TGIF, my TechCrunch homies. It’s that time of the week again – time for the weekly recap, where we recap the last five days in tech news. As always, a lot has happened, so let’s jump right in without delay.
Well, maybe with a slight delay. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that TechCrunch Early Stage, TechCrunch’s annual founders’ summit, is just around the corner — April 20th, to be exact. The Early Stage, taking place in Boston this year, will host sessions with advice and insights from top experts and opportunities to meet entrepreneurs making incredible journeys. Trust me it will be worth the trek.
TechCrunch’s flagship conference, Disrupt, will also take place So worth the hike. (And I’m not just saying that because yours will actually be attending—I swear!) This year, Disrupt will feature six new stages of industry-specific programming tracks inspired by our popular TC Sessions series. Experts from the fields of climate, mobility, fintech, AI and machine learning, enterprise, data protection and security as well as hardware and robotics will be present and offer fascinating insights.
So registered for both events? Great. Well, here’s the week in review!
ChatGPT in API form: OpenAI has introduced an API that allows any business to integrate ChatGPT technology into their apps, websites, products and services. (For a refresher, ChatGPT is the free-text-generating AI that can write human-like code, emails, essays, and more.) Snap, Quizlet, Instacart, and Shopify are among the early adopters.
become human: One startup, Figure, emerged from cover this week promising a bipedal humanoid general-purpose robot. (brian broke the news of the startup’s existence in September, in case you missed it.) The alpha build of the Figure robot, which the company completed in December, is currently being tested at its Sunnyvale offices. It is initially focused on a wide range of manual work tasks.
Guarantee-free monitoring: Zack reports that ICE’s Secret Service and Homeland Security Investigations Unit have repeatedly failed to obtain proper legal documentation when conducting invasive cell phone surveillance. The findings were released last week by the Inspector General of Homeland Security, who is tasked with overseeing the US federal department and its many law enforcement units. He said authorities often used cell simulators without obtaining the appropriate search warrants.
Salesforce turns it around: This week, Salesforce announced its results for the fourth fiscal quarter, including earnings that beat expectations and guidance that ahead of street estimates. It was a much-needed win for the company, which has faced increasing pressure from activist investors, including Elliott Management.
Hydrogen powered: Startup Universal Hydrogen blew up this week with the largest hydrogen fuel cell ever flown. The 15-minute test flight of a modified Dash-8 aircraft was short, but – how To mark writes – it showed that hydrogen could be viable as a fuel for short-haul passenger aircraft. (However, many technical and regulatory obstacles stand in the way.)
Break your streak: Ivan reports that Snapchat allows users to pause their snap streaks — sending your friend a snap once every 24 hours — so they don’t have to worry about breaking them if they decide not to be on the go for a while access app.
New non-profit organization for AI: A community-driven AI research group, EleutherAI, is creating a non-profit foundation. Funded by donations and grants from supporters including AI startups Hugging Face and Stability AI, former GitHub CEO Nat Friedman, Lambda Labs and Canva, the nonprofit plans to explore issues surrounding large language models along the lines of OpenAI’s ChatGPT .
Termination of “succession”: The official trailer for the final season of ‘Succession’ premiered this week, and it seems the series will end with an epic mic drop. As Lauren writesWith 13 Emmy wins and five Golden Globe awards, the HBO series was not only a smash hit, but also an interesting commentary on the media industry. Creator and showrunner Jesse Armstrong has admitted to taking inspiration from many places, including Rupert Murdoch’s playbook.
Like Elon Musk’s meddling on Twitter, the TechCrunch podcast machine never stops. This week on Equity, Maria Ann, becca And Alex gathered to sift through the week’s biggest startup and venture news, including what’s happening in the land of NFTs, AI versus crypto in venture hype cycles, and Amazon’s unlikely partnership. And on The TechCrunch Live Podcast, Matt Burns spoke with Sagi Eliyahu, CEO and co-founder of Tonkean, and Joanne Chen, partner at Foundation Capital, about addressing leadership blind spots and the best ways for founders to work with their board of directors.