s The Thing: It’s a road Meta have been down before (see the Galactica cock-up and what Blenderbot thought of the Zuck) which likely explains why the new Meta AI is NOT a chatbot and is not yet openly accessible by the public (unlike ChatGPT.) But, with their massive chest of user data and the advertising cash cow that is Facebook and Instagram, Meta is well-positioned to compete against Google and Microsoft.

Continue reading, including the latest news on Meta's plans for rolling out its consumer Mixed Reality glasses and other related stories.


6. Twitter has laid off another 200 employees, or about 10% of its remaining workforce (down from 7000+ when Musk took over)

Remember the Twitter engineer who made such a big thing of sleeping in the office post Elon Musk’s takeover and call for an “extremely hardcore” work ethic? A kiss-ass stunt that seemed to get them a promotion as a result? That was Esther Crawford, who was put in charge of Twitter Blue Subscription and the coming payments feature by Musk after demonstrating her loyalty. Well, that didn't wrk out so well and over the weekend as many 200 Twitter staff found their presence was no longer required.

Here's The Thing: This latest round of layoffs is the eighth since Musk assumed ownership of Twitter. The workforce at Twitter was close to 7,500 pre-Musk and is now down to less than 2,000. There has to come a point when the workforce doesn't have the critical mass to keep the hamster wheels turning. As of January, the company’s daily revenue was reportedly down 40% year-over-year.‎‎‏‏‎ It’s no wonder that the app has become buggy and unreliable. I remain firm and bullish on my 2023 Prediction, that Musk will walk away from Twitter empty handed.

Continue reading for more insight, some tweets and DoDo Corner (for all news Elon and Twitter).


7. Hollywood 2.0: How the rise of AI tools like Runway are changing filmmaking

When making the movie “Everything Everywhere All At Once”, the visual effects team used artificial intelligence tools from Runway rather than human effort, because the AI was better at it. Rather than explain it, you can watch an explainer video instead in the link below.

Here’s The Thing: This is an automation trend that’s running right across the movie industry, from deepfakes to AI generated scripts. Last year, South Park ran an entire show using a deepfake Donald Trump. The Late Show… uses AI almost on a daily basis to translate hours of work. These AI tools are saving tons of resources, time and cost for the movie producers.

Continue reading for the video, plus a story of a deepfake that fooled an online bank.


8. Mobile World Congress 2023 kicks off in Barcelona with a focus on Metaverse

Eighty thousand people are expected to attend the annual MWC this week in Barcelona to see the latest in tomorrow’s technology, gadgets and promises of what might come next. The show is still underway as I put this week’s newsletter to bed, but what struck me from the first couple of days was the emphasis and focus on immersive technologies, aka the metaverse.

Here’s The Thing: for many, mention the word “metaverse” and they think kids, games and legless cartoon avatars. And envision a brick stuck to their face. However, that misses the point. Because there are plenty of use cases emerging in what can only be described as the industrial Metaverse.

Continue reading for five examples of immersive technology in different sectors, the Columbian court hearing held in the Metaverse, the virtual reality wedding at Taco Bells in the Metaverse, and Xiaomi's augmented reality glasses that are like somethign out of Minority Report.


9. Metaverse Fashion Week is approaching

MVFW is scheduled for March 28th to run for 3 days in Decentraland. The line-up has just been announced, and like last year, the virtual fashion show will feature the virtual storefronts of major consumer brands, including Dolce & Gabbana, Tommy Hilfiger, Dundas and DKNY. Adidas will host a space selling the brand’s first collection of three-striped digital apparel. Coach will be present at a newly created Fashion Plaza for emerging digital fashion opportunities, and Diesel will throw an interactive virtual party.

Here's The Thing: It all sounds a bit daft, pointless and gimmicky, until you see the number of consumer brands investing in immersive experiences and virtual reality technologies. They're getting ahead of the competition in understanding what works and what doesn't, and more importantly, how to engage with Gen Z and Gen A'ers who are their next generation of customers (but only know a world that is 100% digital and online.)

Continue reading for more insight in Metaverse Fashion Week.


10. TikTok is banned from public service phones in the European Union and in Canada

This week, the European Commission has told staff not to install TikTok on their phones and the Canadian government banned the app from all government-issued mobile devices. Canadian PM, Justin Trudeau saying this could just be the beginning of further action. The reason given in both cases, yet again, is fear over TikTok being used to spy by the Chinese Communist Party.

Meanwhile, in the US, the senior-most Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee said he opposed a bill that would grant President Biden the power to ban TikTok.

Here’s The Thing: this is inconsistent nuts. if you’re going to ban TikTok for it’s surveillance capability then surely you have to also ban Facebook, Google and Apple, to name just the big guns. The point is that they are all collecting far more data than they need in an effort to better understand what makes you tick, so they can hold onto your attention for just one second longer.

Continue reading to find out what I really worry about with TikTok.


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Wiser! is a weekly newsletter that makes sense of what's happening and what's coming next in the tech economy. From disruptive technologies, like blockchain, crypto and artificial intelligence, to emerging trends, like Web3 and the Metaverse. Plus there's a big focus on BigTech and the impact of social media.

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