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An engineering director at Google found out she was laid off as she prepared to take her kids to school. Sivan Hermon felt like she was "one kid's tantrum away from losing it," she wrote in a Medium Post. The thought of no longer being at Google after nine years was "too painful," she added. According to LinkedIn, Hermon joined Google in 2014, and worked in various roles in software engineering, becoming a director of engineering in 2021. Hermon wrote in her post that she had always thought Google was "too fat" and that she wished "we were one of these companies who let go of the lower 5% performers on a yearly basis."
ChatGPT may be the fastest-growing app in history with 100 million users after just over two months. A UBS report showed that it took TikTok over nine months to reach the same number of people. "In twenty years following the Internet space, we cannot recall a faster ramp in a consumer internet app," UBS analysts wrote in the report. The number of MAUs on ChatGPT has almost doubled since December when it had around 57 million, per the report. It amassed one million users in just five days.
Elon Musk said Twitter will launch a feature allowing creators be paid for their tweets next week. Musk has talked frequently about such plans since buying Twitter, and said a "beta" is coming next week. In November, Musk claimed Twitter will pay creators a higher proportion of ad revenues than YouTube. Musk responded to a tweet on Tuesday by a user who said Twitter's co-tweet feature which lets users co-author tweets together is "stupid af" to which Musk responded: "You're welcome. At the time Musk said Twitter planned to surpass YouTube's rate of paying creators 55% of total ad revenue from their videos.
ChatGPT could get hired as an entry-level software engineer at Google, internal communications cited by CNBC said. "Amazingly ChatGPT gets hired at L3 when interviewed for a coding position," a note reported by CNBC said. "Amazingly ChatGPT gets hired at L3 when interviewed for a coding position," a note in one internal document comparing LaMDA and ChatGPT said, per CNBC. When asked whether ChatGPT and AlphaCode — an AI coding system designed by Alphabet's DeepMind — would replace programmers, ChatGPT and LaMDA both disagreed, per CNBC. At a December all-hands meeting, CNBC reported, Google staff raised concerns that the company may be falling behind in the AI space.
51% of Americans earning over $100,000 a year are living paycheck to paycheck, a new survey found. That's up from 42% of those surveyed by Pymnts.com and Lending Club at the end of 2021. 51% of high-income earners surveyed — those making over $100,000 — said they were living paycheck to paycheck in December. Consumers surveyed said they were expecting high inflation to continue for the next two years with over half predicting higher inflation in 2023, per the report. In June 2022, over a third of high-income consumers making over $250,000 were also living paycheck to paycheck.
Employees who were kept on told Insider they felt anxious about their job security and overworked. And while those who've lost their jobs are experiencing tremendous financial and professional uncertainty, evidence suggests that workers who survive layoffs also suffer. In June 2020, Hannah was unexpectedly told she was being put into a redundancy pool with seven other colleagues. "There wasn't a lot of time to process the whole thing," Hannah told Insider. "You become very acutely aware that you are dispensable," Hannah told Insider.
Recent mass layoffs at big tech companies show that even capable hard workers can lose their jobs. Amid mass layoffs, Cnop said that employees need to shift their perspective about work. Cnop said that this is "transactional," and that people should "work for a calling," with a purpose and mission beyond their company. She had been at the company for four years, and didn't regret the hard work because she was passionate about her role. The hard work paid off essentially because having the "respect" of senior leadership meant they supported her business ventures and connected her with big brands.
A British entrepreneur is buying a fire-ravaged Tennessee mansion listed on Zillow for $1.5 million. Mike Thakur told Insider he and his wife "have never been scared of a challenge." The Zillow listing, complete with pictures of the fire damage, has been viewed nearly 450,000 times. The burnt-out mansion, in Franklin, Williamson County, was built in 1997, according to its Zillow listing. The Zillow listing has received nearly 450,000 views.
Anti-fascist activist Chad Loder's Twitter account was suspended in November 2022. A leaked internal Twitter message suggests Elon Musk directly ordered the suspension. Bloomberg reported the internal message as saying: "Suspension: direct request from Elon Musk." Bloomberg said it viewed a screenshot of the message in question, involving the account of Chad Loder, which read: "Suspension: direct request from Elon Musk." Loder's account was one of several prominent left-wing accounts suspended by Twitter in November 2022.
