Tech News Weekly 311 Transcript

Please be advised this transcript is AI-generated and may not be word for word. Time codes refer to the approximate times in the ad-supported version of the show.

0:00:00 - Mikah Sargent
Coming up on Tech News Weekly. I am Mikah Sargent, and we start the show by talking to Nathan Grayson of the newly launched Aftermath site. Nathan joins us to talk about the game industry and how consolidation and unionization is having an impact on everything.

0:00:18 - Jason Howell
And I'm Jason Howell. I've got on my wrist Google Pixel Watch 2. I do a full review in today's episode.

0:00:25 - Mikah Sargent
We also talk about Humane's AI pin. Yes, the company has finally launched its AI pin. It's only $700 and doesn't have a screen.

0:00:37 - Jason Howell
No big deal, but you can cast it onto your hand, that's true. So at least there's that. And then Stephen Shankland was at from CNET actually was at Open AI's Dev Day conference earlier this week. Has all the latest on their big announcement of GPTs and so much more coming up? Next on Tech News Weekly.

0:00:59 - Nathan Grayson
Podcasts you love. From people you trust. This. Is TWiT.

0:01:06 - Jason Howell
This is Tech News Weekly episode 311, recorded Thursday, november 9th 2023. Humane launches its $699 AI pin. This episode of Tech News Weekly is brought to you by Discourse, the online home for your community. Discourse makes it easy to have meaningful conversations and collaborate anytime, anywhere. Visit to get one month free on all self-serve plans and by our friends ITProTV. Now ACI Learning. It skills are outdated in about 18 months. Launch or advance your career today with quality, affordable, entertaining training. Individuals actually use code TWIT30 for 30% off a standard or premium individual IT Pro membership at

0:01:59 - Mikah Sargent
Hello and welcome to Tech News Weekly, the show where every week, we talk to and about the people making and breaking the tech news. I am one of your hosts, micah Sargent.

0:02:08 - Jason Howell
And I'm the other guy Sorry, I'm waving like this just to kind of like give you a little hint and I'm Jason Howell and I've got something about this little pixel watch, too, coming up here a little bit. That was meant to be organic, but it ended up being really awkward.

0:02:22 - Mikah Sargent
Well, we will get to that a little bit later in the show, but we're kicking things off talking about the video game industry. It's been an interesting year in the video game industry. Joining us today to talk about kind of where things stand and how things are going is Nathan Grayson of the recently launched Aftermath Very excited to have you here with us. Welcome, hi. How's it going? It's going well, so let's, let's dig right into this. So you know, in the piece you begin by kind of discussing the merger between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard. That's kind of been a big headline this year and an ongoing headline. How did this kind of this merger unexpectedly lead to optimism among developers, including those at Blizzard, albany and Xenomax, that a merger could actually mean good things? It seems to be kind of it's often the other way around.

0:03:21 - Nathan Grayson
Right, yeah, so in this particular case, there are already a couple sort of unionized game development studios under what is now Microsoft. A little while ago, both Activision Blizzard, albany and Xenomax both unionized to a degree and have been, you know, bargaining ever since. And so then what happened is, as part of the merger, microsoft agreed to what they call a neutrality deal around unionization, and so the idea there is that basically, where other companies might, you know, be expressive in the way that they sort of regard unions or, for example, be coercive, pull people into meetings and things like that, to basically say, like actually unions are bad, you shouldn't join them, microsoft has basically agreed with the CWA, which is a larger union, that they will not do anything like that, and so this potentially opens the door for someone in the neighborhood of 10,000 employees to, you know, unionize at various stages and in various ways.

0:04:23 - Mikah Sargent
Yeah. So speaking of that, that commitment that kind of stands out that I'm hoping you can kind of talk a little bit more about that and maybe talk about is it rare for a company to make a commitment like this in regard to unionization efforts, or is this kind of a common practice that takes place in? Because you know we can compare it to other companies out there who maybe have been in the news for certain union busting concepts?

0:04:54 - Nathan Grayson
Yeah, and the video game industry? It is absolutely the first of its kind. Nothing like this has ever happened at a major company, and, you know, unionization in the games industry in general is still a fairly new thing, especially at major studios like Microsoft or like Activision, blizzard, companies like Microsoft, things like that. It only really started to become a major thing in the past handful of years. But, yeah, so Microsoft doing this could potentially set a precedent that other companies might follow, and then at that point, the entire industry could look more like, at least with regards to unionization, more like Hollywood or something like that, where many, many people working in it are unionized and, you know, for example, a strike can basically shut down the whole thing. At the moment that is not the case, but it could become that way.

0:05:41 - Mikah Sargent
Okay, and could you tell us what? Whenever a company agrees or in this case, whenever Microsoft specifically has agreed to neutrality in the context of unionization, what are the specifics of that? What does that actually look like? What are the union busting tactics that they say, look, we're not going to do any of this, should that come up?

0:06:04 - Nathan Grayson
Yeah. So let's see, they sent over a whole list of bullet points, or the CWA did, which you know are descriptive to a degree, but like don't really get that far into specifics. Yeah, stuff like Microsoft will take a neutral approach when employees covered by the agreement express interest in joining a union. Covered employees will easily be able to easily express their right to communicate with other employees and union representatives about union membership in a way that encourages information sharing and avoids business disruptions. Employees will have access to innovative technology supported in streamlined processes for choosing whether to join a union. Employees can maintain confidentiality and privacy of that choice if they wish. And then, yeah, if a disagreement arises, the CWA and Microsoft will handle it.

So yeah, I mean, like I think, reading between the lines, you know, again, it's stuff like because a lot of companies, you know, once employees express interest in organization, you know they start surveilling some of those employees on the various points, and I think Activision Blizzard even did this. They, you know, might withhold raises from certain employees, do all these things that like technically, in some cases are illegal and like you can get in trouble for these things. But one of the problems with the way that laws work, especially in America, is that the penalties for union busting are not that great, and so you end up with situations where, like, maybe a company has to post a notice somewhere on their premises that says, like we violated this and we're sorry, essentially, and it's like, yeah, but, and that comes with like a small fine, but in the end, like that doesn't really disincentivize these sorts of actions that much, and so a lot of companies still do them Meanwhile, like, at least in theory, this, this agreement, especially, you know, being done with the CWA, which is a union that has a vested interest in maintaining that neutrality, will hopefully lead to better outcomes. You know, again, we'll see. This is still very early. The agreement has not even technically gone, technically gone into effect.

Okay, so yeah.

0:08:05 - Mikah Sargent
So you know, as you said, it's still not gone into effect and we'll see how this goes, but it does seem to be overall a very positive thing and, given that this is kind of the first of its kind in this industry, it all looks bright, bright and bushy tailed, so to speak. But there is some talk in your piece about kind of the darker side that comes with these corporate consolidations. Can you talk a little bit about the negative impacts that this could have? Actually that did. Have you know the impact that it had on the video game industry and how that may have affected companies like Embracer Group and Epic?

