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'Nothing, Forever,' an AI 'Seinfeld' spoof, is the next 'Twitch Plays Pokémon' • TechCrunch

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"So, I was at the store the other day, and as I'm checking out, the cashier asks me if I have any coupons, and I say, 'No coupon problem!'" recalls a pixelated, barely three-dimensional figure that vaguely resembles Jerry Seinfeld. "So I'm walking down the street, and this guy comes up to me and says, 'Hey, how's it going?' and I say, 'It's going coupon!'" An automated laugh track plays, but the joke doesn't make sense. Then again, it doesn't have to make sense. "Nothing, Forever" is a never-ending, AI-generated spoof of "Seinfeld," the show about nothing.


The UK rolls back controversial plans to open up text and data mining regulations • TechCrunch

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The U.K. Government is seemingly backtracking on plans that would have allowed text and data mining "for any purpose," plans designed to position the U.K. as a "global AI superpower." The news emerges following months of blowback from creative industries concerned about what impact the rules might have on protected works. Text and data mining, for the uninitiated, is an essential component of just about every AI application, allowing researchers and developers to leverage disparate datasets to train their algorithms. But gaining access to a sufficient amount of data is not a straight-forward endeavor, given that data is often owned by organizations or individuals that might not want third-parties to have access to their data. Or, they may only make said data available under a commercial license, making it prohibitively expensive to harness.


Google created an AI that can generate music from text descriptions, but won't release it • TechCrunch

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An impressive new AI system from Google can generate music in any genre given a text description. But the company, fearing the risks, has no immediate plans to release it. Called MusicLM, Google's certainly isn't the first generative artificial intelligence system for song. There have been other attempts, including Riffusion, an AI that composes music by visualizing it, as well as Dance Diffusion, Google's own AudioML and OpenAI's Jukebox. But owing to technical limitations and limited training data, none have been able to produce songs particularly complex in composition or high-fidelity.


OpenAI launches ChatGPT Plus, starting at $20 per month • TechCrunch

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Aiming to monetize what's become a viral phenomenon, OpenAI today launched a new pilot subscription plan for ChatGPT, its text-generating AI that can write convincingly human-like essays, poems, emails, lyrics and more. Called ChatGPT Plus and starting at $20 per month, the service delivers a number of benefits over the base-level ChatGPT, OpenAI says, including general access to ChatGPT even during peak times, faster response times and priority access to new features and improvements. The free ChatGPT tier is here to stay -- it's not going away. OpenAI says it'll begin the process of inviting people from its waitlist in the coming months and look to expand Plus to additional countries and regions "soon." "We launched ChatGPT as a research preview so we could learn more about the system's strengths and weaknesses and gather user feedback to help us improve upon its limitations," OpenAI wrote in a blog post.


Rebar robotics firm Toggle adds another $3M to its fundraising tally • TechCrunch

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There's no denying that the robotics startup world has taken a hit during the ongoing economic downturn. Recent numbers prove what we've all suspected for some time. But two things are true: 1) The lull is temporary; and 2) While robotics isn't recession-proof, construction might as well be. This is certainly a theme of late -- as other categories of robotics have struggled to raise, those operating in construction appear relatively unimpacted. New York-based Toggle this morning announced that it has added another $3 million to its coffers as part of a "Series A Extension."


Snap hints at future AR glasses powered by generative AI • TechCrunch

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Social media company and Snapchat maker Snap has for years defined itself as a "camera company," despite its failures to turn its photo-and-video recording glasses known as Spectacles into a mass-market product and, more recently, its decision to kill off its camera-equipped drone. But that hasn't stopped the company from envisioning a future where AR glasses are a commonly used device, and one, as the company revealed on Tuesday's fourth-quarter earnings call, that will eventually be powered by AI technology. Investors wanted to get a sense of how Snap was thinking about the latest developments in AI -- particularly in buzzy areas like generative AI. which has benefited from advances in algorithms, language models and the increased processing power available to run the necessary calculations. One pointed to the AI image generator Midjourney's bot for Discord as an example of how AI could lead to increased user engagement within an app. Snap CEO Evan Spiegel agreed that, in the near term, there were a lot of opportunities to use generative AI to make Snap's camera more powerful.


ValueBase, backed by Sam Altman's Hydrazine, raises $1.6 million seed round • TechCrunch

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OpenAI CEO Sam Altman believes AI can help usher in "unbelievable abundance," but he says he wants to ensure that such abundance is shared. Toward that end, Altman has embraced a theory of 19th century political economist Henry George, who in his own lifetime worried about wealth amassing in the hands of the few following the Industrial Revolution. George posited that greater equality could be enjoyed if the economic value of land belonged equally to all members of society. Altman similarly believes that in a world where jobs may create less economic value, a land tax could make up for income tax and guarantee that all individuals' assets rise as land -- a fixed asset -- grows in value. He's putting his money where his mouth is, too, leading a seed round in a six-month-old startup that represents a step in that same direction.


Would Baidu's answer to ChatGPT make a difference? • TechCrunch

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Baidu, China's top search engine provider and robotaxi developer, is apparently working on its own counterpart to ChatGPT. The news, first reported by Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal, sent Baidu's stock price rising on Monday to reach its highest point since September. A spokesperson for Baidu declined to comment on the reports. But it wouldn't be surprising that Baidu, which bills itself as the pioneer in China's artificial intelligence field, is stepping up to build the Chinese equivalent of today's most powerful chatbot. The question is how big a difference the tool can make, and where its limitations lie.


ChatGPT: Hopes, Dreams, Cheating and Cybersecurity

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Everyone is talking about ChatGPT. The headlines just keep pouring in, and in most cases, the stories are positive. Consider these headlines: DigitalTrends.com -- ChatGPT: how to use the viral AI chatbot that's taking the world by storm: "By now, you've probably heard of ChatGPT, the general-purpose chatbot prototype that the Internet is obsessed with right now. It's quickly become the dominant example of the influence AI-generated content will have in the future, showing just how powerful these tools can be. "It's made by OpenAI, well-known for having developed the text-to-image generator DALL-E, and it's currently available for anyone to try out for free -- even if there have been some issues as of late with accessing this incredible technology." USA Today -- What is ChatGPT? Everything to know about OpenAI's free AI essay writer and how it works: "In less time than it takes me to write this sentence, ChatGPT, the free AI computer program that writes human-sounding answers to just about anything you ask, will spit out a 500-word essay explaining quantum physics with literary flair.


Stripe eyes an exit, Dell bets on the cloud, and Shutterstock embraces generative AI • TechCrunch

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Hey, party people, it's Kyle, continuing to step in for Greg to write Week in Review as he spends time with his newborn. Dunno about y'all, but it's been a week. But because the news never sleeps, I'm rallying with the help of a fourth cup of coffee. I've talked your ears off about it at this point, but I'm under contractual obligation (not really, but still) to mention TechCrunch's upcoming Early Stage 2023 event in Boston on April 20. The one-day summit on startups will include advice and takeaways from top experts, plus opportunities to meet fellow founders and share your own entrepreneurial experiences.