A Google employee said he and his wife were both laid off by the tech giant in Friday's mass cull. Ashish Kalsi wrote on LinkedIn that they stared at each other in "disbelief" that morning as their daughter slept. Kalsi said he's on an H-1B visa and has a 60-day "countdown" to find a new role or leave the US. Kalsi wrote that his wife woke up at 6:30 a.m. to take a meeting at 7 a.m. but found that her work profile was missing and couldn't access internal resources on her laptop. "I checked my phone and everything looked normal, except that it wasn't," he wrote on LinkedIn.
Matthew McConaughey and Will.i.am have taken part in corporate strategy discussions at Salesforce, the FT reported. The FT reported, citing a source familiar with the matter, that actor McConaughey and musician and producer Will.i.am are often included in business conversations. McConaughey, meanwhile, has been heavily involved in Salesforce's advertising in recent years, including appearing in its 2022 Super Bowl commercial. According to a different source cited by the FT, McConaughey and Will.i.am are only involved in informal conversations in the business, not meetings around corporate strategy. Salesforce did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider about Will.i.am and McConaughey's apparent involvement in corporate discussions.
Elon Musk's Twitter has reinstated the account of white nationalist Nick Fuentes. Fuentes is known for making antisemitic remarks and has praised Hitler, calling him "cool." Fuentes has also praised Hitler in a video repeating that he is "cool" and "awesome." In a December interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, Ye — who was joined by Fuentes — praised Hitler and made a number of overtly antisemitic remarks. Musk suspended Ye's Twitter account after the interview over repeated antisemitism saying: "I tried my best.
An ex-Googler said she felt "betrayed" and "reduced to a dollar sign" after being laid off. In a LinkedIn post, she said she was "disappointed" with how the tech giant executed the layoffs. Google announced 12,000 layoffs Friday, with staff across all facets of the company impacted. Sign up for our newsletter for the latest tech news and scoops — delivered daily to your inbox. Philipp Schindler, Google's chief business officer responded: "If you interpret psychological safety as removing all uncertainty, we can't do this."
Xbox CEO Phil Spencer said Microsoft's layoffs were "painful" in an email to staff. Video game blog Kotaku obtained a copy of Spencer's email to staff working in Microsoft's gaming division. Kotaku obtained a copy of a company-wide email — through a current Xbox employee — sent by Spencer to all full-time staff in Microsoft's gaming division. "This is a challenging moment in our business, and this week's actions were painful choices," Spencer wrote in the email. The layoffs affected Microsoft's gaming studios including 343 Industries, Bethesda Game Studios, and its parent company ZeniMax Media, according to Bloomberg.
An engineering manager laid off by Google said the tech giant sees staff as "100% disposable." Justin Moore said on LinkedIn that he was laid off through an automatic account deactivation. Justin Moore, an engineering manager at Google, was one of the 12,000 people affected by Google's layoff last week. "This also just drives home that work is not your life, and employers — especially big, faceless ones like Google — see you as 100% disposable," Moore wrote in the post. On Friday, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google's parent Alphabet, sent an email to staff saying it was laying off around 12,000 staff, roughly 6% of its global workforce.
Tesla will "keep blowing our minds," even if Elon Musk is distracted by running Twitter. That's according to Chinese tech giant Tencent's chief exploration officer David Wallerstein. Wallerstein helped lead Tencent's 2017 investment in Tesla. Wallerstein led an investment from the Chinese tech giant into Tesla in 2017, taking a 5% stake worth about $1.78 billion at the time. Tencent has since divested its stake in Tesla, and no longer holds any Tesla stock, per data compiled by Bloomberg.
Google's CEO Sundar Pichai said staff can work from home to absorb layoff news on Friday. Pichai wrote that Google is laying off around 12,000 employees, 6% of its global workforce. Google is offering 16 weeks severance and six months of healthcare services for those laid off. "As part of that, if you are just starting your work day, please feel free to work from home today." Google joins several big tech companies in laying off thousands of staff amid worsening economic conditions.