0:08:44 - Nathan Grayson
Yeah. So I mean you know, for as much as there's a positive outcome or potential positive outcome to this Microsoft, activision, blizzard buyout, this has also been a year where, just like it, has become extremely apparent the many potential pitfalls of consolidation in the games industry. So multiple companies that have acquired many other companies this year have had, you know, mass layoffs, specifically Embracer, which is a holding group that bought up a bunch of different video game companies and properties over the past handful of years. They were not able to secure the funding that they needed to sort of maintain that operation. They had a $2 billion deal fall through and after that they have just been, for the past few months, like every month, herald's, a new round of layoffs from their various companies, which is, you know, an immense human toll.

Companies don't just, or studios don't just, bounce back from that. And similarly, in September, epic, which is one of the biggest video game companies out there they created Fortnite games like that they laid off almost 900 employees, which is a massive workforce reduction across many different studios. They also sold off Bandcamp and laid off a lot of people from that. And so, again, you know, when these bigger companies absorb smaller companies and studios, you end up in this situation where layoffs could follow, the general shape and structure of the company could change, the people who were running the show could change. The core identity of a lot of these places can be lost in all of that, and I think especially in the games industry. What we've seen is like that is more often than not a matter of if or a matter of when and not if. Like it. Just it simply happens. It's a matter of time.

0:10:30 - Mikah Sargent
And you spoke to some of the game workers on. You know what potential unionization can have, how it can affect change within the industry. Can you tell us kind of a little bit about how workers specifically are feeling about this unionization and the deal between Microsoft and the CWA Overall positive fear kind of. Where where do they stand?

0:10:57 - Nathan Grayson
Yes, I mean, I think the central tension and anything like this is that workers look at consolidation and they're like, yeah, that could be bad for me down the line. That could mean, you know, loss of a job or, you know, being put on a project I don't really care about, or any number of other things. But at the same time, you know, workers look at this happening in the games industry and it's like, well, realistically, as one person, what could I even do? Like, a single worker cannot stop a company from making these decisions. And so the thought is well, if workers organize, if they create unions, then at least they can have more of a seat at the table.

And again, they may not be able to stop mergers and acquisitions, but they can protect themselves, they can ensure that the union is, you know, arguing in their favor. Is, if people get laid off, making sure that people get good severance, or, you know, instead of laid off they just get moved to another part of the company. They maintain employment, hopefully, all of these things that unions are capable of doing. And then, you know, if they build power over time, then they can actually have more input into this decision making. They can, you know, do things like call strikes, which can be extremely impactful, as we've seen this year from you know, the actors and writers in Hollywood, the United Auto Workers, the US or parcel service. I mean, you know this has been a huge year for union victories, so the games industry is obviously a place where there could stand to be more of that, and I think there will be.

0:12:24 - Mikah Sargent
Yeah, that kind of was my last question for you is going forward. Do you do foresee more of this happening, that this kind of is the big goal, that now maybe smaller games industry workers are going OK, if it can happen there we can do that too. And I guess, overall, what impact do you think that will have on the game industry as a whole, particularly for anyone who might be concerned about how consolidation, of course, can lead to layoffs, but unionization leading to better paying, but in some ways corporations responding to that by trying to raise prices and what? What do you think the future of the game industry looks like, both from within and without?

0:13:17 - Nathan Grayson
Yeah, I mean, that's a good and very complicated question.

0:13:20 - Mikah Sargent
Indeed, indeed, yes, I don't expect you, it's OK.

0:13:23 - Nathan Grayson
It's wrong. In the end it's sort of your crystal ball belief.

All right, so to begin my hour long power presentation. But no, I mean OK. So I think that there will definitely be more unionization in the games industry. There's already. There's already been far more this year across major studios than there ever has been, both in the US and abroad. Around the same time period that all of this has been happening, cd Project Red, which is the company that makes the Witcher and cyberpunk and games like that, also announced a union, or rather, workers there announced that they're unionizing. Let's see, there's a lot happening in the UK right now.

There are various companies that I'm not going to and sorry, I'm getting over it called, I'm not going to name because you know they're still in the process but that are basically organizing the moment, and so I think that we end up with a much more organized industry. But also, like, a lot of companies are still hostile to it. Microsoft is, you know, an exception right now. Meanwhile, like so, when Epic laid off a bunch of people at Dan Camp and also sold that company, they laid off the entire bargaining committee and kept head, or wasn't the process of unionizing was bargaining with Epic, and then Epic was like OK, we're selling this company and getting rid of your bargaining committee and many members of your union. Epic has said well, we, you know that wasn't intentional, but it's like. You know, how could that? Statistically, it's really unlikely that you just so happen to have done that. And similarly, electronic Arts. They basically laid off a contracted QA studio that had recently unionized. So, like you know, companies are still using union busting tactics and in some ways are being more brazen about it than they have been in previous years. So it's going to be a battle like this is not a thing where it's just going to be a sudden wave of unionization, though, again, with Microsoft setting this president, perhaps it will become a little bit easier, and certainly easier within Microsoft. And then, as for how that might affect, you know, consumer goods, that remains to be seen.

Other industries you've definitely, you know, seen companies blame unions for, like, price increases and stuff like that. Like, oh you know, if the workers want more, then we're going to have to take more from people to pay our executives millions of dollars every year. And so, you know, I wouldn't put it past executives in the games industry. I mean, you know, they're all using similar playbooks and all these people, like people who are high up at various companies. They talk, they know each other.

Video games are very much enmeshed now in the broader media and entertainment landscape. So you know you will see tactics from one industry transfer over to the other, I think, both on the side of the industry itself and companies, and also on the side of unions, because major unions are getting involved in the games industry. Sag-aftra has authorized a video game voice actors strike, should it be necessary. Eotzi is like doing education stuff for trying to teach video game workers how to unionize should they want to. So I mean, like this is all converging right now and I think in a few years you're going to see a much more kind of united media landscape.

0:16:29 - Mikah Sargent
All right, Well, I want to thank you so much for taking some time to join us today and kind of walk us through everything. Of course, folks can head over to Aftermathsite to check out your work and the work of your colleagues. Is there anywhere else that our listeners can go to keep up to date with what you are putting out there?

0:16:49 - Nathan Grayson
Yeah, so on Twitter I am at VAHN16, a username that I chose when I was a teenager and now we're Rhett, and then also, just, you know, to stress the kind of importance of this. Yeah, so Aftermath launched this week. It is fully reader funded. So I mean, if you have, you know, a few bucks lying around, please subscribe. That is our livelihood, that is the only way that we will be able to keep doing this. And I think in general, you know, media is in a very per journalism is in a precarious place right now. Just today there were mass layoffs of both vice and Jezebel, which was entirely shuttered. This is kind of, in my mind, the only way forward for journalism. So please subscribe if you can. We need it and, yeah, it's much appreciated.

0:17:33 - Mikah Sargent
Absolutely. Thank you so much and, yes, I'm sure several of our listeners will be headed over there today. All right, that brings us to the end of this interview.

0:17:44 - Jason Howell
Thank you very much. And yeah, that was fascinating. Nathan, thank you, we've got more coming up. In fact, I've got something on my wrist coming up. It's actually going to stay here and it's going to be in a couple of minutes.

