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By Michelai Graham
Boardroom's Tech Reporter
October 1, 2023

It’s October, which officially means we’re in the final stretch of the year. Welcome to Q4, folks.

A peek into today’s edition: 

Coinbase Takes DC Same Day Gary Gensler Testifies Before Congress

Coinbase mobilized the crypto community, welcoming leaders from more than 50 crypto companies to join it in DC on Wednesday, Sept. 27 for the inaugural Stand With Crypto Day. Coinbase’s head of US policy, Kara Calvert, spearheaded the effort, which coincided with SEC Chair Gensler testifying in front of the House Financial Services Committee about his ambitious rulemaking proposals. Coinbase conceptualized Stand With Crypto Day to advocate for pro-crypto policies as regulators inch closer and closer to implementing more laws and regulations around digital currencies. Some crypto leaders met with Congress members to advocate for clear legislation for crypto operations. Stand With Crypto also operates as an independent nonprofit to mobilize the crypto community year-round for different actions, programs, and events. Coinbase capped off the day with a moderated fireside chat with CEO Brian Armstrong who discussed why Coinbase is stepping up to challenge lawmakers to act.

This event comes a month after Coinbase won approval from the Biden Administration’s CFTC National Futures Association to list crypto futures. The move made the exchange the first crypto platform to offer regulated and leveraged crypto futures alongside traditional spot trading.


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The Download on Meta Connect 2023

The annual Meta Connect 2023 conference wrapped this week. It included two days of new AI product reveals and updates on Meta’s augmented reality and virtual reality landscape. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the tech giant is “focused on building the future of human connection” during his keynote. Here are some of the key announcements and takeaways from the event:

  • Meta Quest 3: Since debuting the new mixed-reality headset in June, Meta announced that preorders for the Quest 3 are now open, and the headset will be available on Oct. 10. Quest 3 models range in price from $500 to $650 depending on storage capacity.
  • Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses: Meta and Ray-Ban debuted their second generation of smart glasses that are equipped with cameras, spatial audio, and video capture and photo capabilities. This product succeeds Ray-Ban Stories, which was released in 2021.
  • Meta AI: The Big Tech leader showcased its new AI chatbot personality tech with a couple dozen different celebrity voices. Meta AI is the company’s new generative AI assistant that will be available in Meta’s family of apps, including Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp. Generative AI image editing is also being developed for Instagram.

Amazon's $4B Investment in Anthropic and an FTC Lawsuit

Amazon announced that it will invest up to $4 billion in generative artificial intelligence startup Anthropic as part of a larger strategic collaboration. This deal makes Amazon Web Services the primary cloud provider for Anthropic, which is building AI systems set to rival OpenAI. Within days of that good news, bad news followed when the US Federal Trade Commission and attorney generals from 17 states filed an antitrust lawsuit against the e-commerce giant. The suit alleges that Amazon is illegally maintaining monopoly power to inflate online prices and overcharge sellers. Ultimately, the agency is concerned about Amazon using interlocking anticompetitive and unfair strategies. The FTC has been investigating Amazon for years. However, the lawsuit comes after the company allegedly failed to offer concessions to settle some of these claims in closed meetings last month.

I’ll surely be following this case closely.

Updates from OpenAI

OpenAI is reportedly seeking a new valuation between $80 billion and $90 billion through a sale of some of its shares. The AI company’s rapid success is undeniable, so reaching this new height wouldn’t surprise me one bit. Here are some more updates from OpenAI’s world:

  • OpenAI debuted a new internet browsing feature for ChatGPT users to surf the web.
  • OpenAI’a Sam Altman is reportedly working with iPhone designer Jony Ive to conceptualize and develop a new AI hardware device, The Information reported.
  • Tubi announced the release Rabbit AI, the streamer’s new AI-enabled recommendations feature powered by OpenAI’s ChatGPT AI chatbot.
  • OpenAI responded to author and comedian Sarah Silverman‘s lawsuit against ChatGPT that she filed earlier this year. The AI company’s legal team filed motions to dismiss some of the counts in the lawsuit. It expects to fight the copyright infringement allegation head-on in court.
  • ChatGPT can now understand spoken words and respond with a synthetic voice.

Google Podcasts is shutting down this year. However, it’s not the end of the podcast era for the Big Tech, which is adding podcast tools and features to YouTube Music instead. Also, Google Bard got a significant update last week after users discovered that Google Search was indexing conversations with the AI chatbot.

  • I’m not sure what MicroStrategy‘s master plan is. he data analytics firm acquired 5,445 more Bitcoin tokens, taking its holding up to 158,245 Bitcoins.
  • Web3 brand Yuga Labs announced a partnership with A BATHING APE. They will design apparel collection that will be first available to Bored Ape Yacht Club holders before hitting stores in December. The collection will debut in Hong Kong in November during BAYC’s annual ApeFest community event.
  • The Central Intelligence Agency is developing an AI chatbot for other US intelligence agencies. The new tech offering will be trained on publicly available data and is being created to assist users in sifting through public data.
  • Tinder officially rolled out its new exclusive subscription program, Tinder Select, which will cost $500 a month and offer users more unique features to find love connections. Tinder is accepting applications for the program on a rolling basis.
  • Move over Dall-E 3 and Midjoirney, there’s new competition in town. Getty Images is developing an AI tool that will be able to generate images from its library of work.

Samsung is targeting content creators through a new sponsorship with MrBeast. I’m going to bet that this deal won’t drive significant sales for the Galaxy Z Flip 5 as the mobile brand expects it to.