Why are so many tech companies laying people off right now?

There’s an eerie similarity to the statements tech companies have made about their recent layoffs. Mainly, if the press releases are to be believed, the C-suite of every Big Tech company on Earth — well, with the notable exception of Apple, which has not announced layoffs — figured no one would ever go outside or spend money offline again after the pandemic and their various online businesses would stay just as big as they were during the heights of covid.

https://www.theverge.com/2023/1/26/23571659/tech-layoffs-facebook-google-amazon

How are U.S. cities rebuilding after the pandemic? Richard Florida on the resilience of urban life in America.

In the U.S., the axiom about the imminent death of the big cities depended on a belief that people would abandon New York and San Francisco for the hinterlands, or for far-off suburbs, or for Miami and other smaller metropolitan areas—and we would see this great reshuffling of the American population.

https://www.thesgnl.com/2023/01/post-covid-us-cities-richard-florida/

Marie Kondo Has ‘Kind of Given Up’ on Tidying Up: ‘My Home Is Messy’

Kondo became an international phenomenon in 2019 with the launch of her Netflix reality series “Tidying Up,” in which she helped people clean up their messy homes and declutter their spaces in an attempt to restore calmness and “spark joy” in their lives. While Kondo has long been devoted to decluttering “physical” spaces, her new book also stresses the importance of cleaning up mental and emotional spaces. In other words, keeping your clothes folded and organized can be just as important as listening to classical music in the morning or making time for your children.

https://variety.com/2023/tv/news/marie-kondo-stops-tidying-up-home-messy-1235504610/

Chatting in Tongues: a critical need for language models

by Marie Lena Tupot and Tim Stock, scenarioDNA inc.

The discourse of late surrounding ChatGPT and other AI tools makes us all sound like anxiety-laden neophytes. Many of us have been decoding the evolution of language for decades now. So why is this scary? We weren’t afraid of the Internet when it was in its infancy. We weren’t afraid of Natural Language Processing or discourse modeling. Nor were we afraid of the power of a Google search. Yet, here with AI we are stuck. Is it because we have lost the capacity to think beyond what we already know, to take risks? 

We should immediately be seeing AI as tools we need to sharpen, tools that help push our human capacities toward real innovation. 

Nick Cave’s ChatGPT takedown when someone from New Zealand dared to prompt ChatGPT to write a song in the style of Nick Cave is silly. Of course, the resulting song is a “mockery of what it is to be human.” The machine can only work from Nick Cave’s existing oeuvre. ChatGPT itself tells us more about who Nick Cave is ideologically than Nick Cave does. A simple prompt of “what is nick cave’s ideology?” explains “it is difficult to say if his views align with any specific ideologies.” Of course, it is difficult to align Nick Cave with an ideology. To be Nick Cave is to be divergent. To be divergent is to be human.

For the most divergent of us, we need these tools to take us even further. ChatGPT isn’t there yet for Nick Cave. It’s not there for cognitive linguists either. 

Even PeopleAI isn’t yet speaking to us in the tongue of the historic figure in question. It’s pulling from facts surrounding the figure like a dynamic wiki page. For example, it is impossible to get Joan of Arc to explain how she might be radical today and what she would fight for. Her chat simply keeps reiterating “I’d be radical in my advocacy for the marginalized and oppressed.” Aren’t many of us doing that already? It’s a good example of where ChatGPT is currently at.

What we should want to hear is Joan of Arc’s authentic 19-year-old voice, her rhetoric, speaking to us today from the past. First, we would need to decide who is the true Joan. Her legend is split into two ideologies. Allison Miller wrote for JStor at the centennial of Joan’s canonization, “Within France, she is a symbol of reactionary nationalism, venerated by the Far Right long before she was canonized. Outside France, though, Joan has been more of a heroine of feminism and androgyny, especially in Britain and the United States.”

These points could be AI executions that challenge our biases. Perhaps we might want to hear our own voices so we can check ourselves. Or maybe we need more antagonistic voices in our heads to take that one step further? This relies on building patterns of linguistics and archetypal coding. It requires archetypal frameworks for language. We established one such structure with our culture mapping patent in 2015.

