Alphabet Layoffs, ChatGPT Pros, and D&Ds Unrestrictive Licensing

Welcome to Week in Review, TechGround’s regular column that brings you the latest news from the past week. Sign up here for Saturday deliveries straight to your inbox! Enjoy a cozy afternoon with your favorite hot drink as we recap last week’s events. Missing Greg? He is taking parental leave and will be back soon – just like I mentioned on January 7th edition. All is well!

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OpenAI is introducing a pro version of its popular ChatGPT chatbot this week. With ChatGPT Professional, users won’t experience unavailability windows, throttling or message limits – they’ll get at least double the regular daily limit. Pricing has yet to be announced.

Alphabet’s robotics division, Intrinsic, has made significant cuts this week. Despite acquiring Vicarious and Open Robotics less than a year ago, they laid off 40 employees. This adds to the list of tech giants reducing staff due to economic hardship.

Licensed fun: Amanda writes in a sobering deep dive about D&D content creators fighting to protect their livelihoods. Hasbro-owned publisher Wizards of the Coast (WotC) planned to update the game’s license after 22 years and require any content creator earning over $750k to pay WotC 25% royalty on each dollar above that threshold. After a public outcry, WotC delayed rollout of this scheme – providing relief for those affected.

At the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show, Harri writes about E Ink’s impressive color displays that can produce up to 50,000 colors at 300 DPI – a drastic improvement from just 4,000 colors in their previous model. They hope this will be enough to satisfy even the most demanding publishers for magazine reading experiences.

Welcome Home: Mary Ann takes a closer look at Welcome Homes, the proptech startup launched by DigitalOcean’s co-founders. Recently raising $29 million in New York City, the firm offers an online platform allowing people to design and build new homes – joining other venture-backed companies such as Atmos and Homebound striving to tackle housing shortage.

Microsoft’s new VALL-E AI model can replicate a voice from just 3 seconds of audio, but it isn’t necessarily more alarming than existing tech. Voice cloning research has been underway for years, powering startups like WellSaid, Papercup and Respeecher – VALL-E is the latest demonstration of its potential and perils.

Medium, co-founded by Twitter’s Evan Williams, is joining the open source social platform Mastodon. To help authors and their publications with reliable infrastructure, moderation and short domain names to make username sharing easier, Medium has created its own instance – me.dm.

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Don’t miss out! Subscribe to TG++ now and discover the latest trends, industries, and emerging technologies. This week’s top content includes:

The crypto rollercoaster’s future is uncertain: some venture capitalists are optimistic for 2023, while others find it a hazardous time. Internal sentiment among VCs appears to be a “wait and see” game as competition heats up and investors become more selective with their investments.

ChatGPT and VCs are partnering up: Investors are cautiously incorporating ChatGPT’s text-based support tool into their workflows to help them stay competitive in the venture landscape. Natasha M, Christine and I have more information about how ChatGPT can automate tasks like rejection letters, market maps, or due diligence.

Brian Casey pivoted his deep tech startup to become a software-as-a-service company, an endeavor fraught with challenges. However, he found that “pivoting from hardware to SaaS was the right move” for his electric motor design business. Despite being difficult, the transition was necessary for success.

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Kira Kim

Kira Kim is a science journalist with a background in biology and a passion for environmental issues. She is known for her clear and concise writing, as well as her ability to bring complex scientific concepts to life for a general audience.

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