Happy Thursday from London, friends. I’m Michael Cogley, filling in for Diamond Naga Siu who is unforgivably about to watch what will only be her second movie of the year.
Like so many others, the film industry is becoming increasingly beholden to data, as evidenced by this fascinating interview with Dexter Fletcher, the director of Apple’s new romcom Ghosted.
It will be interesting to see what enlarged role social media stats will also have on the publishing industry, given TikTok has assumed the position of a literary kingmaker. My colleague Marta Biino reports on the BookTok phenomenon and how it has sent book sales to an all-time high.
But before I pitch you my novella that’s sure to be a social media hit, let’s jump into today’s tech news.
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1. Elon Musk believes remote work is “morally wrong.” The Tesla boss said the “laptop classes are living in la-la land” during a wide-ranging interview with CNBC.
- Musk questioned why it was fair for some people to work from home but not for others, such as those preparing and delivering food.
- “It’s messed up to assume that they have to go to work when you don’t,” the Twitter owner said. “It’s not just a productivity thing. I think it’s morally wrong.”
- He also revealed that he planned to rehire some of the thousands of staff he laid off after he assumed control of the social media giant.
Read more on what Musk had to say here.
In other news:
2. ChatGPT creator OpenAI is getting ready to release an open-source AI model. The company headed up by Sam Altman is making the move as pressure mounts from other open-source alternatives. Here’s more on the future of the AI-powered chatbot.
3. A new PR tech company is using AI to write press releases. EZ Newswire launched in beta on Wednesday and hopes to make disseminating news simpler and cheaper with the breakthrough tech. Read more on how it’s using OpenAI to shake up the industry.
4. You can now hail an Uber without the app. Users can now put the ride-hailing service on speed dial and organize lifts over the phone, the company announced on Wednesday. Details on how the new service works are here.
5. A former Googler who sued for pregnancy discrimination says tech giants should be held accountable. Chelsey Glasson worked at Google for five years before she says she was pushed out. Now, she’s publishing a book to help offer a path for others to seek justice and aid pregnant workers facing layoffs. Read more.
6. Elizabeth Holmes has been ordered to report to prison on May 30. The Theranos founder will begin serving her 11-year sentence at the end of the month, a judge ordered on Wednesday. More on Holmes’ latest bid to stay free while she appealed her conviction.
7. Netflix has continued to make headway in its advertising push. The streaming giant now boasts around 5 million active users on its ad tier. The company had built a sales team with staffers from the likes of Snap, Hulu, and GroupM to ensure the ad play is a success. We profiled 18 of Netflix’s top execs driving its ad charge under Jeremi Gorman.
8. YouTube recommended videos about guns and school shootings to researchers simulating accounts of young boys. A new study by the Tech Transparency Project found that violent videos were pushed toward children. Detail on the report can be found here.
Odds and ends:
9. iPhones will soon be able to speak in your voice. Apple unveiled a new set of accessibility features this week, including “Personal Voice,” which aims to replicate a user’s voice with AI after 15 minutes of training.
10. A suspected leaker of the “House of the Dragon” finale has been arrested. The episode appeared on pirate sites two days before it aired last October. The alleged hacker’s cat helped tip off the police, according to reports.
Curated by Michael Cogley in London. (Feedback or tips? Email firstname.lastname@example.org) Edited by Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.