Algorithms on a Roll

Dwaiter Weekly


February 2, 2022


The Roots of the New AI Revolution

Everyone's talking about Generative AI. In truth, everything from videos to biology, programming, writing, translation, and more is seeing AI progress at the same incredible pace, Ars Technica. These breakthroughs are all underpinned by a new class of AI models that are more flexible and powerful than anything that has come before.


Outlook Buoys Meta After Another Drop in Sales

Facebook parent Meta Platforms posted its third straight quarter of declining sales Wednesday, but issued an upbeat outlook as it navigates weak advertiser demand in an increasingly competitive social-media landscape, the Wall Street Journal reports. Its quarterly revenues declined 4.5 percent to $32.2 billion, but beat Wall Street estimates. Meta shares rose by as much as 18 percent in after-hours trading.


Instagram Co-Founders Start New Venture

Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, the Instagram co-founders who departed Facebook in 2018 amid tensions with their parent company, have launched a new venture to explore ideas for next-generation social apps, The Verge reports. Their first product is Artifact, a personalized news feed that uses machine learning to understand your interests and will soon let you discuss those articles with friends.


To Raise Cash, Stripe Takes a Hit 

Stripe, one of Silicon Valley’s biggest private startups, plans to raise roughly $2.5 billion, the New York Times' DealBook newsletter reports. The investment would give Stripe cash at a time when startups are struggling to raise money. But the deal would come at a cost: It will value Stripe at $55 billion to $60 billion, down sharply from $95 billion just a few years ago.



Two Startups Near Big Funding Rounds 

Artificial intelligence startups Anthropic AI and Character Technologies are reportedly closing on blockbuster funding rounds backed by a number of high-profile venture capital firms, SiliconAngle reports. In the case of Anthropic, the New York Times cited two sources as saying it’s zeroing in on a $300 million round of funding. Character AI, meanwhile, has told investors it’s seeking $250 million in fresh funding, according to a story in The Information


CMOs Keen on Metaverse, Blockchain

Just 10 percent of surveyed marketers think the metaverse is irrelevant to their industry, according to Deloitte’s 2023 Global Marketing Trends report. However, nearly half say development and implementation is a challenge, Marketing Dive reports. Meanwhile, 41 percent of marketers are planning to use blockchain technology to support their advertising strategies in 2023. 


Job Openings Await Laid-Off Tech Workers

Where will all the laid-off tech workers go? Rani Molla of Recode writes that there's a good-news answer: There are still many open jobs for these workers, not only within the tech industry but also, increasingly, outside of it. Despite the thousands of layoffs, the U.S. tech industry added employees for the 25th consecutive month in December.


Help Wanted Signs in the Cyber Underworld

Developers are the most in-demand roles on the dark web, according to recent research from Russian cyber firm Kaspersky. Its analysis of job advertisements posted on dark web forums in the first half of 2022 found that some cybercrime and state-sponsored hacking groups were offering developers upward of $20,000 a month to join their ranks, Axios reports.


AI Tools Skilled at Propaganda

Artificial intelligence is writing fiction, making images inspired by Van Gogh and fighting wildfires. Now it’s competing in another endeavor once limited to humans: creating propaganda and disinformation, AP reports. When asked, ChatGPT created propaganda in the style of Russian state media or China’s authoritarian government, according to the findings of analysts at NewsGuard, a firm that monitors and studies online misinformation.


Screen Sack 

Some pro football fans get mad or depressed when their team blows a big lead or exits the playoffs early. Others get even—by destroying their TV. And then they post about it online, The Atlantic reports. Its unscientific survey revealed that Dallas Cowboy fans are far and away the most TV-destructive football fans.

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