0:17:57 - Nathan Grayson
Still just as awkward as it was before.

0:17:59 - Jason Howell
Yeah, yeah, you know, I'm just. I'm just throwing it out there and I don't know why I keep doing that. Anyways, this episode of Tech News Weekly is brought to you by Discourse, the online home for your community. We love Discourse. We've been using Discourse for years. At this point Over a decade Discourse has made it their mission to make the internet a better place for online communities. Now Discourse is open source and it's trusted by more than 20,000 online communities, including some of the largest companies in the world.

By harnessing the power of discussion, real time chat and AI, discourse actually makes it easy to have meaningful conversations and collaborate with your community anytime, anywhere. So if you're ready to create a community, this is one thing I think you really need to take a look at. Visit Use that /twit. You'll get one month free on all self serve plans. Whether you're just starting out or maybe you already have a community and you want to take that to the next level, there's a plan for you Just waiting for you to check it out. There's a basic plan for a private, invite only community. There's a standard plan if you want unlimited members and a public presence, and then there's a business plan for active customer support communities. One of the biggest advantages here is creating your own community with. Discourse actually allows you to own your own data, so you're always going to have access to all of your conversation history. Discourse will never sell your data to advertisers. That's amazing Hard to find that these days. Discourse gives you everything you need in one place. Make Discourse the online home for your community. Visit You'll get one month free on all self serve plans. That's Discourse D-I-S-C-O-U-R-S-E. We thank them for their support of Tech News Weekly.

Hopefully the review won't be as awkward as my intros. I've got the Pixel Watch 2 on my wrist and I have to kind of like preface and say that I've tried wearables many times and I always had this like interesting experience with them. When I'm wearing them I'm like, oh yeah, this is nice, this is nice. And then when I'm done with the review, I might wear them for a couple of more days and then I fall out of the habit and then I don't go back to them, which has had me time and time again really ask myself, like what is it about wearables? That doesn't like catch me? You know, because you wear your Apple Watch every day on a regular basis. And what is the like?

0:20:35 - Mikah Sargent
prime reason why Well, I have to say, when the Apple Watch first came out the first generation, which we call the series zero I did not. I would wear it once a week maybe, and then the rest of the time I just didn't wear it because I just was not getting used out of it. It wasn't until Apple made some improvements to it that I started using it more often and they really took it to the being the notifier on your wrist. Yeah, now it is just well. Most importantly it's that it's that I can get notifications on my wrist so that if my phone is somewhere else, that's fine, I don't have to carry my phone with me as much.

But it's also become this, this health device that I do truly use. It's like the quantified self and I can see oh, you know, you did do some actions today it. It is a device that lets me control music, I mean. So it's just. It is this satellite device that I do feel naked, not wearing now because it has become so handy. But in the beginning, when it was more rough, yeah, I didn't see the value of it and I didn't wear it every day.

0:21:40 - Jason Howell
I kind of went through this over the years, went through this thing where it was like the wearable allows me to not have to feel like I need to turn on my phone all the time because I get the notifications on my wrist. That's great, and I had that for a while. And then I was like, wait a minute. Now I'm just looking at my wrist all the time because every single little notification that comes through buzzes my wrist and I feel like I need to look at it.

So the other thing, I don't you know I don't necessarily want to look at everything you know and there are ways to carve that, you know, and tailor that and everything like that.

And I start with this because I realize in my time with the Pixel Watch 2, I've been wearing it and using it for the last couple of weeks given it a couple of weeks I've really kind of found myself in a familiar place where I'm like okay, I think when this review is done, I'm going to continue wearing it. And I think my curiosity is because I've actually really enjoyed it my curiosity is will that last? Because you know I'm going to have this watch for a while. How long am I going to continue wearing it? What are the reasons that I'm wearing it? And we can kind of talk a little bit about that.

But let's start with the design, which I think is often kind of the differentiator for Pixel Watches. Last year's, you know, and this year's look almost identical from the face anyways, the classic look. That rounded display has the really kind of curvy top which I love from an aesthetic standpoint. I love the look of that. It's very pretty. However, I've also seen like Sherilyn Lowe from Engadget Hers, I believe it was. Her watch got completely chewed up on the display and she by what God? Was it her? Was it the reverse?

0:23:09 - Mikah Sargent
I know it was the.

0:23:10 - Jason Howell
Verge reviewer and I can't remember her name off the top of my head. I'm so sorry, it wasn't Sherilyn, it was someone at the Verge and she had no idea. She, you know, later in the article, just basically had to admit like I have no earthly clue how this happened, but it did, and that's always my fear with the Pixel Watches that that glass is rounded, it's exposed. There's no like lip to protect it from brushing up against something. Victoria's song there we go, victoria. Apologies that I couldn't remember that off the top of my head, but at the same time, you know I love the look of it, so I think it's again.

It's just something to be aware of. This could be the point of contact for something that ends up scratching it or worse. And what we know about the Pixel Watch right now is that repairability is really not even an option. If you damage your Pixel Watch, you're replacing it Like there's oh, so Google doesn't have a no. Right now they're advising like, yeah, we, we can't really repair this thing, what you've got to replace it. So that's a really big downside on this especially this day, and age of green.

You know going green and making sure that repairability is a focus. That's not happening on the Pixel Watch too. But if you can get over that, you know that's. That's a negative right off the top. The base of it used to be stainless. Still Now it is aluminum. I'm sorry, I'm covering it. Now it is aluminum and actually I'm just going to go ahead and take a hang on.

0:24:34 - Mikah Sargent
Okay, I've got so many questions, I'll try to be quiet and let you keep going, but then I have so many questions.

0:24:38 - Jason Howell
Okay, we can get to those. So aluminum, not stainless steel anymore. I like stainless steel more than aluminum. I think from a durability standpoint that might be an issue, especially given our said repairability issues. But they say you know that cuts down on the weight.

I didn't find the original Pixel Watch to be too heavy, so I'm. You know that's a little strange Haptics, like when, when I've got it on my wrist and I'm moving around the little crown there, some really nice like subtle but strong enough haptics doesn't feel cheap. And then I think the one of the big kind of improvements with the Pixel Watch. Two is the sensor array. You've got the electro dermal sensor. You know the skin temperature, these four little dots around here, those are all heart rate sensors. So instead of having just one that's drawing that, that the heart rate while you're wearing it, it's four.

And I did find the heart rate sensor like obviously I didn't have something to compare it directly to, to know what is the, what is the point of authority, yeah, as far as that's concerned. But I loved that it was continuous. I loved, you know, the watch face that I have would show me on an ongoing basis in this little read out there, what my heart rate was, and that was one of the things I really enjoyed was okay, I'm feeling a little stressed right now and I could look down and I could see like, oh, okay, it's a little elevated there. So I like that. I like that they've improved the sensor array, the heart rate sensor, like I said, very addictive and it did kind of cue me to, at times, kind of slow down.

