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  • 🎨 OpenAI Broadens DALL-E 3 Availability, Promising Improved Safety Measures

🎨 OpenAI Broadens DALL-E 3 Availability, Promising Improved Safety Measures

+ Disney's $16B ESPN Stream | Cybersecurity Q3 Dip | Apple's AI iOS 2024

A warm welcome to our tech aficionados!

Today is Friday, October 20. The day's tech tales are packed with intrigue, from streaming giants to AI wonders. Here's a glimpse of what's trending:

  • Disney's Streaming Boost - ESPN's whopping $16B fortune in the new streaming era.

  • Amazon's Green Goal - Approaching a plastic-free future; will tech follow?

  • Netflix Price Surge - 4K access now priced at $23.

  • DALL-E 3's Safety - OpenAI enhances availability with increased safety protocols.

  • Apple's AI Revolution - Gearing up to redefine iOS 18 in 2024 with a ChatGPT rival.

  • Cybersecurity's Q3 - Investments rise but show restrained growth.

  • Pixel's Indian Venture - Google to kickstart Pixel production in India by 2024.

  • and more…

Lets dive in!

Tech Companies

Disney has disclosed the financial strength of its ESPN business for the first time, revealing it has generated over $16 billion for the company in fiscal year 2022, with $2.9 billion in profit. These numbers outshine Disney's entertainment sector, encompassing its streaming services and studios, which produced $39.6 billion in revenue and $2.1 billion in profit. The majority of ESPN's income was derived from domestic business, primarily affiliate fees from cable programmers. Disney is seeking strategic partnership as ESPN transitions into the streaming era.

💡 Why does this matter?

Disney's strategic reveal of ESPN's $16 billion revenue scale, larger than Disney's entire entertainment business, underlines its value amidst Disney's hunt for a strategic partner. The shift to streaming intensifies, indicating significant opportunities for tech firms adept in this transition. The data also underlines the financial impact of Disney's streaming efforts and potential profitability in 2024, presenting exciting prospects for tech investors.

In one of its Euclid, Ohio warehouses, Amazon has swapped plastic packaging for recyclable paper offerings. To reduce plastic waste and pollution, the tech giant now uses an upgraded packaging machine for bespoke box creation; smaller items are sent in paper mailers, and standard boxes are filled using paper rather than plastic. Amazon's progress will be a multiyear effort, particularly for its US market, with the company still waiting to establish clear, quantifiable commitments.

💡 Why does this matter?

Amazon's transition to recyclable packaging impacts tech companies in e-commerce, signaling a shift towards environmentally friendly logistics. It also presents potential opportunities for innovation in packaging technology and sustainability-oriented business practices.

Netflix has announced a price increase to its subscription tiers in the US, the premium tier now set at $22.99. This move also influences the accessibility of Netflix in 4K, which demands an additional $3 per month. Despite raising the prices on its basic tier, Netflix also maintains that its starting price still competes favorably against other streaming services.

Startup Scene

Product Hunt, the product discovery platform for tech startups, has laid off 60% of its staff across design, product, sales and other departments, whilst sparing engineering, ads, and community sectors. The decision was announced by CEO Rajiv Ayyangar, who took up his role in September and previously implied that changes were imminent. He clarified that the layoffs were a strategic move rather than a result of poor financial performance or economic factors. This comes amidst an increasing need for the company to adapt to new technologies such as AI, and improve the way it highlights what's new in tech.

AI Corner

OpenAI is broadening access to its DALL-E 3 text-to-image generator with ChatGPT Plus and Enterprise customers. The DALL-E 3 model utilizes ChatGPT to create more elaborate image prompts. Also introduced on Microsoft's Bing platform, this upgraded system aims to improve safety measures, handling issues like copyright infringement and inappropriate imagery. OpenAI assures increased precautions and presents a research-backed website demonstrating the model's development, including measures to prevent generating content styled from living artists or public figures and ensuring accurate demographic representation.

Apple's iOS 18 is expected to incorporate generative AI features in late 2024, enhancing its advanced language model, Ajax GPT, to compete with AI rivals such as Microsoft Bing and Google Bard.

💡 Why does this matter?

Apple's plans to integrate generative AI features into iOS 18 by late 2024 could reshape the competitive landscape within the tech industry. This advancement enhances user experience and app functionalities and may unlock new business opportunities for tech entrepreneurs and investors.

Junta Nakai, global VP at Databricks, argues that in the age of AI and GenAI, soft skills rather than hard skills will determine successful careers. GenAI threatens even specialized roles with automation, and Nakai urges professionals to expand beyond their comfort zones, enhance human interactions, and continually learn in order to adapt and thrive. Perfecting soft skills in the analog world will be crucial as they provide the versatility required in the evolving job market.

Markets & Money

Cybersecurity startups experienced a modest rise in venture funding in Q3 (12% from Q2), but figures remained 30% lower year-on-year, accruing close to $1.9 billion in 153 announced deals. The sector's late-stage funding has been particularly impacted by ongoing turbulence and investor hesitation. This downtrend has also been felt in the Israeli cybersecurity market, although Cato Networks' recent sizable funding boosted the sector in Q3. Regardless of these fluctuations, investors suggest that this signifies a return to normal.

💡 Why does this matter?

The decline in venture funding to cybersecurity startups signifies fewer investors chasing deals. Despite a 12% uptick from Q2, the overall funding remains down 30% YoY. This drop may potentially impact late-stage startups, cybersecurity solutions innovation, and the health of the M&A market; however, some investors regard this as a return to a more stable investment climate post-pandemic hype.

TSMC's Q3 profit declined 24.9% but surpassed expectations, fostering optimism for a gradual recovery in the global semiconductor industry. The business's Q3 net profit sank to T$211 billion from T$280.9 billion, beating a T$195.5 billion LSEG SmartEstimate. TSMC, a key supplier for Apple Inc, indicated Q3 revenue dropped 14.6% to $17.3 billion, with the high-performance computing segment contributing 42% to total sales. Despite warning notes from its key supplier ASML and an ongoing U.S-China chip spat, shares of TSMC are up around 22% this year.

Venture capital giant Greycroft is renewing its focus on AI startups, leading to internal disagreements that will result in the departure of two longstanding partners. The firm, which manages around $5.7 billion in assets, is deviating from sector-based investing to pursue ""vertical software powered by artificial intelligence."" Despite missing its ambitious fundraising targets, Greycroft managed to secure more funding than previous rounds.

Apps & Gadgets

Google has announced plans to transfer the manufacturing of its Pixel smartphones to India from 2024, starting with the Pixel 8. After previously relocating its production from China to Vietnam and India, Google now aims to fully embrace India's ""Make in India"" initiative, recognizing the country as a ""world-class hub for manufacturing."" This move underlines Google's commitment to expand its presence in India, a strategic market for its Pixel smartphones.

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