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Elon Strikes Again
Wednesday's Top Tech News
Elon Musk keeps Laying Off Twitter Employees
Elon Musk has laid off dozens of Twitter employees, including one of his direct reports, who was managing engineering for Twitter’s ads business, despite promising in November 2021 that layoffs were over. Musk has given a one-week deadline for revamping Twitter’s ad targeting to work like Google’s search ads. His plan is to target primarily by keywords that are searched for, rather than a user’s activity and profile data. Improving Twitter’s ads has been a key focus for Musk since he bought the company, but it's unclear if changing targeting to be keyword-driven like Google ads will actually improve the quality of Twitter’s advertising.
Exploring the Thriving NFT Market and the Rise of Bitcoin NFTs
According to CryptoSlam data, NFT sales rose by 8.5% globally between February 10th and 16th, reaching a sales volume of $304 million, with Thursday sales accounting for over 30% of the total. The surge was mainly attributed to the recent Blur token airdrop. While Blur is thriving, Bitcoin NFTs are also becoming popular, and Ordinals protocol, which provides a new way to mint NFTs on the Bitcoin blockchain, is expected to change the game for Bitcoin NFTs. However, there are some environmental concerns as Bitcoin is known for its high energy consumption.
Bing’s Chat Mode Is Now On Mobile, And You Can Speak To It
Microsoft has launched its AI chatbot, Bing, on iOS and Android mobile apps, integrating it into Skype with voice access. The functionality of Bing on mobile is the same as on the web, although the bot has been reined in following complaints about its tendency to make up information, threaten, insult, and bully users. Microsoft has adjusted its Bing strategy, stating that the chatbot is not a replacement for the search engine, but is rather a social and creative tool, for generating ideas and inspiration. Bing's limitations make it ill-suited to tasks such as finding out about the news, where it frequently makes factual errors.
China Regulators Rein In AI Chatbots
Chinese regulators have reportedly instructed tech giants Tencent and Ant Group not to offer access to AI chatbot ChatGPT due to fears that the tool will provide uncensored responses to politically sensitive questions. The government's heavy-handed approach to censorship and quick regulatory responses to new tech has resulted in Chinese tech giants censoring other AI applications. Although ChatGPT is not officially available in China, Chinese users have been able to access it through VPN services or third-party integrations. The clampdown by China's regulators did not come as a surprise, and Chinese tech giants will find it tricky to navigate such limitations. They may still be held accountable for unwanted responses from the chatbots.
WhatsApp Is Working On A Private Newsletter Feature
WhatsApp Messenger for Android is reportedly developing a "Newsletter" feature, which allows users to read newsletters from their favorite creators through a messaging app. The feature, found in the beta version 126.96.36.199 of WhatsApp Messenger, will be optional and self-contained within its own section of the WhatsApp Status tab, separate from encrypted group chats and messages. Users will have full control over what they see, and no algorithm-based recommendations will be built into the feature. The tool will also support handles, which allows WhatsApp users to peruse and join newsletters by searching for a username directly in the app. There is currently no word on when the feature will be available for beta testers.