They do have features within here where, when it detects an elevated heart rate and it could, you know, the electro dermal, which is like your stress detection, those things work hand in hand and it would sometimes pop up a message to basically say, hey, you're a little stressed right now. Okay, bro, yeah, you have the ability in the app to kind of like log your mood as associated with those events, but it wasn't. It wasn't. It didn't happen all the time. Like I definitely had moments in the last couple of weeks that were very stressful and it didn't capture those, okay, and you felt it should have as well. I totally felt like it should have. So that was a little interesting. Does have sleep tracking, which I am not a fan of wearing a watch overnight in my sleep. I don't know about anybody else, but last night is one example here.

Let me go ahead and bring down the brightness just a little bit so that it isn't lasting you. So last night, okay, man, apparently I slept less than I thought. I did six hours and 15 minutes. I usually like to shoot for seven. So apparently I laid up in bed at some point.

But you know it breaks down the sleep, sleep stats throughout the night. It says I had got a fair night of sleep, as you can see up there, which I would say is I mean, as far as how I feel about my sleep last night, I guess it's pretty accurate. I feel like I got a fair night of sleep, but I'm just not going to wear a. If I'm not going to wear a watch during the day regularly, I'm really not going to wear it at night. So so maybe the sleep training isn't for me.

But as you saw there, that was actually the Fitbit app and this does tie into the Fitbit app. So you get a lot of extra kind of functionality around. Fitbit tracking, especially if you have the kind of the Fitbit premium service got, has a nice little summary. You know, on my exercise days you know this was Tuesdays I do Pilates and you know it was tracking my heart rate throughout gave me kind of an average BPM, how many calories burned during that time, all these stats that, like I know, I know people really oh, and actually I really do like this. The zone. So oh yeah, depending on you know where my heart rate is at and how vigorously I'm exercising, it breaks it down into the zone for the heart rate and obviously with Pilates it's a very. You know you don't get an high zone very often with Pilates, but but I did with other exercises. I know that this stuff is really valuable to a lot of people.

0:28:42 - Mikah Sargent
Is this valuable to you? I'm not the zone stuff. I don't do bike, so biking is one of the places where zone and heart rate zones is important. Yeah, and then I think certain types of like speed running or mile run it's either long distance or sprinting that's where that becomes important. I don't do any of that, so no, the heart stuff in general, like the high heart rate or the low heart rate notifications that stuff, yes, I've had, because I think I've talked before, like when the way that I found out that I was gluten intolerant was because I ended up in the hospital due to some heart stuff and they were about to do no deblation surgery. That's what they thought.

They thought they needed to burn my heart to fix it and then I ended up being that it was just because I wasn't properly absorbing nutrients because of the gluten intolerance and blah blah blah. And then it fixed it. But during that period of time, my Apple Watch was this thing that I could look to this again. Okay, yeah, I've got that high heart rate thing going again. You know what's? Going on.

Yeah, exactly, get a basis and I was actually able to give that to my doctor and that was helpful to my doctor at the time. So yeah, I did the zone stuff. No, not for me, but I guess, if I became a SoulCycler or an Orange Theorist, but I mean using your wearable for fitness in general.

0:29:56 - Jason Howell
Is that, is that something that you rely on?

0:29:58 - Mikah Sargent
That's only in the past four months. About four months ago I started working out regularly and so I've really picked it up again with the workout stuff. So before that, anytime I would go, you know, on a hike or on a long walk, then I would use it, but I didn't really use it. But yes, in the past four months I've really gotten back into it, and I've done that in the past too, where I got really into it and then ended up not sticking with it. So it is kind of a little bit of management.

0:30:31 - Jason Howell
I mean there is one thing that this does do reasonably well, like it at times when it detected that I was like going for a walk or whatever you know. It took a little while for it to recognize it. But it'd be like are you on a walk right now? Are you, are you doing like an exercise walk right now? Like, oh yeah, I would, I am right now and I'd click okay and it would start tracking it as an exercise event. But only track from that moment Right.

And I was already like 10 minutes in and it didn't really like not as part of that summary. It tracked everything, okay, but as part of like the summary of like this is your active exercise moment, it only seemed to track from the point that I clicked yes, I'm, I'm walking right now. So it does things like that. It's looking out for when you are exercising, and I think that's one of the hurdles of these wearables for exercises.

It's nice that does these things, but sometimes, like you know, you could, if you show the watch, like going in here, to like trigger an exercise event, you know that I can, I can get my summary, I can, I can kind of look through there. But kind of, how do you get started? You kind of have to maneuver a little bit. Oh, it's not one of those three. I could probably set those up as a preset, but then you're just talking about this huge list of different things and it's I mean, it's about as easy as I imagine it could be for a wearable and a tiny screen, but sometimes that's enough friction for people to fall out of the habit.

Exactly. It's like I just really I just want to start working out.

0:31:56 - Mikah Sargent
Right, exactly, yeah, on this. Watch the orange button on the side. It's called an action button and it's just you can program for whatever.

And I have it set up but that's because the workout that I'm doing it's functional strength training is the same type of workout every time, so it just automatically starts the workout. But yeah, if I was, if I regularly, if I was, you know, sometimes I'm sprinting, sometimes I'm hiking, sometimes I'm doing Pilates then that button wouldn't even be enough. And I would say that it's very comparable here, as it is there, in terms of you know, you pop into the app, you try to find the workout you want to do. I will say, though, the Apple Watch is pretty good at recognizing the types of workouts that you're doing. One time I was playing around with like a rowing machine and it was like are you rowing, are you rowing?

0:32:42 - Jason Howell
Yeah, well, it's a certain motion, exactly.

0:32:45 - Mikah Sargent
Yeah, they've tested for all those things.

0:32:47 - Jason Howell
Absolutely, absolutely, yeah. So you know, I think, in general, the health stuff I know is going to be really helpful for some people. My wife has actually expressed interest in getting one of these because she's been meaning to get a wearable and we're all on Android and I'm like, well, you know, I think as far as the fitness wearables running Android, like Google has made some really great improvements. I think software wise to this. Initially I would probably recommend one of Samsung's Galaxy watches, galaxy Wear watches. I think this is comparable from that feature set perspective. They've really improved with the integration with Fitbit and everything. They've really kind of built out some of the pain points around fitness. Now, which one?

0:33:34 - Mikah Sargent
is this. This is the sixth class.

0:33:36 - Jason Howell
Oh okay, so John Ashley just brought over the Samsung watch classic and, yeah, this looks super familiar. It's very dark, very dark. A little bit larger, I mean. This also points out another shortcoming. I would say of the Pixel watches that you only got one size. So if you've got a large wrist and you want a larger watch, this is the size that you got. Too bad. Samsung gives you more variability as far as that's concerned.

0:34:00 - Mikah Sargent
Did you mention the band and how it attaches and detaches?

0:34:03 - Jason Howell
No, no, no. No, I didn't mention it, but it's pretty. Let's see here. So, oh yeah, that's right. So there's a little button right there and I think that it is just Google's watch bands. So this is a proprietary band thing and that's important to point out. You know a lot of the wearables. I think that's a feature when you can throw any band on there.

0:34:28 - Mikah Sargent
This definitely looks like it could probably well, I don't know. Yeah, okay, yeah a little latch. Yeah, this has the standard kind of two pin option versus, I mean, Apple Watch. Is not that you have to use there?

