Hi, I’m Matt Turner, the editor-in-chief of business at Insider. Welcome back to Insider Weekly, a roundup of some of our top stories.
On the agenda today:
But first: Diamond Naga Siu, the new voice behind our excellent 10 Things in Tech newsletter, gives us a look at a phenomenon sweeping the internet: ChatGPT. Without further ado…
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ChatGPT takes over
ChatGPT brings all the technologists to the farm, senior reporter Diamond Naga Siu writes.
If you’ve somehow missed the ChatGPT buzz so far, it’s a chatbot equipped with the most advanced example of generative artificial intelligence – a powerful technology that can create original responses to questions and commands.
It is eerily human and is seen as a threat to Google. When an Insider reporter used ChatGPT for their searches, they found it terrifyingly impressive.
My colleague Beatrice Nolan even asked the chatbot to write cover letters for real jobs. Hiring managers told her they would likely reach out to the “candidates” for the next round.
You can see how this could end up in academia. Schools in NYC have already banned the use of ChatGPT. And a Princeton student built a tool that can sniff out whether someone used AI to write an essay. No promises this newsletter was written by a human.
There is big money behind the buzz. There are reports that the latest valuation for OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, could be close to $30 billion. Microsoft looks wise after investing $1 billion in the company back in 2019.
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A blow to the Salesforce workforce
It was a tough week being a Salesforce employee. On Wednesday, the company announced plans to cut around 10% of its jobs. That means roughly 7,000 employees face the axe, with 1,000 already out this week. It is also going to close some of its offices.
To make matters worse, things turned ugly on Thursday when Salesforce co-CEO Marc Benioff dodged questions during a two-hour all-hands meeting. It was so bad, and employees were so upset, that a manager later apologized and told people who hadn’t seen the meeting not to bother watching it.
Read more about the excited all-hands at Salesforce.
‘Zoomtowns’: A Good Thing?
Aid workers moving to cheap locations during the pandemic and turning them into “Zoomtowns” became a popular point of contention. Many of these cities became symbols of inequality and displacement from rural areas. But a new analysis shows that Zoomtowns may actually turn out to be a good thing.
A bipartisan organization said the shift to telecommuting could eventually make rents and home prices cheaper for everyone. That’s because many of these cities are best equipped to build affordable housing to help absorb the influx of new people.
Here’s how Zoomtowns could transform the housing market.
Buying cars has changed forever
You can’t put the genie back in the bottle, and that’s especially true for the process of buying cars after 2020. Ever since the pandemic began, car dealers have kept fewer vehicles on their lots, even though production is back.
Managers at Ford and GM say car buyers have adapted – and that the change in behavior may be permanent. Now customers can order a car online and have it shipped directly to them.
If an automaker doesn’t have its cash tied up in inventory, it can afford to charge a pretty penny for the new Prius. And it doesn’t have to offer incentives either.
Here’s a closer look at our new car buying reality.
Business’s ‘nepo babies’
The term “nepo baby” has exploded ever since New York Magazine put a bunch of famous children of Hollywood stars on its December cover. But the idea of the nepo baby — “nepo” is short for nepotism, in case it wasn’t clear — also extends to the business world.
We’ve compiled a list of notable nepo babies in business, such as Lachlan Murdoch and John Tyson, who were all presented to their leaders.
Check out our list here.
Quote of the week:
“If you want to look for a new market, you look at where big-box companies are moving. Then you buy around all these areas and where they’re building an airport.”
More of this week’s headlines:
Curated by Matt Turner. Edited by Dave Smith and Lisa Ryan. Sign up for more Insider newsletters here.