For years, nothing could stop Amazon’s explosive growth and success. Now, with more than 18,000 layoffs planned, Amazon faces one of the most crucial crossroads in its nearly 29-year history, Recode reports. A big question: Can CEO Andy Jassy, founder Jeff Bezos’s hand-picked successor, lead the company through these difficult times?
The U.S. Justice Department filed its second antitrust lawsuit against Google, this time seeking to break up the tech giant’s online advertising business, which generated $54.5 billion in the fourth quarter, CNBC reports. New York and seven other states joined the DOJ in this suit.
Microsoft recorded its slowest sales growth in more than six years last quarter and its earnings slid, the Wall Street Journal reports. The company’s revenue grew 2 percent to $52.7 billion; its net income fell 12 percent to $16.4 billion. Last week, Microsoft announced plans to eliminate 10,000 jobs.
For over a decade, investors desperate for returns sent their money to Silicon Valley, which pumped it into a wide range of startups. Now, the New York Times reports, an unprecedented era of rock-bottom interest rates has abruptly ended, and money is no longer virtually free. The tech sector is getting hit by a new reality.
Swedish music-streaming giant Spotify says it will cut 6 percent of its roughly 10,000 employees, citing a need to improve efficiency, the BBC reports. "In hindsight, I was too ambitious in investing ahead of our revenue growth," top executive Daniel Ek wrote on the company's blog. Spotify has never posted a full-year net profit, despite its popularity in the online music market.
Advertisers are expected to spend an estimated $509 billion in 2023, up 6 percent from $481 billion last year, according to findings by the Winterberry Group shared with Marketing Dive. An estimated $307 billion, just over 60 percent of the total, is expected to occur on online channels.
The demand for cybersecurity workers kept steady in recent months as the broader tech industry suffered from a wave of cost-cutting layoffs, Axios reports. More than 57,000 people at tech companies have been laid off this month, per Layoffs.fyi.
The Sierra Club and Finger Lakes activists have joined forces to file a federal lawsuit that seeks to shut down the Greenidge Generation bitcoin mining operation along Seneca Lake, the Rochester Beacon reports. The suit claims the plant runs afoul of Clean Water Act rules and other federal environmental regulations. Greenidge’s president blasted the lawsuit, and the groups that filed it.
Three artists—a painter, a cartoonist and an illustrator—are the plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit filed against Stability AI, the London-based company that co-developed Stable Diffusion, the free AI model that lets anyone generate professional-quality images with a simple text prompt, BuzzFeed reports. The suit claims that Stable Diffusion was trained on billions of images scraped from the internet without consent, including images owned by this trio of artists.
When U.S. Rep. Jake Auchincloss decided to deliver a House speech on a bill that would create a U.S.-Israel artificial intelligence center, he opted to let the AI do the talking, AP reports. The two-paragraph speech read by the Massachusetts Democrat this week was generated by the online AI chatbot ChatGPT. His staff said they believe it’s the first time an AI-written speech was read in Congress.