0:34:46 - Jason Howell
Okay, so Google's following in Apple's footsteps by saying hey, you know what?

0:34:50 - Mikah Sargent
we can give you a custom kind of fit To make it easier to put on and take off, because most of the time that's a cool way to do it with that watch, but most of the time you have to get a little tool and you put it into the springs and you pull them back and you do all this stuff. And so this is supposed to be kind of a better way to do it. And the one thing I'm curious if Google will hold to it do you know if the first version bands will fit the second?

0:35:18 - Jason Howell
version bands. See, yeah, that's good. Yeah, yeah, the bands are interchangeable between the two, and that would be a big ding if they didn't do that Exactly.

0:35:24 - Mikah Sargent
I'm glad Apple continues to do that as well.

0:35:26 - Jason Howell
Yeah, I know I'm going along, so I kind of have to wrap this up, but I do want to point out that battery life on this is excellent. I mean, as far as smart watches are concerned, like I could wear this for a full 24 hours with sleep tracking, still wake up and have you know what am I gonna have? Like probably 15%.

0:35:43 - Mikah Sargent
So you know I'm gonna have to charge it and then you hop in the shower.

0:35:45 - Jason Howell
But that's exactly what I did last night and the other nights that I did sleep tracking. I woke up in the morning and wore it for a little bit and threw my morning and then, yeah, as I was doing the shower and a little bit of my morning routine, I threw it on the charger and it was on there for like an hour because I got lost in that world and it was charged again. So you know, if you do want to wear it, you know all day and all night you can, and that was a big ding on last year's model. So I mean, overall, I think that there are some trade-offs.

I think that the repairability gives me concern, the aluminum design versus the stainless steel combined with that. You know, I think that's an issue. And I didn't even mention the price. The price is what is it? $350. Yeah, but at the same time, like, yes, the repairability is an issue. But I think that Google's doing on the right track with the software and I think that's a really big thing, because last year the software was pretty, you know, subpar, and I think they've addressed a lot of that with WearOS 4 on this device, with the integration with Fitbit. I know there are a lot of people that know and understand and use Fitbit their ecosystem a lot more better than I do, but so I'm curious to continue wearing it and seeing how curious.

0:37:07 - Mikah Sargent
I'm curious over time To hear how it goes for you and if you'll end up going oh, I get it now, I want this, I want to, or I did the same dang thing I always do.

0:37:15 - Jason Howell
I wore it for a handful of more times, yeah. I'll have to see. And then I gave up. Now it turns out for you. Yeah, but that's the Pixel Watch 2 by Google.

0:37:24 - Mikah Sargent
So that is Jason Howell's story of the week coming up. We'll be my story of the week, a quick one. Before we get there, though, I do want to take a quick break to tell you about our next sponsor. This episode of Tech News Weekly is brought to you by Wix. Web agencies. Out there listening, you are gonna like this one.

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Alrighty, we are back from the break and it is time for my story of the week. So earlier this week the Verge published a piece from David Pierce Actually just yesterday. That was kind of a leak of Humane's AI pin. The company has since announced the AI pin, so we'll kind of talk about it now that it's out. You may have heard about Humane's AI pin without realizing that that's what it was. You may have seen video of a person holding their hand out with a green laser projecting some text onto their hand, the palm of their hand. This was the Humane AI pin. It's this little device that you pin to your shirt and it has a built-in camera, a built-in projector, a little touchpad and a microphone and a speaker, and what this device does is it's trying to be a smartphone without a smartphone screen. Okay, it comes in at $699 and it has a square device that is kind of the main part and then a battery pack that you can magnetically attach to whatever you want to attach it to, and then, after you pay the $700 for the device itself, you pay $24 a month for the Humane subscription. What this gives you is access to a phone number and data coverage through T-Mobile's network. Excuse me, it's supposed to start shipping in early 2024, so in the coming year and you can pre-order it starting November 16th.

So let's talk about it itself. What is it supposed to do? You can think of this as an interface to access openAI slash, microsoft's AI tools. If you think about right now, I can take out my smartphone and I can open the chat GPT app and then from there I can type things in or I can have a conversation with the chat bot. But what openAI aims to do is kind of get rid of all of that interface craft and all of that interaction and just let you talk to your AI. They are plugging into several different AI tools and they are giving you access to GPT-4 as it stands through its operating system called Cosmos. Now Cosmos is on top of being able to give you access to AI so that you can use it kind of like a search engine.

It has a speaker, as I mentioned, built in, but it also has Bluetooth connectivity so you could have a little earphone in your ear that's kind of talking to you. It has some features like a catch me up feature that will kind of give you a summary of your email inbox If you hold up food to the camera, it'll give you nutritional information. If you hold up a menu or something that is written in a different language, it will give you real time translation. It's also supposed to be able to do real time translation between you and another person, and then it also does voice based messaging, so you can send text messages to other people and take calls on the device. What is unclear is if there's anything more to it than that. The big thing is a way to get in touch with the chat bot. Right, it's a way to access these AI tools without needing a bunch of stuff in the way, and that $24 a month subscription covers your access to those tools. And as those tools improve, as we see open AI and Microsoft improve upon those tools, then you can imagine that something like this, that is, an interface to access that without anything else in the way, could become more valuable.

There are also the privacy concerns. People wonder about the little camera that's on it. It is not a device that's constantly recording. You have to activate it by interacting with it in some way. So there were early beliefs that it was going to be one of these that constantly recorded stuff and then transcribed your day. It's not like that at all, and so, yes, you have to interact with it to get it to activate, and then it also will have this privacy light that flashes, if it's ever recording things, so that people can feel more comfortable around it. But yeah, again, the main thing is just the idea that you can talk to the chat bot, whatever service it happens to be, and get feedback back. So I guess, if you're out and about and suddenly you have a thought in your head of I don't know, why is it that Pelicans have such deep lower beaks, is what came to mind, man that comes up for me all the time.

0:43:46 - Jason Howell
Right, you know really.

0:43:47 - Mikah Sargent
I was trying to think of the pink bird and it's not coming to me. That eats, yeah, flamingo. What I was gonna go with was why is it that flamingos are pink, which some of us knows? Because they eat the shrimp that has the pigment that then gets into their feathers and that's what makes it pink. But if you didn't know that in the AI I could tell you that, but I couldn't think of the word flamingo, so I had to go to whatever it was. Anyway, yeah, I don't know. I'm curious.

$6.99 seems like a pretty expensive price for something that is kind of just all a piece of plastic with a camera on it, but at the same time, that is kind of what many of our devices are, right. I don't know if I find this compelling yet, but it will be interesting to see the reviews when it's out. I am curious to hear how people end up using this, what people think. There is perhaps something compelling about having no blocks between me and whatever AI system they're using. My problem with it is always the same, which is that we know that these systems can tell you inaccurate things that they can. They don't lie because it's not. No, it's not capable of lying, it is only it is capable of providing an answer. That is false.

0:45:08 - Jason Howell
Providing incorrect information yeah confidently.