Joe Pompeo writes for Vanity Fair in response to AI, “If you’re an analysis person, let’s say, 20 years down the road, you might need to find something else to do.” However, analysis requires seeing meaning in patterns, not simply seeing patterns. We’re safe, Joe. Meaning, like divergence, is a human concept.

Yuga Labs Says It Does Not Have Copyright Registration Of Bored Ape Images, in New Court Documents

Yuga Labs, the parent company of Bored Ape Yacht Clubsaid in a new court filing that it does not have “copyright registrations” for the 10,000 images that constitution the successful NFT collection.

The new documents were submitted as part of the ongoing lawsuit between Yuga and artist Ryder Ripps, who used images from the BAYC collection for his own NFT collection, titled RR/BAYC.

https://www-artnews-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.artnews.com/art-news/news/yuga-labs-admits-to-having-no-copyright-over-bored-ape-yacht-club-nfts-1234655279/amp/

We still use appliances like it’s 1970. There’s a better way.

“If automobiles were regulated to the same extent as household appliances, the average vehicle would be getting 60 miles per gallon and seat nine people,” says Pamela Klyn, an engineer and sustainability executive at Whirlpool, which manufactures 20 million products every year under brands including Whirlpool, Maytag and KitchenAid. Yet these appliances could be saving us even more water, energy and time — if we used them properly.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2023/01/24/home-appliance-myths-energy-saving-tips/

The weaponised SUV set to terrify America’s streets

The extreme features of the Reznavi Vengeance – including electrified door handles and blinding strobe lights – are wholly in tune with lethal trends in the US market

One thing oddly missing from the Vengeance (priced from $285,000, rising to $499,000 with all the extras) is a rear windscreen, because of course that would be unsafe. Instead, drivers are treated to a live video rear-view mirror and a front camera overlaid with “augmented reality”. Perhaps it shows an imaginary zombie army for you to mow down on your way to the mall.

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2023/jan/25/pepper-spray-school-run-apocalyptic-suv-reznavi-vengeange?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

How to Use ChatGPT for Strategic Foresight: Limitations, Possibilities, and Workarounds

On futures and foresight, the focus of my own queries, ChatGPT readily admits that it’s not a crystal ball (a good start). As a language model, “it does not have the ability to predict future events or to understand the long-term consequences of actions.” Or so it tells me. It will even qualify any future-oriented questions with a standard disclaimer, “It’s hard to predict the future of [X] as it will depend on many factors…”

ChatGPT also confesses to other things it can’t do. It can’t understand what it says — neither the meaning nor concepts of its utterances. It can’t fact-check — at least not yet. By its own admission, it “does not have the ability to reason, plan or solve problems in the same way that a human can.”

https://www.iftf.org/insights/how-to-use-chatgpt-for-strategic-foresight-limitations-possibilities-and-workarounds/

Fiskars—the Finnish Brand Behind the World’s Most Popular Scissors—Is Launching Gender-Neutral Gardening Clothes 

With Mother Nature in peril, designers are taking different approaches in hopes of saving her. Some, like Christian Dior’s Maria Grazia Chiuri, seem to be urging us to go and play in the dirt. What else is one to do with a logo-ed, tool-filled gardening tote, after all? Tomorrow Fiskars, the nearly 400-year-old Finnish home and garden tool company, will be staking out a plot of its own at Pitti Uomo with a capsule collection of gardening and “urban exploring” gear designed by Maria Korkeila, a graduate of Aalto University in Espoo, Finland, and the 2017 Hyères Festival prize winner.

https://www.vogue.com/slideshow/fiskars-the-finnish-brand-behind-the-worlds-most-popular-scissors-is-launching-gender-neutral-gardening-clothes?mbid=social_twitter_vr&utm_source=twitter&utm_social-type=owned&utm_campaign=runway&utm_medium=social&utm_brand=vogue

How the Porsche NFT Drop Crashed and Burned

Collectors called the expensive NFT mint “clueless” but the sports car brand went ahead anyway, yielding a Web3 wreck in progress.

Porsche’s project focused on the German automaker’s iconic 911 sports car, with a planned drop of 7,500 Ethereum NFTs that would celebrate the vehicle and allow holders access to events and exclusive merchandise. It would also let crypto-savvy car junkies vaguely “help design Porsche’s future in the virtual world.”

https://decrypt.co/119912/porsche-nft-drop-crashed-burned
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