Day: February 7, 2023

Reid Hoffman and ChatGPT | AI in the Classroom

This post is by Greylock Partners from Greymatter

Of the many transformative possibilities of artificial intelligence, its potential to impact education is among the most exciting. It’s also one of the most contentious. While it could extend the reach of over-worked teachers, offer personalized curriculums, and enhance the learning experience, it could also present many drawbacks: cheating, loss of jobs, and a reliance on technology that impedes the development of critical-thinking skills. In the latest episode of Fireside Chatbots, Reid Hoffman poses questions to OpenAI's ChatGPT on the potential impact of artificial intelligence technology in educational settings. You can read a transcript of this conversation here:

The Rebrand

This post is by Fred Wilson from AVC

I’d guess that upwards of half of USV’s portfolio companies have changed the name of their company during their lifetime. It is not hard to understand why. Founders start out with an idea and not much more. By the time they have built a product, built a team, and found product market fit, they might be doing something a bit different or a lot different than where they started out.

Most often the name change comes in the first few years when the business opportunity comes into clarity and the original name becomes an issue.

But occasionally it comes much later in life.

A good example of the later in life name change is our portfolio company Dronebase which changed its name to Zeitview this week. We made a seed investment in Dronebase eight years ago about six months after the company was formed. So the company is in its ninth year.

Zietview does aerial inspections of buildings, renewable energy infrastructure, and telecommunications systems using advanced AI/ML software. It is a high-growth business that just raised a $50mm late-stage round.

Over time, the company has adopted many techniques to acquire the imagery that they use to do the AI/ML inspections. Drones are still a big part of the mix but only when they are the best way to acquire the imagery.

So it came time for a rebrand. The Company took its time, thought a lot about it, hired a rebranding agency, surveyed all of its stakeholders, cleared all of (Read more...)

Ranked: America’s 20 Biggest Tech Layoffs Since 2020

This post is by Avery Koop from Visual Capitalist

biggest tech layoffs since 2000

Ranked: America’s 20 Biggest Tech Layoffs This Decade

The events of the last few years could not have been predicted by anyone. From a global pandemic and remote work as the standard, to a subsequent hiring craze, rising inflation, and now, mass layoffs.

Alphabet, Google’s parent company, essentially laid off the equivalent of a small town just weeks ago, letting go of 12,000 people—the biggest layoffs the company has ever seen in its history. Additionally, Amazon and Microsoft have also laid off 10,000 workers each in the last few months, not to mention Meta’s 11,000.

This visual puts the current layoffs in the tech industry in context and ranks the 20 biggest tech layoffs of the 2020s using data from the tracker,

The Top 20 Layoffs of the 2020s

Since 2020, layoffs in the tech industry have been significant, accelerating in 2022 in particular. Here’s a look the companies that laid off the most people over the last three years.

RankCompany# Laid Off% of WorkforceAs of
#1Google12,0006%Jan 2023
#2Meta11,00013%Nov 2021
#3Amazon10,0003%Nov 2021
#4Microsoft10,0005%Jan 2023
#5Salesforce8,00010%Jan 2023
#6Amazon8,0002%Jan 2023
#7Uber6,70024%May 2020
#8Cisco4,1005%Nov 2021
#9IBM3,9002%Jan 2023
#10Twitter3,70050%Nov 2021
#11Better.com3,00033%Mar 2022
#12Groupon2,80044%Apr 2020
#13Peloton2,80020%Feb (Read more...)

Mapped: Geopolitical Risk by Economy

This post is by Jenna Ross from Visual Capitalist

The following content is sponsored by The Hinrich Foundation

Geopolitical Risk by Economy

The Russia-Ukraine war highlighted how geopolitical risk can up-end supply chains and weaponize trade. More precisely, the war led to trade sanctions, a food crisis, and energy shortages.

This graphic from The Hinrich Foundation, the third in a five-part series on the sustainability of trade, explores how geopolitical risk differs by economy. It pulls data from the 2022 Sustainable Trade Index, which The Hinrich Foundation produced in collaboration with the IMD World Competitiveness Center.

Breaking Down Geopolitical Risk

Geopolitical risk has a strong correlation with GDP per capita, meaning that developing economies typically have less stability.

The following table shows how geopolitical risk breaks down for select economies that are covered in the 2022 Sustainable Trade Index. A lower number indicates less stability, while a higher number indicates more stability.

EconomyGeopolitical Stability
Papua New Guinea20.3
Sri Lanka45.3
Hong Kong50.0
South Korea62.7
New Zealand97.6

Source: World Bank, based on the latest available data from 2020. Values (Read more...)

In the original armor, the slide rule came in one of those nerdy belt holsters

 [Derek Flint's spy watch had a slide rule hidden in the inside of the band but we're getting off topic.]


["Does this armor make my butt look fat?" would also be off topic.]

I just read "The Tinkerings Of Robert Noyce" by Tom Wolfe (more on that later) and it got me to thinking about the cultural impact of transistors. This was one of the defining technologies of the post-war era, a period when that particular bar was really high.

Because my mind is so cluttered with trivia that I can barely make it to that door, the first example that came to mind was Iron Man's suit. Transistors loomed large in the popular imagination when the character was created sixty years ago, and Stan Lee made heavy use of the technology. The armor, the gadgets, even the life support system were "powered" by transistors.


As many have noted, other than the fact they were small, Lee knew absolutely nothing about transistors, which arguably adds to the charm.



 Obviously there are less silly examples, but even the hardest of hard science fiction written by people who did understand the technology treated it as at least slightly magical.


Self restaint vs systemic restraint

This post is by Seth Godin from Seth's Blog

It’s not hypocritical to help yourself at a buffet at the same time you counsel the owner of the restaurant to limit the number of trips that people take so that the restaurant can become sustainable.

It’s possible to argue for systemic changes to cultural systems while also doing what classical economics posits that people do–which is focus on self-interest.

In fact, it’s this very conflict that requires us to argue for systemic change.