Google bets the farm on AI, Twitter gets a new CEO and Meta contractors protest

by The Insights

Hey, my friends, you have reached the end of the week. Cheer! It’s an achievement worth celebrating, I would say. And what better way to ring in the weekend than by recapping the week in tech? This is Week in Review (WiR), TechCrunch’s weekly news roundup, where we highlight the most important, impactful and striking stories from the past few days. We understand – you are busy. Therefore, a summary that highlights all key events.

Before we get to the good stuff, let’s recall that on May 17, TechCrunch Live, TC’s virtual speaker series, will feature Intel Capital’s Mark Rostick and Garima Kapoor – the founder of MinIO, a startup building a business , but open source , object storage solution. On the horizon is TC City Spotlight: Atlanta on June 7, which will host a pitch competition, a panel discussion on investing in the Atlanta ecosystem and more. Last but not least is Disrupt in San Francisco (September 19-21), a conference filled with expert-led sessions and interviews with influential players in the tech space. Mark the dates!

Now, with that out of the way, here are the main headlines.

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Google I/O, recap: On the opening day of Google I/O, the internet search and advertising giant released a rapid stream of announcements at its developer conference, including plenty of unveilings of recent things related to Google. AI he worked on. If you didn’t have time to watch a two-hour presentation, the TechCrunch team took care of that and delivered story after story about new products and features – plus quick shots of the biggest news in a easy-to-digest, easy-to-list skimming format.

The purge continues: Twitter is purging inactive accounts on its platform, which could free up a number of coveted usernames, according to recent tweets from owner Elon Musk. Although Twitter had promised for years to put more usernames back into rotation, it had yet to make a large-scale effort to do so, although it had an inactive account policy in place that suggests Twitter users should log in at least every 30 days to prevent accounts from being permanently deleted.

New Twitter CEO: In other Twitter news, Elon Musk says he has found a new CEO for Twitter. Musk didn’t initially say who will take on the role, though The Wall Street Journal is now reporting that NBCUniversal’s head of publicity Linda Yaccarino is actively “in talks” for the job. In a tweet, Musk announced that he would transition from his role as CEO of the company to that of executive chairman and chief technology officer. The new CEO is expected to start in six weeks, according to Musk.

Health records leaked: NextGen Healthcare, an American provider of electronic health records software, admitted that hackers hacked into its systems and stole the personal data of more than a million patients. In a data breach notification filed with the Maine Attorney General’s office, NextGen Healthcare confirmed that hackers accessed the personal data of 1.05 million patients, including approximately 4,000 Maine residents.

Quick dismisses workers: Rapid, formerly known as RapidAPI, a startup that built an API market valued at $1 billion last year, laid off another 70 employees less than two weeks after laying off 50% of its staff, a learned TechCrunch. A concerned employee who wished to remain anonymous told TC that only 42 people remain at the company – down from 230 in April – reflecting an 82% drop in the workforce.

Meta-entrepreneurs protest: Content moderators under Sama, Meta’s content review contractor in Africa, earlier this week picketed the company’s Kenya headquarters to demand their April salaries. The 184 moderators sued Sama for allegedly illegally firing them, after Meta took down its content review arm in March, and Majorel, the Africa-based social media giant’s new partner, for being blacklisted on Meta instruction.

From Pokémon to Peridot: The creators of Pokémon Go come up with another mobile game that puts cute little creatures at your fingertips: Peridot. Like a 90s Tamagotchi toy, Peridot is a pet simulator, but it takes place entirely indoors augmented reality. You can feed, play with, walk, breed, and socialize with your Peridots, but don’t worry – if you pause the game, your creatures won’t poop all over your screen and/or die.

SMS, but different: “The medium is the message” is the common phrase, but entrepreneur Alexis Traina thinks the messages themselves – text messages, to be exact – also deserve attention. Traina is the CEO and co-founder of HiNOTE, an app that helps people create messages, on custom backgrounds ranging from a spilled wine glass to a branded letterhead notebook page. The idea, she said in an interview with TechCrunch, is that she wouldn’t get up every day and dress in green, blue and gray – so why do our text messages stick to those colors? ?


Need some listening gear for your weekday commute — or your shower, for that matter? TechCrunch has you covered. On Equity, the team dove into a pair of new Mayfield funds, as well as how Wellthy is helping caregivers feel less overwhelmed and the slowing growth of tech companies. At Found, the team spoke with the co-founders of Juliet, who are reinventing boxed wine. The Chain Reaction team released a bonus episode of a fireside chat with Nadya Tolokonnikova, the creator of protest art collective Pussy Riot, at NFT NYC in April 2023. The TechCrunch podcast covered Google I/O , including technology, attend discussions and demos. Rounding things out, TechCrunch Live talked about the development of anti-aging therapies with James Peyer, co-founder of Cambrian BioPharma, and Maryanna Saenko, co-founder and partner of Future Ventures.

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TC+ subscribers get access to in-depth commentary, analysis and polls, which you know if you’re already a subscriber. If not, consider signing up. Here are some highlights from this week:

Visions of a colorful future: How has the psychedelic medicine industry fared in the past 12 months? Well, that depends on where you look. A recent survey indicates that instead of simply pursuing attractive opportunities, investors and founders are increasingly focused on building the foundations of an industry that can use the power of psychedelics to change lives.

AI’s search for eating: News from Google’s AI-infused developer event this week makes it clear that we’re on the cusp of a new era of search. Following Microsoft’s molding of OpenAI technology into Bing, Google is experimenting with its own AI technology and unlocking new ways to use search. Clearly, we are about to see the first major overhauls of the Internet information search market in a very long time.

Salesforce Embraces Generative AI: Salesforce is investing more and more in generative AI as it becomes clear that the technology has the potential to transform the way we interact with software, allowing us to describe what we want instead of clicking or typing.

Get your TechCrunch IRL fix. Join us at Disrupt 2023 in San Francisco in September to immerse yourself in all things startup. From headline interviews to intimate panel discussions to a crowded startup expo, there’s something for everyone at Disrupt. Save up to $800 when you purchase your pass through May 15, and save an additional 15% with promo code WIR. Learn more.

Disrupt 2023

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