Greetings, digital explorers!
October 26, 2023, marks another day filled with riveting advancements in the tech world. We've handpicked the most compelling stories to kickstart your day. Here's your first glimpse:
Meta's Metaverse Loss - A surprising $3.7B Q3 hit.
Watch's Double-Tap - A game-changing gesture unveiled.
iOS 17.1 Highlights - Discover the iPhone's transformative features.
Startup's Public Shift - Navigating the leap to public trading.
Meta's Profit Rocket - Q3 soars with a hefty share repurchase.
Bard's Email Revamp - Google streamlines with image integration.
Grammarly's Voice Revolution - Writing meets AI voice-matching.
AI Safety Funding - Tech titans pledge a groundbreaking $10M.
Meta's China Surge - Sales boom despite a regional ban.
AirPods 2024 Tease - Fresh design with the promise of USB-C.
Feeling intrigued? We sure hope so. Read on for the complete breakdown and dive deep into the narratives shaping our tech future.
Meta reported a $3.7 billion Q3 loss in its Reality Labs division, due to reduced Meta Quest 2 sales and ongoing product development. The firm expects continued losses in the Reality Labs division and a shift of resources towards AI. It also introduced its second generation of Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses and the Quest 3 headset.
💡 Why does this matter?
Meta's significant Q3 loss of $3.7 billion from its Reality Labs division underscores the challenges and huge expenses of building out the metaverse. However, the company’s long-term metaverse-focused investors may see an opportunity in Meta’s increased investment in augmented/virtual reality. Tech entrepreneurs and workers could find new opportunities in this space, especially as the company is shifting resources towards AI and facing a "hiring backlog".
Despite being banned in China, Meta famously thrives on Chinese companies' significant advertising expenditure to reach global consumers. The tech giant's Q3 report showcased a resilient 23% sales escalation, outperforming competitors Snapchat and former Twitter, which is markedly attributed to Chinese online retailers and gaming enterprises. However, a careful future outlook has been highlighted due to unpredictable macro factors.
Meta's Threads has garnered just under 100 million monthly users since July. Plans to further grow the user base and add more features are in motion.
Microsoft, OpenAI, Google, and Anthropic have pledged a united effort towards the creation of safety standards for artificial intelligence under a new director, filling a perceived gap in global regulation. Named the Frontier Model Forum, the alliance intends to commit $10mn to an AI safety fund. The Forum will focus on potential risks including AI's ability in designing bioweapons and generating computer code facilitating critical system hacking.
💡 Why does this matter?
The alliance of giants like Microsoft, OpenAI, Google, and Anthropic, dedicated towards establishing safety standards and regulations for AI, signifies the urgency to control and monitor AI's growing potential. This may affect all tech industry stakeholders and can present opportunities for investors and businesses to contribute to the AI safety fund, while potentially shaping the future of artificial intelligence.
Grammarly is rolling out a new feature for its business tier users named "Personalized Voice Detection and Application" by the end of this year. The AI tool detects a user's unique writing style, generating a " voice profile" that can manipulate any text to mirror that style. This comes amid debates about credit and compensation for AI-generated content that bear remarkable resemblance to human creators' styles.
Google Bard's latest upgrade enhances email summarization and image handling in shared chats, making inbox management more efficient. The AI chatbot can now scan Gmail, Docs, and Drive for specific content, and users control privacy settings. However, the service currently only supports English.
DataGPT, a California startup, has launched its new AI Analyst, a tool designed to enable businesses to communicate directly with their data. The tool merges a large language model with DataGPT’s analytics engine to deliver actionable insights.
Researchers at USTC and Tencent YouTu Lab have developed Woodpecker, an innovative framework to correct AI hallucinations in multimodal large language models, without demanding data-intensive retraining.
Google's CEO, Sundar Pichai, hinted at a subscription-based model for new AI products in Q3 earnings call, spurred by rising YouTube subscriptions revenue.
Billionaire investor Bill Gross predicts a US recession in Q4 citing regional bank issues and increased auto loan delinquencies. Gross recommends investments in the Treasury yield curve, SOFR futures, and equity arbitrage, including Capri Holdings and Seagan. Fellow investor, Bill Ackman has closed short bets on US Treasury bonds, characterizing the economic slowdown as more drastic than recent data suggests.
Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, has provided its Q3 2023 financial report, revealing a 23% YoY increase in revenue to $34.15 billion. Operating income rose by 143% to $13.74 billion, while the net income stood at $11.58 billion, a 164% surge compared to the same period in 2022. Amid its advancements with AI and mixed reality, the company forecasted its total revenue for Q4 2023 to range between $36.5 billion and $40 billion.
Apple has released iOS 17.1, available to iPhone Xs users or later, with a number of notable new features. Upgrades include AirDrop transfers over cellular networks when Wi-Fi is out of range, personalized 'Favorites' in Apple Music, more control over the display in Standby Mode, broadened flashlight indicators, and the 'Photo Shuffle' feature which pulls images for your lock screen from chosen albums. The new iPadOS 17.1 update is now also available.
The Apple Watch's recent update introduced the Double Tap feature, enhancing hands-free operation driven by machine learning on the new S9 chip. Despite limitations, it initiates a shift towards phone-independent smartwatch usage, potentially paving the way for vision pro and smart glasses.
Apple is preparing a comprehensive revamp of its AirPods lineup, set for 2024-2025, featuring updated designs, improved audio quality, and upgraded product differentiation, including USB-C charging.
Apple is overhauling Apple TV, centralising content purchases and rentals into one app, featuring a Netflix-like aesthetic, set to launch in December with tvOS 17.2.