Next in Tech - Feb. 4, 2023

February 4, 2023

Happy Saturday and welcome back to Next in Tech! This week I’m covering Twitter’s new API access rules, OpenAI advancements, and even a new app from the Instagram co-founders. Let’s dive in:

Twitter to shut down free API access

Twitter announced Thursday that they would be ending free API use by Feb. 9th, a highly contested decision. While the Twitter app ecosystem has already been hit with 3rd party apps being restricted, this latest move has caused even more developers to announce that they won’t be able to continue their projects. Even some of today’s core features like pull to refresh started out as early community apps and the early developer community was vibrant. Elon is obviously looking to turn Twitter into a profitable business, and we’ll have to see how their API is priced going forward, but it definitely gives signals that many of Twitter’s core values might be fading away.

On the other hand, it’s a great time to shed even more light on Decentralized Social protocols, such as Farcaster and Lens, which allow for permissionless innovation. In particular, Farcaster has a concept of hubs, giving any user the ability to easily grab data without relying on protocol maintainer’s hub instances(similar to running your own Ethereum node).

OpenAI launches ChatGPT Pro and Microsoft Teams Features

OpenAI just released a pilot of ChatGPT to a select group for $20/month. The service will give subscribers faster run-times and always-on service, even during peak times. OpenAI’s ChatGPT has been wildly successful — ChatGPT just passed 100 million users. A key problem of OpenAI’s has been monetization, while a problem for power users of ChatGPT has been downtime because of the tool’s heavy usage.

Fresh off of securing a strategic $12B investment from Microsoft at a rumored $29B evaluation, OpenAI and Microsoft have announced AI-powered features for Microsoft Teams Premium. Some of the features include intelligent recap for video calls, AI generated chapters for PowerPoint Live recordings, and auto-generated tasks after meetings. The service is built using OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 model and it costs $10/user/month for teams to use.

Instagram co-founders launch “TikTok for text”

Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Miles Krieger are back with a new app called Artifact, described as a TikTok for text. The app features short headlines of trending stories, while clicking on each headline shows several stories on the subject from different news outlets, as well as how many Artifact users have read each story.

Artifact Screenshot

The more you use the app, the more Artifact’s machine learning algorithms determine what news you’ll want to read the most. Both founders highlight that the invention of the transformer — a neural network built for enhanced language comprehension, as well as the ‘T’ in ChatGPT — was a key invention of the past few years that has allowed for Artifact to work. This is the founders’ first major venture after they both departed Facebook in 2018.

ETH Shanghai Fork Incoming

Shapella, the combination of the Shanghai and Capella forks of Ethereum, is set to go live on the Zhejiang Testnet this Tuesday, February 7th. The first Shanghai testnet went live on February 1st, and core Ethereum developer Tim Beiko urges others developers to run a validator in preparation for Tuesday’s upgrade. The upgrades are of the largest since the Ethereum Proof of State Merge that took place in September 2022. The upgrades will allow for validators who participated in proof-of-stake to finally withdraw their staked ETH, with Shanghai running on the execution layer and Capella running on the consensus layer. Mainnet upgrades are expected to launch in March, after testnet upgrades are successful.

Interesting finds I’ve stumbled upon recently: