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Weapons of Class(ical) Destruction

PLUS: Jack Daniels v. Poo
March 24, 2023

Hello futurists. What a week it's been, and what a week it will be. I'm just coming off four days of Adobe Summit and am now headed off to Shoptalk. Back-to-back weeks in Vegas is... a lot. The nights are late and the task list piles up. But even so, I'm energized. 

Adobe Summit is highly focused on mid-market and enterprise businesses. The key product announcements were Adobe's new GenAI tool and also their creative generative AI, Firefly. And while clearly a first-gen iteration, it all looks very cool. Are you working at a big brand or retailer and feeling like you’ve been missing out on all the fun of ChatGPT and DALL-E? Or is it just guilt because you’ve been using it on the side without permission? 

Well buckle up, the fun is coming for you.

It’s interesting — in the past couple of months, we've seen many businesses get scrappy and employ ChatGPT and other LLMs as additional tools. I suspect a lot of employees leverage AI "off the radar" of approved business tools. This has led some large companies to caution against or even fully ban the use of ChatGPT, given the current unpredictability of AI output. This environment has a similar feeling to the early 00s when employees' personal tech devices surpassed the capability of tech provided to them by their employers. Everyone started using their own iPhones to accomplish work. This led to the use of apps that were outside of organizational policies, leading to security and data risks. Employers had to catch up. 

The real game changer in the way that we work, make purchases, and interact with technology is going to be native AI integrations with existing software suites. Major corporations already own licenses to these software suites and there won't even be a question of liability or approval. The AI toolset will also be pre-packaged for specific use cases and the “why” and “how” won't be as open-ended. Using LLMs and generative AI tools in these environments will be encouraged, maybe even mandated.

We like to think that the world is changed by startups that bring new ideas to the table. And it’s true — OpenAI is the latest and greatest example. But the adoption and implementation of these transformative tools is happening at the enterprise tech level, and that’s when the world actually changes.

See you at Shoptalk.

— Brian

P.S. The Archetypes Journal is almost sold out! We only have 30 copies left. Order yours now!

Image Credits: Hipstamatic

Hipstamatic Rises Again. As general satisfaction with Instagram wanes, a new (old) player is resurfacing. This week Hipstamatic reappeared in the App Store as a social network centred around iPhone photography, designed to answer the cries of the disenchanted socially networked masses. No ads, no algorithm determining your feed, no video, and follower limits to keep influencers from taking over. It’s basically like Instagram circa 2012… and that was a really special time.

One LOOP to Rule Them All? Microsoft has launched Loop, its version of Notion, for public preview on Wednesday. Because of the integration with word excel and teams, it's super super flexible and components can be inserted into all their apps. We see you, Loop.

More Sights & Sounds. Researchers have determined that the GPT-4 language model is less accurate than GPT-3. Utah passed a social media bill this week that prohibits minors from having social media accounts without the consent of a parent or guardian.

Not Quite Human. Levi’s plans to begin using AI-generated models this year in addition to the human models showcasing the company’s signature denim fits.

Petitioner’s brief in Jack Daniel’s v. VIP Products

Jack Daniels v. Poo. The Supreme Court is considering a case regarding jokes about poop. VIP Products released a dog toy that resembles the signature Jack Daniels bottle and includes a joke about a dog taking “The Old No. 2.” Jack Daniels wants the court to order sales of this toy to be prohibited, citing that the company doesn’t want its customers “confused or associating its fine whiskey with dog poop.”

Slaughter-Free Meat. Lab-grown chicken, or meat cultivated in a laboratory from chicken cells, has been deemed safe for human consumption by the FDA, meaning it could hit U.S. grocery shelves relatively soon. The FDA has also declared high fructose corn syrup and red dye #40 as problem-free, so that’s how we know this will be good for us, too.

More Palate News. Sober curiosity makes its way to Coachella, as The New Bar has solidified its place as the official nonalcoholic retail partner at the music festival. Starbucks’ new CEO went through 40 hours of barista training and plans to work a barista shift every month to stay in touch with customers and company culture. And we all know what Southern food is, but most of us — including Northerners — couldn’t really pin down Northern food, but Moskowitz Grumdahl has spent nearly 20 years working to define it.

Photo by Eddi Aguirre on Unsplash

Weapons of Class(ical) Destruction. L.A.’s Metro transit system is struggling. Ridership is down from pre-pandemic times, and heavy rains and cold temperatures have driven those seeking shelter into the underground stations, leaving riders (especially women) feeling unsafe to continue use. To combat this issue, the Metro is blaring classical music at hostile levels, which one citizen-public-safety committee member describes as experiencing a “psychological torture chamber.”

Cover Image: Photo by Eddi Aguirre on Unsplash

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