0:45:11 - Mikah Sargent
Yeah, confidently, exactly, and so if that's the case, I would never really trust it. You know what I mean. I would have to always verify later. So then why not just do that search myself? So that's kind of my big issue with it. If it's, if what it ends up doing is being this thing where I can go schedule a meeting later this week with Sandy, and it knows who Sandy is and it looks at my, it knows that it needs to then look at my calendar and see what times are available, and then it also knows that, even though I didn't put it in my calendar, on Thursdays I always end up getting a knock on my door from my neighbor who wants to have an hour long conversation, and so then it knows, oh, I've got to schedule it later in the day, and you know what I mean. If it can do all of that stuff, that's where it's compelling. But and do we even?

0:46:04 - Jason Howell
trust it to do all that stuff well Right right you know, like like, depending on our job setting, that that that item in my calendar for that meeting on Thursday could be incredibly important, yes, and if it doesn't? Do it do I feel the need, then, to go back and verify?

0:46:20 - Mikah Sargent
that I actually did it. So then, is it saving you any time? What it?

0:46:23 - Jason Howell
reminds me of in some way is was it the? I think Amazon had something where you could use your voice to order items in the early days of the Google Assistant or the. You know the AALEXA and maybe it still does this, because I never had the echo but where you could use your voice to order an item and it didn't actually send the order through. You still had to kind of verify and go back and it's like, okay, I understand why. That is because I don't want to pay for something that I didn't actually intend to buy. But the real benefit, the real utility would be hey, buy that package of toilet paper and it knows exactly what it is and it places the order and that's like all the cognitive load I need to put into it Exactly. And I wonder if that's similar with this too. It's great that it does all these things, but how much do I trust it to do these things? Do I end up spending my time afterwards going back and verifying?

0:47:24 - Mikah Sargent
Yeah, which is smart. It just it's what's frustrating to me about a lot of these latest products outside of the main companies. It's the products that are like the companies that are smaller, that aren't well known. They just feel like they're beta testing with their consumer, with their customers. You are paying $700, but you don't really know what all it's capable of doing, and there are a lot of like promises about what it might be able to do.

0:47:53 - Jason Howell
You really don't even know how long this thing's gonna last.

0:47:54 - Mikah Sargent
Yeah, how long the servers are gonna be up and yeah, it's just, and that's too much money to pay for something that could just tomorrow.

0:48:05 - Jason Howell
I don't have any doubt that at some point, these things are gonna be a lot more mainstream and that this is kind of where things. What is the evolution of the smartphone? I could absolutely see something like this being the evolution of the smartphone. The unfortunate thing is we have to go through these painful periods, these painful, expensive we are the beta tester periods, in order to get to that point, and even then, there's no guarantee that we will get to that point. It's the same kind of bet that's being made around the metaverse, which we hear a lot less about these days.

But there was a time not very long ago, before the AI boom happened a year ago, where people were talking about that like, yeah, it's painful now, but this is the future, this is where it's headed and it might still head there. But there's no guarantee, there's no assurances. It's expensive to get to that point and it comes with pain. Indeed Potentially. But I'm super curious about this. I'm very interested. Did Leo say that he was going to buy one of these?

0:49:04 - Mikah Sargent
Yeah, he heard of that, but he was also going to get the meta glasses too.

0:49:09 - Nathan Grayson
The Ray.

0:49:09 - Mikah Sargent

0:49:09 - Jason Howell
Yeah, the Ray Bands, so I don't know if he will.

0:49:12 - Mikah Sargent
Yeah, we'll find out. I wouldn't pair them together.

0:49:17 - Jason Howell
Take all the things and, if he wants, he can have the Google Glass for my office and wear that too. All of them working in Taz and Moody.

0:49:24 - Nathan Grayson
China, does that thing still turn on?

0:49:27 - Jason Howell
It still turns on. But, yeah, I don't think that it actually works. You know what I mean. There's stuff out in the cloud that doesn't exist. You can't communicate with it. Yeah, I believe I can honestly tell you I haven't powered that thing on it.

0:49:42 - Mikah Sargent
Oh my goodness, we should do it after the show. I'm so curious.

0:49:46 - Jason Howell
Take a look and see. But nonetheless, very interesting and actually coming up. We're going to be talking with Steven Shankland about Open AI's GPT's announcement at their dev day. That makes me think will those? This is powered by GPT4, will those unique, created by individuals for specific use cases? Will those GPTs make their way into an object like this? I really think so. To expand the capability of it? Yeah, could be interesting. So very, very neat, All right. Well, speaking of Steven Shankland, he's coming up next from CNET to tell us about his time at the Open AI Dev Day Conference. That's in a moment.

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All right open AI finishing up their very first developer conference in San Francisco. You know they're right there, along with Google and Apple and all the you know meta. They can now consider themselves part of that table. You know where they have these huge developer conferences to gauge interest, developer interest to really encourage development of their new tools. And this actually caught a lot of attention. Ceo Sam Altman began the event on Monday with a keynote that really showcased some exciting advancements for the company, really just kind of showed to me how much has happened in the single year since chat GPT burst onto the scene and really became a household name. Stephen Shankland attended the event for CNET and is here now to talk about it. Welcome back, hey, thanks for having me back on the show. Yeah, so you're in the city, so have you spent all week at this event, kind of day after day checking out everything that's going on.

0:54:20 - Stephen Shankland
No, they restricted it just to the opening salvo, really, of the event and it was just a day long event. So this wasn't anything like the scale of Apple's WWDC or Google IO or Neta's F9. It doesn't have, you know, cast of thousands kind of a situation, but there were a lot of people there, a lot of pretty enthusiastic developers. You know several hundred people there and you know obviously this is going to get bigger as more and more developers decide to incorporate AI into whatever they're building and it's likely that open AI will be the, you know, back end provider of whatever AI brains they need for those services. Because it's really hard to build this on your own.

0:55:00 - Jason Howell
It's much easier to just partner with somebody like open AI and use their brains Indeed, and you know, we saw a little bit of that with Sacha Dadella from Microsoft taking the stage to get a little bit of that that Microsoft love on stage and get a couple of headlines that way. What was the before? We kind of get into the features and everything that they announced and GPTs and all that stuff. What would you say about the temperature of the event? You've been to a lot of events like this. This is, you know, open AI's first outing for a developer conference to get developers excited, and I think developers just are excited because this is, you know, ai, and especially open AI is ripe for opportunity potentially. But what was your take on that?

0:55:46 - Stephen Shankland
Yeah, it was a good vibe. I would say there are you know, it's early days in the AI universe. There are a lot of developers out there who want to make something of it. They might be just, you know, freelancers doing their own thing. That may be working for some big tech company, that could be working for some Fortune 500 company. There were a lot of different people from a lot of different areas and it was a good vibe. I don't think anybody was, you know, a true believer like you see at Apple events or something. There's a lot more of this attitude that open AI has a lot to prove still, but I think people were going into it pretty optimistically, looking at this, as you know, potentially a very interesting development and an interesting platform to build their tools on top of. So I think the vibe was good, but it's still untested.