An AI received a marginal pass in a law and economics exam, economics professor Alex Tabarrok said. Tabarrok, a professor at George Mason University, said the AI's answer was "better than many human responses." The AI, known as Claude, was built by Anthropic, a company part-funded by Sam Bankman-Fried. Tabarrok said the exam was graded blind and that he considered Claude "a competitor" and "improvement" to OpenAI's GPT3, the tech underlying viral sensation ChatGPT. There has been an explosion of interest in AI capabilities since the launch of OpenAI's chatbot ChatGPT in November.
Meta's Oversight Board told Instagram and Facebook to amend their nudity guidelines on Tuesday. Campaigners have criticized the double standard of not allowing female nipples to be displayed while permitting bare-chested men. "The restrictions and exceptions to the rules on female nipples are extensive and confusing, particularly as they apply to transgender and non-binary people," it said. In 2021, the Oversight Board updated nudity policies on Facebook to allow for "health-related" nudity posts. In 2018, Facebook executive Monika Bickert told reporters that its policies around bare chests on its platforms were generally about "safety."
Meta's chief product officer said the metaverse will one day become as important as the smartphone. Speaking at a Davos panel on Wednesday, Chris Cox discussed Meta's vision for the metaverse. Cox said Meta believes that "one day that computing platform will be as important as the smartphone has become in our lifetimes." It is the "only thing Mark wants to talk about," one director level employee told Insider in April. "It's basically fomenting disorganization and anxiety," an employee told Insider at the time.
The recruitment team at a consultancy shortlisted an application written by ChatGPT, per Sky News. He told Sky News the ChatGPT-written application was "more competent" than a lot of candidates. Neil Taylor, the founder of a communications consultancy firm called Schwa, tested his recruitment team and hiring software to see if they could spot an application written by ChatGPT. "It was more competent than a lot of the bad people who apply to us," he told Sky News. "When I told the assessor that she had shortlisted ChatGPT, she was slightly crestfallen," he told Sky News.
Twitter employees sobbed in the bathroom at a Halloween party over fears of being laid off, the Verge reported. A program manager told Insider that after Elon Musk's takeover, staff panicked about coming layoffs. She said she found out she had been laid off when she was kicked off Twitter's work systems. Musk then identified 3,700 people — roughly 50% of the company's 7,500 employees at the time — to be laid off, in his first week. Just hours after Twitter sent that email to staff, Lee noticed that some of her colleagues' accounts "started deactivating," she said.
Elon Musk doesn't seem to like Davos very much at all. Musk this week questioned how the World Economic Forum is 'even a thing' and compared it to 4Chan. He said in December he wouldn't be attending the annual meeting because it "sounded boring." Sign up for our newsletter for the latest tech news and scoops — delivered daily to your inbox. He further insulted the forum on Monday and compared it to online message board 4Chan, which is well known for spawning baseless conspiracy theories.
The tech giant plans to make the chatbot available through its Azure OpenAI service. Azure OpenAI is now generally available as part of an expansion of Microsoft's partnership with OpenAI, Microsoft's corporate vice president for AI platforms Eric Boyd wrote. Azure OpenAI is a service through which language tools like GPT-3 and Codex can be used and adapted to specific tasks. ChatGPT — which has been trialed on Azure AI infrastructure — will be available through Azure OpenAI soon, the post said. Microsoft highlighted that companies like KPMG, Al Jazeera, and Moveworks are already using its Azure OpenAI service.
A Twitter user is suing the company for $5 million over a data leak which exposed users' personal information. According to cybersecurity researchers, the leak impacted over 200 million users. Twitter has denied that the data leak was caused by hackers exploiting a flaw in its systems. In early January, cybercrime intelligence company Hudson Rock suggested that hackers had stolen over 200 million Twitter users' information and published them onto a publicly available online hacking forum. "In response to recent media reports of Twitter users' data being sold online, we conducted a thorough investigation and there is no evidence that data recently being sold was obtained by exploiting a vulnerability of Twitter systems," the post said.
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