w/Wiser! #120 - 7th April 2023
Happy Easter holidays to you all. I’m not a religious guy but I do enjoy watching the processions for Semana Santa here in Spain (I wrote a blog about it last year.) Anyhow, with my daughter coming to stay with me for the week, and the celebrations for Easter, it’s a shorter newsletter this week.
If you were confused by the lack of images in Tuesday’s Wiser! Recap, I was too! Not sure what happened with the Substack edition of Wiser!
P.s. Remember: Insight and Information Gives You Leverage!
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Use of ChatGPT restricted by Amazon and others
Use of ChatGPT has been limited by Amazon. Banking giant JPMorgan and US-based mobile phone network Verizon have banned workers from using the software altogether. Internet security company Cyberhaven said that the proportion of workers pasting internal data to ChatGPT more than doubled in less than a month from 3.1% to 6.5%. “Alarm is growing” among corporations at the “dramatic growth” in use of the chatbot and the commercial and security implications of potentially sensitive information routinely “escaping” to external databanks, said the i news site.
Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer, this week became the latest conglomerate to find itself embroiled in concerns over how staff use ChatGPT, after Korean media reports claimed employees at the company’s main semi-conductor plants inputted confidential information, including highly-sensitive “source code” to iron out programming flaws.
Tech leaders call for six-month AI development pause
Tech leaders and experts, including Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak, Bill Gates and engineers from Google, Amazon, and Microsoft, have signed an open letter calling for a six-month pause in the development of artificial intelligence systems to ensure their safety. The letter warns that AI systems with human-competitive intelligence pose risks to society and humanity, and that powerful AI systems should only be developed once their positive effects and risks are manageable.
This is not the first time that Musk and Wozniak have made the same call. In 2014 they co-signed an open letter with a star cast of scientists and tech leaders that called for exactly the same thing.
Meanwhile, UNESCO has called on all Governments to implement a Global Ethical Framework for AI without delay. Good luck with that one!
NSO Group placed on US Commerce Department's blacklist despite secret contract with US government
The Biden administration declared NSO Group a national security threat and placed it on a Commerce Department blacklist. However, the New York Times reports that a secret contract exists between a company acting on behalf of the US government and NSO Group, violating the administration's public policy. The contract allowed the US government to use NSO's Landmark geolocation tool, which can covertly track mobile phones without the phone user's knowledge or consent.
If the NYT article is true, it'll make "ban TikTok because they're spying on your phone" a difficult argument for the Biden administration to sustain.
Meta releases new AI model for object segmentation and generative video creation
Meta has released a new AI model called the "Segment Anything Model," which allows AI to extract objects within images or videos with a single click. It utilises advanced computer vision technology, which enables computers to analyse and understand visual information. Meta has also teased several generative AI features, including Make-A-Video, which generates videos from text prompts. Earlier this year, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said incorporating generative AI "creative aids" into Meta's apps is a priority.
Big Tech and governments dominate AI development, reveals Stanford report
The 2023 AI index report from Stanford University shows that Big Tech companies and governments dominate AI development, with 32 industry-produced machine learning models compared to 3 produced by academia. The report found that AI is both helping and harming the environment, accelerating scientific progress, and increasing demand for AI-related professional skills. However, incidents of AI misuse are rapidly rising, and there are concerns about prioritising profits over safety. Read the full report.
Metaverse Fashion Week showcases luxury virtual and real-world fashion brands
Metaverse Fashion Week happened in the last 3 days of March. The event showcased a variety of luxury virtual and real-world fashion brands and independent creators focusing on NFTs as wearable assets. Top fashion brands to take over the event included Diesel, Tommy Hilfiger, Adidas, Dolce & Gabbana, Vogue and many more. Adidas seems to be the big winner of the event in terms of engagement, followed by Tommy Hilfiger. But the event got mixed reviews depending on who you read. The Verge wrote “Decentraland’s Metaverse Fashion Week featured virtual clothes and exhibits from some major names in fashion, but it was lonely, difficult to navigate, and pretty boring.” However, the host for the virtual fashion show, Decentraland reported a 200% increase in NFT sales volume.
What's happening in Brand Strategy?
The Brand Strategy Collection is a massive reference database with the use cases of over 250 consumer brands, organisations and personalities in emerging tech. Premium subscribers have unlimited access to this database.
This week’s updates include:
- Home Deport: In March 2023, Home Depot launched a virtual Kids Workshop experience on Roblox, which is based on its in-person Kids Workshops.
- Sony: Launched an immersive VR experience called the “Ghostbusters VR Academy” in conjunction with Hologate in the world’s largest out-of-home VR network.
- Walmart: expects that within three years, 55% of its fulfillment center volume will move through automated facilities, and a whopping 65% of its stores will be automated to some extent.
- Alo Yoga: the lifestyle brand continues to build its Web3 portfolio with a collection of digital wearables on The Sandbox.
- Titleist: The golf brand has filed a string of patents for downloadable virtual goods featuring golf balls, golf clubs, golf bags, golf head covers, apparel, headwear, golf equipment to use in the metaverse.
- Denny’s: The food chain are partnering with QReal Partners to deliver an Augmented Reality (AR) experience for customers to bring their new menu to life.
- 7-Eleven, Circle K, BP and Shell are among the many retailers who partner with Coinhub to put Bitcoin ATMs in their stores.
- How Ikea is using drones to improve efficiency, cut costs and transform its supply chain
- Brand Strategy: How Starbucks leverages machine learning to revolutionise the customer experience
- Five examples of consumer brand adoption of ChatGPT to drive customer engagement
- Brand Strategy: How airlines are using emerging tech for customer engagement
To find out more about the use-cases of over 250 consumer brands in emerging technologies, read this...
- MicroStrategy, the business software company founded by Michael Saylor, is continuing to scoop up Bitcoin. According to a Wednesday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company bought 1,045 bitcoins for $23.9 million between March 24th and April 4th.
- Apple’s Tim Cook says AR and VR are for ‘connection’ and ‘communication.’
- OpenAI has posted a blog that explains their attutude and intentions for making AI beneficial to humanity while prioritising safety.
- Amazon and Microsoft’s cloud computing businesses are facing heightened regulatory scrutiny in the UK after the country’s communications regulator on Wednesday raised “significant concerns” about potential anticompetitive practices by both companies.
- TikTok parent company ByteDance crossed $80 billion in revenue in 2022, thanks primarily to growth from its Douyin video app, a China-based version of TikTok. The company’s solid revenue growth of more than 30% means it is soon likely surpass WeChat owner Tencent in terms of revenue.
- Verified Misinformation: ‘Blue Check’ Twitter accounts are flooding the platform with false claims, according to new research from NewsGuard. Under new owner Elon Musk, Twitter is granting legitimacy to some of the platform’s influential misinformers.
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