0:56:35 - Jason Howell
Yeah, yeah, totally, it's still have a lot to prove. And you led, you wrote about this event, of course, and you kind of referred to this as open AI seeking its iPhone moment, which I think is very. I think that says a lot because you know in the realm of smartphones and where we are right now and how ubiquitous smartphone technology is these days. The iPhone announcement many years ago, that was a huge sea wave, that was a huge sea change, that's the word. I'm looking for the realm of attitude of what computing is versus where it's going. And I don't know, are we in your opinion, before we get to these, these features, which I promise we will get to, are we looking at something comparable, based on kind of what the last year has shown us and based on just the massive amount of, I guess, development that open AI has seen in the last year?

0:57:32 - Stephen Shankland
Yeah, that's hard to predict. I think that it could be really big. I've seen a lot of new trends come here, kind of dissing the metaverse a few minutes ago, and I've seen some new things arrive that I was kind of skeptical about or I thought would be useful but maybe not revolutionary like Apple Watch or something like that Nice to have but not need to have. I think open AI is going to be bigger than Apple Watch, but not as big as phones. So we'll see our AI.

In general, I should say open AI is just one of many companies working on it. It's arguably the leading one. I think they have a lot of developer interest and they're ahead of the curve that way compared to a lot of their rivals. But I don't think we can predict yet whether this is just going to be massive new platform for everything you do or kind of a point thing where it's useful in this pocket of your life and this pocket of your life. Still not clear to me yet whether whether it's going to be as pervasive as something like a phone, but it's clear to me that it's going to be pretty important technologically.

0:58:31 - Jason Howell
Yeah, all right. So let's talk about some of the stuff here, and I think the most buzz worthy was GPTs. Not entirely convinced on the name, to be honest. I find it's kind of confusing because we already have kind of an idea of GPT and the GPTs and like it's hard to know that you're actually talking about something different. Or in the family you know it's like are you just talking about many chat GPTs, which I guess at the end of the day you kind of are? So I find it a little confusing. But tell us a little bit about what GPTs are. What do they enable that we didn't have before in the past year?

0:59:03 - Stephen Shankland
Sure. So, first of all, I agree with your concerns about the name GPTs it was. I don't know if they're trying to stamp their brand on this new exciting idea or if they just didn't want to just call them apps, which is what I probably would have done, in fact, what I did in my coverage of it. I think of them as apps. I think it's much easier to consider them as apps and what they the way they package them and launch them they feel very app like. So what you have right now when you go to chat GPTs you have this does everything service right. It's. It's incredibly versatile, incredibly broad.

What GPTs are are smaller packaged versions of something you can do with GPT. So if you want it to, you can, you can go to their website and you can build a sort of a mini version of some tool that's based on GPT. So it's based on the broad thing, but it does something specific, and they gave a couple of examples, you know so. For example, sam Altman, the CEO, gave this example of a little tool that would give startups advice, and it was based on his own videos that he is given about. You know, here's advice to startups. So one of the really interesting things about these GPTs is that you can, you know, give it some basic instructions and then you can load in some of your own specific data that will shape its answers or its direction or its utility, and then it will then provide some kind of output or take some kind of action, like it will produce images, that will search the web or it will give some textual information. So it packages up this very broad GPT service into something that is focused on a specific task. That could be something you create for yourself, it could be something you create for your company, it could be something you publish for anybody and everybody to use Interesting Now, did you get a chance like as far as the layout of the conference itself and especially for Presti?

1:00:57 - Jason Howell
did you have an opportunity to play around with some of these while you were there, get an account and get to mess around with it? How easy are these things to use and, I guess, also to program, because I know that's done with your voice. That's pretty awesome.

1:01:08 - Stephen Shankland
It is not hard to program these. There is no coding involved. Let's put it that way. So OpenAI provides a little walkthrough. You go to their build system for this tool, you create one and it asks you some questions. That kind of prompts you to go through the system, prompts you for what you want it to do, it suggests a name for the tool, it asks you to upload some files and it sort of builds it as you add this information and then you can use it and test it and then, as with chat, gpd, you can refine it. You can say, well, now do it this way, or now do it that way, or restrict it to this or something to that effect. You can noodle around with it and fine tune it, and none of that is actual programming. You're not typing code anywhere. So it's just like any other large language model experience where you are going to be just giving it plain English instructions.

1:01:59 - Jason Howell
Yeah, okay, one of the things that kind of popped up for me when I was Jeff Jarvis and I were doing live coverage for Twitter when the announcement was happening, is I wondered about the depth of information that you can get out of this, because sometimes when I use some of these large language models, the information I get like, okay, there's the accuracy aspect of it, of course.

Can I trust what I'm reading here? And sometimes it can be very cohesive, and sometimes it feels like it's providing a surface level answer, like I feel like I could have researched and come up with something with a little bit more concrete depth to it and not quite a surface level. And I'm wondering with these if that is a potential downside to their development. I mean, obviously it's probably too early to actually know that, but because really it's just acting on the corpus of data that ChatGPT already does and then anything that you add to it, is that basically how that works? And I guess, depending on the amount of information you give it, that will determine the depth of the output that you get from it.

1:03:10 - Stephen Shankland
Yeah, so here's an example. So, first of all, I agree with your concerns in general with large language models and these very sophisticated ChatBots. In some ways they're just amazingly powerful and they just blow my mind, and then other times they seem kind of primitive and lame compared to an actual human or an actual expert who knows about a particular field. I always look at it as these generative AI systems produce stuff that's plausible, but not necessarily true. That's a difficult situation if you're trying to use it for producing factual information. Now, when you're talking about these apps, these little mini GPTs, you have that same problem. But, as you point out, you're adding your own data into the mix. So it's not clear to me yet exactly what that balance is, how much it will take your own personal data into account.

One example I could think of is perhaps you work for a company. You have to produce a lot of blog posts or internal presentations or a shareholder report or something. You want lots of graphics that adhere to a particular style. Well, you could upload a number of graphics in that particular style and then you could get it to generate new things a sailboat, a telephone pole, whatever that follows that style and it would output graphics that look that, that sort of match, that style, things like that would be difficult to do without adding your own data into the mix. So how well it works overall for every possible task under the sun very much remains to be seen.

But I do think that a lot of people will be interested in kind of restricting the scope of chat GPT to something bounded, to something specific, because sometimes we want to do the same thing over and over again. So this could be a situation where it would be useful to use it as sort of a tool that does the same thing. You need to get it to do that all the time. Produce a script for customer service people or something. There are a lot of situations where you might want to do the same thing over and over again, but with some variations or customizations.

1:05:17 - Jason Howell
Yeah, and then, of course, we're going to see a lot of these with the store that they announced, the GPT store, which is, like you keep pointing out, like the app store essentially, which has its own challenges. Right, apple and Google have dealt a lot with moderation, keeping things safe, and, especially when we talk about AI systems, safety and accuracy and all these things come into play. Did they talk at all about how they plan on keeping the app store kind of clean, essentially to keep it something that people can feel like they can upload their creations, but people that want to download them know that they're downloading something that they can actually trust.

