Humans + AI = 🤝
There is a best case scenario where everyone is happy
👋 Welcome to FWIW by David Tvrdon, your weekly tech, media & audio digest.
In this edition
Apple MacBook Air M2 review
The Information launching social network for subscribers
Ex-Spotify manager sparks a debate around open standards
What the DALL•E challenge showed
Before we get started, watch the video above. The Studio, sister channel to the popular tech YouTube channel MKBHD, issued a challenge for its designer to come up with a visual for the same prompt as the DALL•E AI by Open AI.
There is only limited access to DALL•E at the moment, but if you have access, it will generate within 10 seconds a high-resolution image (actually a couple of then) based on your text prompt.
So, The Studio’s team challenged their designer to compete with the AI and the results are interesting. The designer won, but it took him a whole day to produce something similar although it was mostly better than the AI.
The takeaway here shouldn’t be AI is going to replace designers. But there are different levels of what you need an image to do and if you have high quality work, you will want a human designer to work on it.
But DALL•E could speed up many processes on the lower end when you just need a mock-up visual or something very simple. I’m talking about companies which don’t have many designers and would appreciate this kind of help.
I expect that it could also work in other places that I haven’t thought of, but wanted to give you at least one example because I think this is super interesting.
👨💻 Apple Macbook Air M2 review. Thinner, lighter design with a better screen and webcam. The battery, like with M1, lasts all day and the MagSafe charging is back and it’s great. The cons are the higher price and warmth and throttling. [The Verge]
😶🌫️ FYI: Apple ends its consulting agreement with Jony Ive, its former design leader. [NYT]
😲 Uber files: A trove of 124,000 confidential Uber documents from 2013 to 2017 revealed management discussions and lobbying efforts during the company's aggressive global expansion. I like this take by Eric Newcomer on the scandal: “To me, the story about Kalanick era Uber these days is that a legal reckoning never really came. Justice Department hasn’t seemed to focus on anything besides the hack (which I first reported). Uber wasn’t held accountable for much because the government didn’t do much. If you are interested in the stories the documents uncovered but don’t have two days to read all the reporting, here is a TL;DR by The Guardian. [The Guardian]
📉 Klarna’s valuation was slashed by $39bn. The buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) giant says new and existing investors joined. Klarna plans to use the money to fund expansion in the US. But its new valuation is down from the $45.6bn it achieved in June 2021, with Klarna reducing its ambitions several times during the latest talks with investors. [Bloomberg]
🤦♂️ No surprise here, Twitter sued Elon Musk after he tried backing out of a $44bn deal. The question of whether Elon Musk must buy Twitter, as he agreed to do in April, is headed to a court in Delaware. For me (and I know for many others as well), this whole story is unbelievably stupid. Also, Twitter calls Elon names, but still wants to go through with the deal. Weird, to say the least. [NY Times]
RELATED: Elon Musk Is a ‘Nightmare Client’. Musk cites three reasons for terminating his merger with Twitter. A new lawsuit points out why each of those reasons is extremely flimsy. [The Atlantic]
🚗 In Germany, South Korea, and other countries, BMW has started selling subscriptions or charging one-time fees to unlock heated seats, engine sound options, and more. The subscription economy is expanding to your new car. [The Verge]
📲 Nothing officially announced the flashy Phone 1, starting at £399. No release for US, Nothing says the Phone 1 will release across over 40 markets, including the UK, Japan, India, and countries in mainland Europe. [The Verge]
👨⚕️ Radiologists assisted by an AI diagnose breast cancer more successfully than when they work alone. That same AI also produces more accurate results in the hands of a radiologist than it does when operating solo, new research says. [MIT Tech Review]
👋 The head of Tesla’s Autopilot team, Andrej Karpathy (born in Slovakia, if you didn’t know), said on Wednesday that he was leaving the company after overseeing the development of its ambitious but controversial driver-assist technology. He said he had “no concrete plans for what’s next” after five years at the company. He called it “a difficult decision” without elaborating. [FT]
😳 Almost 40% of Gen-Z is using TikTok, for search instead of Google, according to Google’s own data. And it isn’t just TikTok - Instagram and Amazon are also becoming discovery platforms that allow users circumvent Google Search. [TechCrunch]
🤓 Apple released public betas for the next versions of its iPhone, iPad, Watch and Mac operating systems. If you can’t wait until the official release to get your hands on those sweet lock screen customization options, you can download them right away, but as they say - at your own risk as these are betas and still buggy. [The Verge]
👀 Editorial newsletter expert Dan Oshinsky launched a website full of information about newsletters. [Inbox Collective]
EXAMPLE: A scrappy news startup plows a new (and profitable) model for local news. [Inbox Collective]
🤨 Nearly a third of new subscribers to news publications cancel in the first 24 hours. [NiemanLab]
🤔 Ev Williams left Medium and will no longer be CEO. He said in a post that he planned to start a new holding company and research lab. [NYT]
😎 The Information is launching social network for subscribers. The Information said that with new suite of community features: user profiles, directory for trusted professionals and a discussion forum, it wants to bring the relevance back to online networking. [Axios]
📊 Subscription Performance Benchmark Report 2022. [Piano]
📺 HBO and HBO Max receive 140 Emmy nominations, while Netflix gets 105, Hulu 58, Apple TV+ 52, Disney+ 34, Amazon 30, and broadcast network TV a new low of 86. [Deadline]
🤝 Netflix teams up with Microsoft for ad-supported streaming tier. [FT]
BBC News and BBC World News channels merger to see 70 jobs cut in London and 20 created in Washington DC. [Press Gazette]
📉 News engagement plummets as Americans tune out. [Axios]
🤩 The NY Times is turning Wordle into board game. NYT is partnering with Hasbro. [NYT Co.]
🗣 FT shares lessons about combining the newsroom and business: “speak journalist.” Renée Kaplan, head of digital editorial development at FT, has been a journalist and worked on product. Her take is (and I very much agree) that transformation needs to speak both languages and it usually fails if it only emphasizes business. [INMA]
👏 How Vox became world's top news publisher on YouTube. Vox’s average views per YouTube video figure sits at well over 2 million – for context, the next closest publisher, The Economist, averages just over 500,000 views per video. YouTube channels from the BBC, ABC News and CNN that have more subscribers on YT don’t even come close to that average figure. It was a long investment, but audiences seem to appreciate in-depth news explainers that work well even years after being published. [Press Gazette]
FROM THE FIX
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🙃 Anchor’s co-founder, Michael Mignano, who left Spotify wrote a piece titled The Standards Innovation Paradox and argued it’s easier to operate as Spotify does - building proprietary features. As you can imagine, all hell broke loose in the podcast community. Podnews’ James Cridland wrote perhaps the clearest pushback piece. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good kerfuffle, but I firmly believe in pushing forward the open standards.
🎮 Spotify acquires Heardle, describing the music trivia game inspired by Wordle as a “tool for musical discovery”, and plans to keep it as a standalone site. [HR]
❓ Poll: Do you think more people should have access to DALL•E?
Last poll results: Would you like me to always include a book, movie or TV show recommendation in this newsletter? 57% yes, 39% only if it’s good, 4% don’t care.
🙏 And big thanks to Celine Bijleveld who helped me edit this newsletter. You can follow her on Substack here.