• Not A Bot
  • Posts
  • #57: More tech layoffs, Google's Avengers assemble, and more

#57: More tech layoffs, Google's Avengers assemble, and more

Google cuts 12,000 jobs in the latest round of big tech layoffs.

Greetings, fellow humans.

This is Not A Bot - the newsletter about AI that was definitely not written by AI. Im Haroon, founder of AI For Anyone, and Ill be sharing with you the latest news, tools, and resources from the AI space.

In today's edition:

  • More mass layoffs hit tech - is AI to blame?

  • Google's Avengers (aka Page & Brin) assemble

  • Upcoming Not A Bot Expert Q&A chats

To celebrate our rebrand, we're giving away 10 Google AIY Kits! Each kit gives you all the tools you need to build an AI-powered camera or an AI-powered speaker.

You can find more details on how to enter at the end of this email. Winners announced on Jan 31st on my Twitter.

Mass Tech Layoffs - Is AI to blame?

Google announced major layoffs, joining a wave of other big tech companies that have let thousands of employees go.

Here are some of the numbers:

  • Google - 12,000 jobs (6% of workforce)

  • Microsoft - 10,000 jobs (5% of workforce)

  • Amazon - 18,000 jobs (6% of workforce)

  • Meta - 11,000 jobs (13% of workforce)

With all of the news surrounding Microsoft's OpenAI partnership and Google's AI initiatives, such as Sparrow, it's easy to fear that the layoff decisions are associated with AI replacing the need for human workers.

However, despite this fear, it's important to remember that predictions of automation replacing human labor have been wrong in the past, and I'd hope major tech companies wouldn't make any major decisions based on mere predictions.

Plus, with macroeconomic conditions looking less than favorable right now, it's more than likely that they are the primary factor that led to these decisions.

Either way, layoffs are rough, and my condolences to any readers impacted by this latest wave.

For readers impacted by the latest wave of layoffs: If I can help in any way, please don't hesitate to reach out. Also, I'm considering setting up a Not A Bot job board. What do you think? Let me know on Twitter if you'd be interested.

Read more: TIME (link), The Verge (link)

Google's Avengers (Page & Brin) assemble

Google's founders, Larry Page & Sergey Brin (aka Google's Avengers), recently held several meetings with company executives to discuss ChatGPT (which many think is a threat to Google's search business).

Despite OpenAI tools like ChatGPT and DALL-E breaking the internet these past few months, I wouldn't count Google out. This year, the big G intends to unveil more than 20 new AI products, including a search engine with chatbot features.

Google also seems to be taking a sustainable approach to building this technology (we love to hear it); it plans to review its upcoming AI technology for fairness and ethics and is prioritizing accuracy, safety, and the elimination of misinformation for its chatbot search demonstration this year.

The Google and Microsoft (+ OpenAI) rivalry is back, and it's fiercer than ever.

Read more: NYTimes (link)

Upcoming Expert Q&A chats

After the resounding success of our inaugural Mark Cuban Q&A this week, I'm stoked to share more conversations with y'all!

Next week: Zain Kahn (@zainkahn) joins us to discuss AI's evolving role in marketing.

In a few weeks: Amjad Masad (@amasad), CEO of Replit (@replit), is joining us. Let me know what you'd like me to ask Amjad in the below Twitter thread.

Byte size: Summaries of my favorite AI article

Disclaimer: AI is (partially) used to summarize these articles.

[a16z blog] Who Owns the Generative AI Platform? (link) - The generative AI market is taking shape, with Infrastructure vendors likely the biggest winners, capturing the majority of dollars flowing through the stack. The first wave of generative AI apps are starting to reach scale but struggle with retention and differentiation. Model providers are responsible for the existence of the market but have yet to achieve large commercial scale. Startups have raised billions of dollars in venture capital, most of which is spent with cloud providers. Infrastructure companies are the biggest winners in the market, with Nvidia behind the scenes running the vast majority of AI workloads. It's unclear if there are any systemic moats in generative AI, as there is healthy competition at all levels of the stack.

[Washington Post] He made a childrens book using AI. Then came the rage. (link) - Ammaar Reshi used Artificial Intelligence tools ChatGPT and Midjourney to write and illustrate his children's book, resulting in a debate over whether AI tools threaten the arts. Despite the imperfections of AI, it has been used in various fields; however, there is a legal concern over potential copyright infringement. Despite the criticisms, Reshi believes AI tools can empower new creators and help refine the ideas of professional creators.

[The Verge] Inside CNETs AI-powered SEO money machine (link) - CNET has come under fire for using AI to generate articles with the byline "CNET Money Staff" without properly informing readers. There is confusion within the company over who is using the AI tools and what stories are written by AI and which are written by journalists. The AI articles aim to rank highly in Google searches and generate revenue from affiliate links. Red Ventures has been exploring various AI applications in journalism, as well as investing in AI startups, which has caused unease among CNET staff. The Washington Post also did a similar piece. (link)

Trending tools

  • Perplexity AI - chat with your search engine (link)

  • Leonardo - an AI-powered suite for style-consistent asset production. (link)

  • Promptable - a workspace for prompt engineering (link)

  • Mixo - build a website using AI (link)

Have cool tools to share? Tweet me at @haroonchoudery if you'd like me to include it in a future issue of Not A Bot.

Tweet of the day

Is this the future of teaching?

And that does it for today's issue.

As always, thanks for reading, and see you next time. 儭

- Haroon - (definitely) Not A Robot and @haroonchoudery on Twitter

戊 Google AIY Kit Giveaway

Win one of 10 Google AIY Kits! All you have to do is refer 5 people to Not A Bot using the below link. I'll be announcing the winners on @haroonchoudery on January 31st.

(Tip: share your link on socials to get more referrals)

Join the conversation

or to participate.