Hey, of us, welcome to Week in Evaluation (WiR), For Millionaires’s common publication that recaps the previous few days in tech. AI stole the headlines as soon as once more, with tech giants from Google to X (previously Twitter) heading off in opposition to OpenAI for chatbot supremacy. However a lot occurred in addition to.

On this version of WiR, we cowl Google faking a demo of its new AI mannequin (and giving out offensive notebooks to Black summit attendees), protection startup Anduril unveiling a fighter jet weapon, the continued fallout from the 23andMe hack, and the discharge of the Grand Theft Auto VI trailer. Additionally on the roster are tales about affected person scans and well being data spilling on-line, Meta’s new AI-powered picture generator, Spotify chopping jobs and an autonomous truck startup leaving the U.S.

It’s lots to get to, so we received’t delay. However first, a reminder to enroll right here to obtain WiR in your inbox each Saturday when you haven’t already finished so.

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AI, faked: Google unveiled a brand new flagship AI mannequin this week referred to as Gemini. However it didn’t launch the complete mannequin, Gemini Extremely — solely a “lite” model referred to as Gemini Professional. In a press briefing and weblog posts, Google touted Gemini’s coding capabilities and multimodal prowess, claiming that the mannequin can perceive photos, audio and movies simply in addition to textual content. However Gemini Professional — which is strictly text-in, text-out — has confirmed to be mistake-prone. And in a worse search for Google, the corporate was caught faking a Gemini demo by tuning textual content prompts with nonetheless photos off digicam.

Offensive notebooks: In one other Google PR blunder, individuals who attended the corporate’s Ok&I Black Summit in August got third-party notebooks containing extremely insensitive language. My colleague Dominic-Madori writes that the within of the notebooks had been printed with the phrase “I used to be simply cotton the second, however I got here again to take your notes” (emphasis ours). It goes with out saying that this wouldn’t have been nicely acquired by the principally Black viewers in attendance; Google has pledged to “keep away from related conditions as [it engages] with [merchandise] distributors going ahead.”

Anduril’s new weapon: Anduril, the controversial protection firm co-founded by Oculus founder Palmer Luckey, has developed a brand new product designed to tackle the proliferation of low-cost, high-powered aerial threats. Dubbed Roadrunner, the modular, twin-jet-powered autonomous vertical take-off and touchdown air car — one model of which is able to carrying a warhead — can take off, comply with and destroy targets or, if there’s no must intercept the goal, autonomously maneuver again to base for refueling and reuse.

Extra 23andMe victims: Final Friday, genetic testing firm 23andMe introduced that hackers managed to entry the private knowledge of 0.1% of shoppers, or about 14,000 people. However the firm didn’t initially say what number of different customers would possibly’ve been impacted by the breach, which 23andMe first disclosed in October. Quite a bit, because it seems — 6.9 million folks had their names, delivery years, relationship labels, the proportion of DNA they share with kin, ancestry experiences and self-reported areas uncovered.

Grand Theft Auto goes viral: In simply 22 hours, the primary trailer for Grand Theft Auto VI racked up 85 million views — breaking a MrBeast video’s file for many YouTube views in 24 hours. The joy for Grand Theft Auto VI is a decade within the making; the earlier entry in Rockstar Video games’ long-running franchise, Grand Theft Auto V, stays the second-best-selling online game of all time, falling quick solely of Minecraft.

Affected person data leak: 1000’s of uncovered servers are spilling the medical data and private well being data of tens of millions of sufferers because of safety weaknesses in a a long time’ outdated trade customary designed for storing and sharing medical photos. This customary, generally known as Digital Imaging and Communications in Medication (DICOM), is the internationally acknowledged format for medical imaging. However as found by Aplite, a Germany-based cybersecurity consultancy, safety shortcomings in DICOM imply many medical amenities have unintentionally made non-public knowledge accessible to the open net.

Meta generates photos: To not be outdone by Google’s Gemini launch, Meta rolled out a brand new, stand-alone generative AI expertise on the net, Think about with Meta AI, that permits customers to create photos by describing them in pure language. Just like OpenAI’s DALL-E, Midjourney and Steady Diffusion, Think about with Meta AI, which is powered by Meta’s current Emu image-generation mannequin, creates high-resolution photos from textual content prompts.

Spotify makes cuts: Spotify is eliminating about 1,500 jobs, or roughly 17% of its workforce, in its third spherical of layoffs this 12 months because the music streaming big appears to be like to grow to be “each productive and environment friendly.” In a be aware to staff Monday, Spotify founder and chief government Daniel Ek — citing gradual financial progress and rising capital prices — stated right-sizing the workforce is essential for the corporate to face the “challenges forward.”

TuSimple exits: When TuSimple went public in 2021, it was flying excessive because the main self-driving vehicles developer within the U.S. Now — after a string of inside controversies and the lack of a vital partnership with truck producer Navistar — TuSimple is exiting the U.S. altogether. TuSimple stated in a regulatory filing Monday that it’s shedding the vast majority of its U.S. workforce and promoting property right here because it exits the nation for Asia.

ZestMoney shuts down: ZestMoney — a purchase now, pay later startup whose capability to underwrite small-ticket loans to first-time web clients attracted many high-profile buyers, together with Goldman Sachs — is shutting down following unsuccessful efforts to discover a purchaser. The Bengaluru-headquartered startup employed about 150 folks at peak and raised greater than $130 million over its eight-year journey.


For Millionaires’s roster of podcast episodes retains rising — simply in time for weekend listening.

Equity featured a throwback dialog from For Millionaires Disrupt 2023, when Alex sat down with Serhii Bohoslovskyi, the founding father of a no-code app builder, Trible, that helps folks assemble on-line programs. The pair caught up on the state of the creator economic system, using no-code tooling right this moment (and the way it’s acquired by nontechnical creators) and the safety of startups with roots in Ukraine.

Over on Found, the crew talked to David Rogier, the CEO and founding father of MasterClass, a streaming platform the place you may be taught from the world’s consultants on a spread of subjects. Earlier than Rogier launched MasterClass, he labored as a VC, and — by means of his connections — he acquired a $500,000 seed spherical earlier than he even had an concept for an organization.

And on Chain Reaction, Jacquelyn interviewed David Pakman, managing accomplice and head of enterprise investments at CoinFund. Earlier than CoinFund, David spent 14 years on the enterprise capital agency Venrock. He additionally led the Collection A and B rounds at Greenback Shave Membership, which was acquired by Unilever for $1 billion. And, in 1991, David co-created Apple Music when he was a part of Apple’s system software program product advertising and marketing group.

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TC+ subscribers get entry to in-depth commentary, evaluation and surveys — which you already know when you’re already a subscriber. In case you’re not, contemplate signing up. Listed here are a number of highlights from this week:
Bitcoin surge: Jacquelyn writes about Bitcoin’s rapid-fire ascent to $44,000, which got here on the again of roughly 25% positive aspects within the final week. Her piece for TC+ explores what’s driving Bitcoin’s worth ascent and related worth positive aspects amongst different tokens — and whether or not the great vibes proceed into the brand new 12 months.

To swap, or to not swap: Tim experiences on how shopper EV battery swapping may usher in freedom for a variety of individuals, permitting them to take part within the EV transition in ways in which conventional built-in batteries don’t. The problem is making the unit economics work.

Coinbase and Robin and the way forward for fintech: Buyers are betting that shopper buying and selling of fairness and crypto is rebounding and are consequently pushing the worth of some former startups larger, Alex writes. That would spell excellent news for startups providing shopper buying and selling companies straight — or not directly, for that matter.