November 3, 2022
Photo credit: Henrix_photos/Pixabay
Good morning! National security hawks and tech investors have been pushing for AI researchers from China to stay in the U.S. But anti-China efforts could counteract the U.S. government's tech talent recruitment goals.
The mission to bring more AI researchers from China to the U.S. might backfire amid increased tension between the countries, Protocol’s Kate Kaye reports.
Chinese researchers in the U.S. no longer feel safe. A survey of 1,300 Asian American STEM academics conducted between December 2021 and March 2022 found that 72% did not feel safe as an academic researcher, 61% have thought about leaving the U.S., and 65% are worried about collaborations with China.
The U.S. is hoping to woo more of China’s top computer scientists to ensure U.S. economic and tech research dominance over China. But suspicion of those very researchers has even inspired legislation that would defeat those goals.
Researchers fear that profit goals and nationalistic rhetoric have clouded an otherwise richly collaborative environment that has helped advance AI research in the U.S. and globally. “You can’t have all the smart people in the world — the United States can’t,” said Nathan Myhrvold, who helped start Microsoft’s influential research lab in Beijing in 1998. “It’s a little bit like why I started the lab in China,” he said.
Robinhood’s earnings report yesterday showed it’s still in a rut. But there are signs that the bleeding that began as the meme-stock and crypto crazes faded has eased dramatically. Now the hip app maker that got young people excited about stock trading on their phones is moving to embrace more traditional, if less thrilling, ideas about money and investing, Protocol’s Ben Pimentel writes.
Users are still a challenge, and crypto is a conundrum. Robinhood, which posted a year-over-year drop in revenue, is still grappling with serious issues: a shrinking user base and a wobbly crypto market.
So Robinhood is trying to reinvent itself. The company cut a lot of jobs, and it’s still focused on controlling costs. But it’s shifting to a growth path different from what made Robinhood, well, Robinhood.
“We don't want to just be a Millennial-focused company,” Tenev said. Robinhood wants to serve “every generation” as they “think about opening not their first investing account, but also the first place they deposit their paycheck.” It’s quite a bold vision. But Johnson isn’t totally convinced Tenev can pull it off. Robinhood “offering to handle your retirement would be a bit like Mick Jagger offering to babysit your kids,” he said. “They could be good at it, but it’s not an intuitive fit.”
Green jobs and corporate climate pledges abound, but skilled sustainability professionals are scarce, Protocol's Allison Levitsky writes.
A sustainability skills gap has emerged. Green jobs grew 8% per year between 2016 and 2021, according to the LinkedIn Green Jobs report. But the talent pool lagged, only growing at 6%, according to LinkedIn.
So how should companies find sustainability talent? According to the Microsoft report, more than two-thirds of sustainability leaders were internal hires.
Valuations have become less hype-driven and more realistic; the amount of time spent on due diligence has increased substantially; and every founder needs to directly, clearly, and concisely answer the question, “Does this project have any real-world utility, and does it create economic value?”
Substack co-founder Hamish McKenzie thinks creators deserve to have their own private social networks and to reap the rewards of their posts:
Yael Eisenstadt, vice president of the Anti-Defamation League, told Elon Musk that he needs to set the tone for how users act on the site:
Apple design leader Jony Ive, while reflecting on his life post-Apple, said he isn’t interested in disruption or “breaking things”:
Elon Musk aims to cut about 3,700 jobs at Twitter, or about half of its workforce, starting Friday, according to Bloomberg. He reportedly also plans to insist that employees work from offices.
Chime is laying off 12% of its 1,300 workers, citing “current market dynamics.”
Opendoor is also cutting staff by 18%, or around 550 employees. “We’re navigating one of the most challenging real estate markets in 40 years and need to adjust our business,” CEO Eric Wu wrote.
Jim Benson is the new chief financial officer at Dynatrace, a software intelligence company. Benson was most recently the executive vice president and CFO at Akamai Technologies.
Jeremy Paterson will be the general manager of international markets at LTK, a creator-guided social platform. Paterson previously led international teams at Amazon, eBay, and Groupon.
Coinbase’s chief product officer, Surojit Chatterjee, stepped down last month as part of the company’s reorganization, according to an SEC filing first reported by The Block. Coinbase reports earnings today.
Spotify is publicly calling Apple out for its 30% App Store fee. The fee prevents the streaming giant from being able to break into the audiobook industry.
The DOJ plans to investigate the Adobe-Figma deal, according to Politico, and has reportedly issued civil investigative demands as part of the process.
Workers are fleeing Foxconn’s biggest iPhone assembly factoryin China due to a COVID outbreak. Analysts say the chaos will likely reduce Apple’s product output in the coming weeks.
Meta plans to replace human moderatorsof Facebook’s News tab in the United Kingdom with AI.
A former Apple employee pleaded guilty in federal court to mail and wire fraud charges that defrauded Apple of $17 million.
Warner Bros and HBO are launching “Game of Thrones” NFTs this winter, partnering with NFT platform Nifty.
Things aren’t looking up for Roku. Its revenue growth slowed in Q3, and according to CEO Anthony Wood, it’s about to get worse.
For generations, kids have longed for car rides to be shorter. Now, Germany’s Holoride wants to break the curse of juvenile impatience with the help of VR headsets that turn car trips into immersive gaming sessions and theme park rides. The entertainment platform is limited to Audis so far.
Holoride CEO Nils Wollny told Protocol’s Janko Roettgers during a demo that bored Gen Z-ers are the company’s target audience for now, though eventually it’ll aim for other passengers. The product is more than just VR though, Wollny said: “We are not a VR company. We built a motion- and location-aware platform for content in moving vehicles.”
The VC correction is proving once again that valuations are not an indicator of success. While money continues to flow, the crypto winter and VC slowdown have forced even the most committed Web3 venture capitalists (and their investors) to proceed with more caution.
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