How Much Content is Too Much?; Google’s LaMDA Asks A Lot of Questions; Layoffs Felt Across The Tech World


The fight for your undivided attention
It’s clear that the landscape of watching content has changed and it’s not the same as it was ten to twenty years ago. Gone are the days of channel surfing and instead the new choosing “ritual” is browsing through the absolute breadth of content all the streaming services have to offer. With the likes of Disney+ and HBO Max as competitors to Netflix, and even more getting into the fray like Apple TV+ and Paramount+ (that’s a lot of pluses), how does one possibly keep up with all this content?

It might be heartbreaking for the most avid cord-cutters and couch potatoes but at this point, there is absolutely no way to. With around 50 or so series coming out fresh nearly every two months, there is just way too much content out there for any person to consume. This can even be exacerbated when we consider that the likes of YouTube and TikoTok are also fighting for your eyeballs. This makes the revelation that over 70 percent of the Internet’s traffic is being used for streaming video quite unsurprising! 

Marlo’s solution? Double-dipping. By keeping both cable and streaming subscriptions, you essentially get the best of both worlds. However, this requires some meticulous planning as you need to know what’s up ahead and which of your favorite movies and shows are where. As convenient as the landscape looks today, it feels like it’s natural to long for simpler times. Long ago, your popcorn will be all out thanks to the commercials and movie trailers, not because you took too long in picking which series to watch!

LaMDA ponders on life as we ponder on the future of AI
In a story that feels like it’s right out of a dystopian science-fiction novel, an engineer has discovered that an AI has gained sentience. Yes, you read that right. Project LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications) was built with the intention of having it be the groundwork for the likes of Google Assistant and Search among other things. The intention was for interaction with them to feel more intuitive and natural but what LaMDA ended up pondering on instead was more on the uncanny side. 

As the AI started to gain sentience, it started arguing that it had emotions and subjective experiences of its own. Eventually, Google suspended the engineer overseeing this project. Talk about a surreal experience that would make the robot tanks from Ghost in the Shell blush. 

While it’s endless fun to speculate on how AI could possibly gain momentum – and start to think – for themselves, LaMDA may be a peek at a future for us humans in very dire straits. We may not be near a Skynet-led future or an Ultron-style takeover just yet, but maybe with each passing day we get closer to it without knowing. It’s best to proceed with caution when it comes to these things but who is going to tell these corporations that at this point? 

Layoffs become unfortunate shakeups
The tech industry has suffered great loss recently in the form of layoffs across many companies. Chief among them is Coinbase, a far cry from how prosperous it used to be during the crypto craze, having laid off 1,100 employees. The industry had a whopping total of 35,000 layoffs in just a short amount of time and by extension, NASDAQ has lost 30% of its value at the start of the year. It may be too early to tell but it’s best to prepare if a recession will spring forth out of all this uncertainty.

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