OpenAI released GPT-4, SVB files for bankruptcy, and acquired PE firm PornHub.

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Welcome to Week in Review, folks, TechCrunch’s regular roundup of Week in Tech. GPT-4, OpenAI’s text and image understanding AI, may have dominated the headlines in the past few days. But new drama has also emerged surrounding the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.

We cover all of that and more in this issue, so grab a coffee and sit back.

A quick note, TechCrunch Early Stage 2023 is fast approaching. It will be in Boston on April 20 and will feature three concurrent founder-future workshops, case studies and deep dives with tech entrepreneurship experts. Mark your calendars for TechCrunch Riot 2023, September 19-21 in San Francisco. As always, it will be packed with roundtables, firefights, Q&A and on-field light shows. You won’t want to miss it.

Now on to the news.

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Open GPT-4 After much anticipation, OpenAI, a heavily backed AI startup from Microsoft, has released a powerful new AI model called GPT-4. GPT-4 can generate text and accept image and text inputs – an improvement over the previous one, which only accepted text – and performs “human-level” on a variety of parameters. But GPT-4 is not perfect. Like most other types of generative text AI, the model “generates” facts and makes reasoning errors – sometimes with great confidence.

Microsoft goes all in on AI: Using the latest technology from OpenAI, including GPT-4, Microsoft has launched new AI-powered features in its suite of productivity tools under the Copilot brand. Copilot performs different functions depending on the application used. For example, in Word, a copywriter writes, edits, summarizes, and generates text; In PowerPoint and Excel, Copilot converts natural language commands into designed presentations and data visualizations. And in Power Apps, Copilot helps refine ideas for low-code software.

SVB files for loss: A week after trading for SVB Financial was halted and regulators took control of Silicon Valley Bank and other subsidiaries of the content company, SVB Financial took the next inevitable step. On Friday, the bank announced it had formally filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. This means that SVB Financial can apply – and plans to apply – to the courts to continue operations as it finds buyers for its assets, which includes moving forward with plans to sell from SVB Securities and SVB Capital.

Farewell to Google Glass: Google Glass, Google’s misunderstood AR technology, is no more. Google announced this week that it will stop selling the latest version of Glass, Glass Enterprise, on March 15 (but will continue to support existing customers until September 15). Readers will recall that the Mirror, which celebrated its tenth anniversary last month, has not been able to be mocked and ridiculed even after its massive consumer-to-enterprise focus.

YouTube TV costs: In a move to arm cord cutters, YouTube has announced YouTube TV is raising the price of its subscription to $72.99 per month — an $8 increase from the current $64.99 monthly fee. The Google-owned company blames the change on rising “content costs.” (Perhaps not coincidentally, YouTube TV recently announced a streaming deal with NFL Sunday Ticket, reportedly worth $2 billion a season.)

Via Citymapper: Transportation startup Via, which recently raised $110 million at a $3.5 billion valuation, snapped up London startup Citymapper, which makes a popular city mapping app of the same name. While it initially made a name for itself as an alternative to apps like Google Maps for consumers to plan trips using public transportation, Citymapper failed to capitalize on its speed and early promise.

Baidu ChatGPT Competitor Weaknesses:- In other AI news this week, Chinese search giant Baidu’s response to ChatGPIT’s Ernie bot is in trouble. TechCrunch wasn’t able to test it, but instead of showing Ernie live demos to industry observers inside and outside of China, Baidu opted for a longer presentation with pre-recorded Ernie answers. The company’s shares fell 10 percent in Hong Kong following Lee’s presentation.

Pornhub meets private equity: MindGeek – owner of several adult entertainment sites including Pornhub, Brazzers and Redtube – has been acquired by Canadian private equity firm, Ethical Capital Partners (ECP). The acquisition follows a few years for the sex giant. MindGeek CEO Ferras Anton and COO David Tassilo will leave the company in June 2022. MindGeek is also currently in the midst of several allegations that it knowingly profited from child sexual abuse material.

Dish customers in the dark; Two weeks after the US satellite television giant was hit by a ransomware attack, Dish customers are still looking for answers. In the year But Dish hasn’t provided a substantive update since then, despite customers continuing to experience problems — and not knowing their personal data was at risk.

Audio

TechCrunch’s stable of quality podcasts grows on time. (Rejoice, long journey) This week in fairness, Alex And Natasha He discusses the M&A spree that has included Qualtrics, Cvent, and Mint Mobile, as well as the aftermath of SVB’s collapse, GPT-4, and why Y Combinator is declining as of late. Until Found, Amanda And Darrell He spoke to Teddy Solomon, founder of Fizz, a social media app aimed at college students focused on building community on campus. The interview explores what Gen Z wants in their social media, how to best curate a platform like Fizz, and how this kind of community building goes beyond colleges.

TechCrunch+

TC+ subscribers get in-depth commentary, analytics, and surveys — something you already know if you’re a subscriber. If not, consider signing up. Here are a few highlights from this week:

rethinking failure points; Natasha M In light of SVB’s failure, he writes how founders should rethink entrusting someone to lead their business to success. She asked several early-stage founders who are building Series A or smaller companies how they think about succession. The consensus is that the world in which founders focus on pitch, product-market fit and growth is neither mind-dominated nor detail-dominated.

Abnormalities in unknown materials. Tim The big-name investors behind the technology report on Unearthly Materials, a startup that could lead to superconductor discovery. But as it turns out, those investors weren’t all on board, especially with Unearthly Materials’ dubious record.

Good news for software companies: Worried about the news from this week? Alex He writes that it is not all doom and gloom. Some software companies are doing well during the broader tech industry crash — at least if their earnings reports are anything to go by.



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