Ahoy, all. Welcome back to the latest edition of Week in Review, the newsletter where we point you to some of the most-read TechCrunch stories from the past seven days. Want it in your inbox every Saturday morning (which, not for nothin’, used to be cartoon time for this Gen Xer)? Here’s the link.
And now, let’s get on with this week in AI — I mean, this week in tech news.
Microsoft and AI: This week at a press event, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that “it’s a new day for search.” He was referring to the company’s integration of OpenAI’s ChatGPT-4 into Bing, its 13-year-old search engine. The hope, say the folks in Redmond, is that the integration will help Bing better compete with Google. Downloads of the app jumped 10x after the AI news broke since Microsoft promises priority access to the new Bing to those who have it installed. Wanna get more in-depth? Check out Frederic’s hands-on with the search engine.
Google and AI: Trying not to be outdone, Google this week announced Bard, its counterpart to OpenAI’s ChatGPT. It’s in a testing phase now and it will use Google’s Language Model for Dialogue Applications to power a conversational AI that will draw on information on the web. But Devin also says that the company is losing control.
MUM’s the word (sorry, that was too easy): Google also announced this week that its “multisearch” feature, which allows users to search using images and text, is now available globally on mobile. And guess what powers multisearch? AI tech called Multitask Unified Model. MUM!
GitHub layoffs: This week, Microsoft’s GitHub announced it is laying off 10% of its staff of 3,000. As part of the effort to “protect the short-term health” of the company, GitHub will also close all of its offices and go fully remote.
Apple execs on the M2: In a wide-ranging interview with Apple VPs, my boss and TechCrunch editor-in-chief Matthew Panzarino explored the company’s latest in its M line of chips, and went deep on the M2 MacBook Pro and Mac mini models. Spoiler alert: They’re faster.
India blocks betting and loan apps: India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has called to block 232 betting and loan apps in order to keep users’ data safe, among other reasons.
Football!: It’s Super Bowl LVII time and there are ways you’ll be able to stream it. Get all the details here.
On Equity this week, Natasha spoke to Cleo’s chief business officer and former CEO SJ Sacchetti about ego, setting boundaries, stepping down and becoming a “statistic” and why a company needs to succeed without you. And on Found, Darrell and Becca talked to Keta Burke-Williams, the founder and CEO of direct-to-consumer fragrance company Ourside, about what got her interested in disrupting the behemoth — and outdated — fragrance industry.
TC+ subscribers get access to in-depth commentary, analysis and surveys — which you know if you’re already a subscriber. If you’re not, consider signing up. Here are a few highlights from this week:
The bias of AI: Dom reports that bias appears in most aspects of AI, from investment and hiring to data collection and production. So the question remains: Who is the next frontier of AI really for?
Africa’s startup ecosystem: Last year saw record investments in African startups. Tage talked to eight investors and discovered that key to this was pre-seed and seed-stage investors. But there is still a long way to go.
Spinach.io’s Pitch Deck Teardown: Haje turns his attention to the seed deck of Spinach.io, a company building out its meeting tool for engineers.
For cybersecurity pros: Contributor David J. Bianco writes about the defender’s dilemma: “The idea that attackers have all the advantages and that defenders must be passive and wait for something to respond to is practically an axiom of cybersecurity. It is also a lie.”