1:06:02 - Stephen Shankland
So I will say that they clearly have thought about this, but it seemed very preliminary when we were some reporters. We were pressing Sam Albin and some other folks about some of these details after the presentation and it was clearly thought about it, but they didn't have exact, concrete answers on some of these details like pricing how people will get paid for these apps, some vague revenue share, maybe some subscription options later. It seems still very preliminary and obviously, with app stores, if you only have 20 or 30 apps, it's not a huge problem, but when you have 1,000 apps or 10,000 apps or 10 million apps, it gets to be a huge problem trying to figure out which ones do you present to people, which ones are you always present the most popular ones? How do you screen abusive apps? How do you decide what even constitutes abuse? It's always a big gray area there.

So if this thing gets big and successful, they will face all the problems that all the big app stores always face in terms of curation and screening. So I think we've seen that movie before. We're going to see it again. Openeye is well aware that that's going to be a challenge and, to be fair, they're trying to tackle the abuse issue already they have that without the first app ever showing up, so they will have some experience in dealing with that problem before the app store even launches.

1:07:26 - Jason Howell
Yeah, so we're really just out of time, but I didn't want to end this interview without asking a little bit about GPT for Turbo faster, more capable, cheaper for developers. Did you sense some excitement from the developer community that was actually there, like were they excited about this news? What was your take on that?

1:07:50 - Stephen Shankland
Absolutely. They cheered, they cheered and stomped and clapped, and they were very happy about that. The only thing that they were happier about was when they got $500 worth of free usage credits. You can always make them happy with free money, right? Yes, yeah, people were happy about it.

To be clear, it is not faster yet that's the next priority but it is cheaper. So I'm not clear exactly what OpenEye did, but they're getting more. They optimized this. They squeezed more out of existing hardware, so they lowered costs considerably. That will be a big deal for developers, who might be cost constrained. They might not be able to scale something as large or do something as sophisticated or try something that exercises the AI system more aggressively. So the price cut is definitely important. Some of the other tools are very handy. I thought the copyright shield was potentially interesting. That's a service where, if you're an enterprise customer, basically OpenEye will pay your legal bills if somebody sues you alleging copyright infringement in some way. That's a hot issue in a lot of AI generative AI circles. So some new voices that are plausibly human sounding.

1:09:04 - Nathan Grayson
They're something that's really good.

1:09:06 - Stephen Shankland
Yeah, they were impressive. And also the training data is less out of date. Let's say that goes up through April 2023, which is two years more recent than the last batch of training data. So you're not necessarily going to get breaking news out of chat GPT, but this is a little bit more current. Covid or something like that might get a factor into the results, so that's helpful for sure. So I saw this as a lot of incremental improvements. They didn't call it GPT-5. It's GPT-4 Turbo, so it's a sizable improvement, but not a complete overhaul. There isn't a whole new assessment of the security risks or the features or possibilities, so this is basically a refinement of what we already have with GPT-4. Yeah, excellent.

1:09:56 - Jason Howell
Well, stephen, thank you for going to the conference and then coming here and telling us all about it, of course, writing about it for CNET, cnetcom. Stephen Shankland, always a pleasure to get the chance to talk with you. Thank you for carving out some time for us today. Appreciate it.

1:10:09 - Stephen Shankland
Yeah, it's always a pleasure.

1:10:11 - Jason Howell
Right on, all right, take care, stephen. All right, and we have reached the end of this apparently super-sized episode of Tech News Weekly publishing every Thursday at twittv. Slash TNW the most important thing that you could do for us. Well, there are two things I'll talk about the first, most important thing, and that is to download our episodes, and you get that by subscribing, but just make sure that you're downloading and it's moving to your phone so you can listen to it at a later time. That really really helps us out. Twittv slash.

1:10:42 - Mikah Sargent
TNW. Yes, and the other thing. That second thing is by joining Club Twit at twittv slash Club Twit. If you would like to get all of our shows ad-free, including this very show here, then you should consider joining the club. Starting at $7 a month or $84 a year, you will gain access to every single Twit show with no ads. You'll also get access to the members' only Twit plus bonus fee that has extra content you won't find anywhere else behind the scenes before the show, after the show, special Club Twit events all get published there and access to the members' only Discord server. That is going to be the place you can go to chat with your fellow Club Twit members and also those of us here at Twit. We've got a television screen with you all in chat right in front of us so we can see you and chat with you. Again, that's $7 a month, $84 a year. I said starting at $7 a month not because it's a tiered subscription, but because some folks said we'd like to give you more than $7 a month, so you have that ability to do so. On top of all of that you also get some special Club Twit exclusive shows the Untitled Linux show, hands on Windows, which is a short format show from Paul Thorott that covers Windows Tips and Tricks. Hands on Mac, which is a short format show from Mikah Sargent that's me that covers Apple Tips and Tricks and Home Theater Geeks. From Scott Wilkinson, which is a show with interviews, questions answered, all about the Home Theater and AI Inside. From Jason Howell, that's all about artificial intelligence, this thing that we all are talking about pretty regularly.

All of that's available at twittv slash club twit and for those of you who are Club members, please hop into the club and check out the thread in the Discord that is for the book club. You can vote on the next title for the next book club. You simply go to Club Events Twit Plus channel to check that out. I think it's probably pinned somewhere, so those of you who are in the club will be able to find it. But yeah, vote for the next book and you can decide what they'll be reading next.

If you'd like to follow me online or check out the work that I'm doing, you can find me at chiwawacoffee. That's chihuacoffee, where I've got links to the most active online. Check out Ask the Tech Guys this Sunday with Leo Laporte and yours truly, where we take your questions, live on air and do our best to answer them. You can also check out later today if you're a club member, hands on Mac and, of course, on Tuesdays you can check out iOS. Today with Rosemary Orchard and me, where we do all, where we talk about all sorts of wonderful Apple gadgetry. Jason, how about you?

1:13:32 - Jason Howell
Well, you know, the other show that I do for the network is AI Inside, found in Club Twit, twittertv slash Club Twit. So thank you for the support there. Actually, today we have an interview with Emile Torres, who is actually a philosopher and historian, diving into long-termism and its associations oftentimes, with artificial intelligence. That's gonna be a really interesting conversation with Emile, but you can find all of the ways to find me online by just going to raygunfun. Say it out loud, because it's fun to say Raygunfun, and you will find. You know all the different social media platforms and different things that I'm involved with, all waiting for you right there. Big thanks to John, to John to Burke somewhere and everyone else in between helping us do this show, and thanks to you pointing at you at home or wherever you happen to be, for listening and for watching this show. We appreciate you. We'll see you next time on Tech News Weekly.

1:14:32 - Scott Wilkinson
Hey there, Scott Wilkinson here. In case you hadn't heard, Home Theater Geeks is back. Each week I bring you the latest audio video news, tips and tricks to get the most out of your AV system, product reviews and more. You can enjoy Home Theater Geeks only if you're a member of Club TWiT, which costs seven bucks a month, or you can subscribe to Home Theater Geeks by itself for only $2.99 a month. I hope you'll join me for a weekly dose of Home Theater Geekatude.

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