Leaked Amazon memo shows plans to reduce employee stock awards in 2025
Welcome back to another day of tech news.
Last week, Elon Musk and a number of tech elites signed an open letter to put a six month pause on developing AI. While it's obvious that AI has the ability to harm as much as it helps, some tech leaders find the notion of a pause to be a pipe dream.
Meta's CTO Andrew Bosworth told Nikkei Asia on Wednesday that the pause was "unrealistic" and that "it's very hard to stop progress." LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman shared with CNBC that he thinks it will be a "mistaken effort." He also said that the letter is more about people playing catchup than being "well intentioned." Even Bill Gates entered the chat when he told Reuters it wouldn't solve any of the challenges the industry was facing.
Before you ask an AI chatbot about whether AI should hang back for a few months, let's look at what else is going on in tech.
1. Leaked Amazon memo shows plans to reduce employee stock awards in 2025. The online retailer and cloud service provider told managers that it was trimming the number of restricted stock units granted to workers because of budget concerns, Insider's Eugene Kim reports.
- The company is considering increasing the cash portion of compensation to help cushion employees against its stock price going down in the future.
- The move also meets employees' demands for higher cash base pay, a recent concern amongst its employees.
- Amazon's stock price slump has impacted RSU-based compensation, causing employees to worry about their earning potential.
In other news:
2. Cash App creator Bob Lee died after a reported stabbing in San Francisco Tuesday. Silicon Valley is grieving the loss of the founder of Cash App and the former chief technology officer at Square. Read the full story here.
3. The head of Google's failed gaming service has quietly left the company. Phil Harrison, the former head of Stadia, left the company in January around the time the cloud gaming service was shut down.
4. An AI fooled a health reporter into interviewing it for a story. A woman asked Julia Pugachevsky to write a story about her mastectomy tattoo she got after having cancer. Julia found out the woman and photos of the tattoo were both AI generated.
5. Generative AI startup Treat scored $8.5 million in funding from Greylock. A startup that helps companies create personalized product photos based on customer data is getting backed by a top AI VC.
6. An NYU dean uses ChatGPT 50 to 70 times a day. From finding action items in long email chains to applying for a job, this ChatGPT enthusiast has a list of ways to apply an AI chatbot to your everyday life.
7. The venture debt community thinks First Citizens bank doesn't understand SVB's debt business. Leaders in the venture lending industry said they were confused about the bank's acquisition and skeptical of First Citizens' ability to manage SVB's debt clients.
8. The interview question that Microsoft's VP of HR says makes or breaks candidates. Chris Williams wrote for Insider that it's a red flag when candidates get stuck on this one question.
Odds and ends:
9. Microsoft is releasing a discounted Xbox Series X console with Diablo IV. The deal includes a console, game, and digital bonuses. Here's how to preorder.
10. Toyota's Tesla rival, the $52,000 bZ4X, has some flaws. Transportation reporter Tim Levin shows us what it was like to test drive the electric SUV — and why its slow charging and lackluster range is such a disappointment.
What we're watching today:
- Y Combinator's Winter 2023 Demo Day runs from April 5 to 6. Check out our coverage of the summer 2022 batch.
- It's National Burrito Day in the US. Go treat yourself.
- COP28 set to kick off from Nov 30 — UAE hopeful for deal on renewable energy tripling, doubling energy efficiency
- Family Man Manoj Bajpayee bats for movie heroes who like ‘the common man’
- Gandhar Oil IPO allotment – How to check allotment, GMP, listing date and more
- White collar roles more at threat from AI
- Market cap of BSE-listed firms hits record high of Rs 331 lakh crore; just shy of entering $4-trillion club