“Tech Giants Make Strides: Carta’s Controversial Moves, Samsung’s Upgraded Ballie, and Volkswagen Introduces ChatGPT for Vehicles”

In this edition of WiR, we cover Carta’s allegedly unethical tactics, Samsung’s Ballie home robot, Volkswagen bringing ChatGPT into its cars and Amazon embracing more generative AI. Saarinen alleged in a LinkedIn post that Carta misused sensitive information that startups entrust to the company in pursuit of its own goals. Samsung’s Ballie returns: Remember Ballie, Samsung’s spherical home robot from CES 2020? Volkswagen cars get ChatGPT: Volkswagen is getting into the ChatGPT game. Enterprises skeptical of GenAI: Generative AI gets a lot of press, from image-generating tools like Midjourney to Runway to OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

Week in Review: A Novel Perspective on Tech Happenings

Hello, fine friends!

Welcome to the Week in Review (WiR)! As always, I’m here to share with you the exciting happenings in the world of technology over the past few days. While our team at CES 2024 had a lot to report from the show, there’s so much more to discover. But first, let’s take a look at some noteworthy announcements from the event and other industry news. If you haven’t already, make sure to sign up here to receive WiR in your inbox every Saturday.

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Carta’s Accusations

In this edition of WiR, we cover Carta’s alleged unethical tactics, Samsung’s Ballie home robot, and Volkswagen’s integration of ChatGPT into its cars, among other subjects.

  1. Carta’s Ethics in Question

    Carta, a cap table management outfit, is facing allegations of unethical tactics by startup Linear’s CEO, Karri Saarinen. Saarinen shared on LinkedIn that Carta had misused sensitive information entrusted to them by startups for their own gain. To make matters worse, Carta’s credibility has taken a hit and has decided to leave secondary trading as a result.

  2. Samsung’s Spherical Surprise

    Samsung brought back their spherical home robot Ballie, first seen at CES 2020. It now boasts upgraded AI features, including a 1080p projector and a spatial lidar sensor to help navigate rooms and obstacles. The new and improved Ballie is the size of a bowling ball and made a big impression at this year’s keynote.

  3. Volkswagen Goes ChatGPT

    Speaking of AI, Volkswagen has joined the ChatGPT game. The German automaker plans to incorporate an AI-powered chatbot into all its models equipped with its IDA voice assistant. The goal? To provide drivers with an AI chatbot that can read out researched content while on the road.

Amazon’s AI Adventures

But that’s not all. Amazon has been busy utilizing generative AI to enhance its product reviews. Now, they’re also using AI to improve the online shopping experience for customers looking to purchase clothing on their platform. From personalized size recommendations to AI-powered highlights from customer reviews, they’ve reimagined size charts to ensure you find better fitting clothes on Amazon.

OpenAI’s GPT Store

OpenAI has also launched a store for GPTs – customized chatbot apps powered by their text and image-generating AI models such as GPT-4 and DALL-E 3. This new feature, called the GPT Store, can be accessed through a new tab in the ChatGPT client on their website. It includes GPTs developed by OpenAI’s partners as well as the wider developer community.

CryptoZoo Controversy

On the topic of games, Logan Paul is offering refunds for CryptoZoo, his failed and allegedly fraudulent Pokémon-inspired NFT game. However, there’s a catch – if you request a refund, you waive the right to sue him. Our very own Morgan has all the details in her full story.

New Exoskeleton Developments

A collaborative team from Harvard and Boston University has developed a soft robotic exoskeleton that utilizes algorithms to estimate a person’s gait while walking. The walker’s movement is detected, and cable-driven actuators assist mid-stride. This technology shows promise and may be commercialized in the future.

Major Hack at Fidelity

In November, real estate services giant Fidelity National Financial was the victim of a cyberattack that affected over 1.3 million customers. The company was offline for a week while they investigated the breach and confirmed that sensitive customer data had indeed been stolen. Our very own Zack has more details in his article.

KYC and GenAI

While using generative AI for image-generating tools may be gaining traction, businesses are still skeptical about its potential to positively impact their bottom line. This has been reinforced by recent surveys on AI and its applications, such as Know Your Customer (KYC) authentication methods. As technology continuously evolves, it may sow doubt into these processes.

Tech Mergers and Layoffs

The tech industry saw its fair share of layoffs, mergers, and changes this week. Twitch, the Amazon-owned livestreaming platform, will be cutting 500 employees, making it the latest round of layoffs for the company. On the other hand, another round of layoffs is hitting Twitch. The Amazon-owned livestreaming platform will cut 35% of its staff, or roughly 500 employees — the latest blow for the already-beleaguered company, which cut hundreds of jobs last year amid leadership changes, rising operating costs, and community discontent.

Listening Options

Need something to listen to while doing chores or commuting? Tune into our new podcast episodes available on our Equity, Found, and Chain Reaction channels. Don’t miss out!

TechCrunch+

If you’re a TC+ subscriber, you’ll have access to in-depth commentary, analysis, and surveys on all things tech. In case you missed it, here are some highlights from this week:

  • The Siri Dilemma

    Our very own Haje writes about the current standing of Apple’s Siri and why it needs to catch up to its competitors or risk being left behind.

  • Businesses and Generative AI

    While generative AI continues to make headlines, surveys show businesses are still not convinced of its impact on their bottom line.

  • The $1 Trillion Liquidity Gap

    The venture capital market is backed up by almost $1 trillion worth of mature startups that need to find an exit – a problem that is only growing.

Thank you for tuning in to this week’s Week in Review. See you all next week for more exciting tech news!

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Max Chen

Max Chen is an AI expert and journalist with a focus on the ethical and societal implications of emerging technologies. He has a background in computer science and is known for his clear and concise writing on complex technical topics. He has also written extensively on the potential risks and benefits of AI, and is a frequent speaker on the subject at industry conferences and events.

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