Twitter a Scammer’s Paradise, Meta’s AI Research, Generative IA will Disrupt Everything, traditional currency failing us?, and Binance 'Bails' out

Elon Musk’s Twitter Is a Scammer’s Paradise

It's a jungle out there, my friend

The information on the booking page was ambiguous, says Murphy, the cofounder of Web3 company ImpactScope. So he fired off a quick direct message to the verified Kenya Airways account on Twitter, asking it to confirm baggage allowances for the flight. A day later, when the account didn’t reply, he sent the company a public tweet reminding it about the question. Then the replies started.

Within minutes, multiple Twitter accounts claiming to be Kenya Airways tweeted him. All of them offered help, but none of them appeared official. The accounts used Kenya Airways’ logo and slogan, but clicking on their profiles raised red flags. “Most of their messages were well crafted,” Murphy says. “However, the low number of followers coupled with the spelling errors or odd choice of characters in their actual Twitter handles was the main giveaway.”

It's now easier for Twitter accounts to appear official. The new Twitter Blue subscription, which has started rolling out to some users, allows anyone to pay $8 per month and get a blue check mark showing they are “verified.” The tick appears almost instantly once someone stumps up the cash, and no questions are asked—people do not have to prove their identity. Read more...

Audio Compression, Protein Folding & Listening In 3D: Meta’s AI Research

Meta’s AI and machine learning research are hot topics in almost every sector of business. Two recent inventions from the company’s research laboratories were presented this month by engineers at Meta: an AI system that compresses audio files and an approach that can speed up AI performance for protein folding by 60x.

Meta’s Encodec compression solution uses AI to enable real-time compression and decompression of audio at rates ranging from 1.5 kbps to 12 kbps on a single CPU core. In comparison to MP3, Encodec can reach a compression rate of around 10x at 64 kbps without noticeably sacrificing quality. According to the researchers that developed Encodec, human listeners preferred the Encodec-processed audio quality over Lyra-processed audio, indicating that Encodec may someday be utilized to deliver higher-quality audio in circumstances when bandwidth is limited or expensive.

Meta also unveiled an approach that can speed up AI performance for protein folding by 60x. MIT researchers also revealed that they are modeling how a listener might hear a sound from any place in a room to give machines a better sense of their surroundings. Google unveiled Lyra, a neural audio codec designed to compress speech with low bit rates last year. However, Meta asserts that its system is the first to support stereo audio in CD quality, making it suitable for business applications like voice calls. Read more...

Generative AI will Disrupt Everything During the Current Decade

It’s no longer a matter of “if” but rather “when” Generative AI will become a huge wave affecting our lives and businesses.

In recent months, systems like Midjourney, DALL-E, Stable Diffusion, LaMDA, and PaLM have made big strides in domains apparently as diverse as image and text generation. The capabilities of these systems are impressive: they produce highly suggestive images, create effective selling copy for advertising, and much, much more –all from mere “prompts” that describe what the user wants to get.

All this is done with Generative AI.

“Generative AI” refers to systems powered by deep neural networks that implement Large Language Models (LLM) in order to create some sort of content. Here I say “create,” meaning that it’s not a copy of something already existing, not in a philosophical sense (what is a “creation” anyway?).

Large new companies are emerging in this brave new world, like Jasper, which offers the generation of both selling copy and also images for advertising: Jasper now has a valuation of more than a billion dollars, becoming an overnight unicorn. Read more...

Is traditional currency failing us?

The world is changing. And one of the most important things that will change with it is our money.

Inflation is a hot-button issue that has been getting almost unprecedented attention this year. With prices of consumer goods soaring as much as 9.1 per cent annually, it’s no wonder inflation has kept us awake at night. In fact, an Ipsos survey released in October 2022 revealed that inflation is the number one concern globally.

Apart from day-to-day concerns about whether the cost of living will spiral out of control, the recent inflation fears have also sowed deeper doubts. Investors increasingly feel uncertain about traditional fiat currency, a system that has served us so well until it didn’t.

Fiat currency, after all, is money issued by the government’s central bank. But are today’s governments’ goals in line with ours? What effect do central bank decisions have on our wealth? Ultimately, can fiat still serve us in the longer term?

We’ll look at the state of fiat currency today and highlight trends that suggest people are turning away from fiat towards digital assets like Bitcoin. Read more...

Binance 'Bails' on Bailing Out Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX

You know what they say about love and hate?

You can't have one without the other.

Ain't that the truth?

Changpeng “CZ” Zhao walked away from his bailout for Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX almost as quickly as he offered a rescue.

“Our hope was to be able to support FTX’s customers to provide liquidity, but the issues are beyond our control or ability to help,” Binance, the crypto exchange founded by Zhao, said in a statement. An FTX spokesperson declined to comment.

It became evident in a matter of hours that rescuing FTX would be a tall order for Binance. Its executives found themselves staring into a financial black hole -- a gap between liabilities and assets at FTX that’s probably in the billions, and possibly more than $6 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter.  

On top of that, US regulators are circling FTX, investigating whether the firm properly handled customer funds and its relationship with other parts of Bankman-Fried's crypto empire, including his trading house Alameda Research. Read more...

Product hunt: erxes XOS v.1

In 2021, we made a huge decision that would affect our entire product architecture and all existing features as we needed a better way to maintain the smooth operation of all our functionality. So we went back to starting everything from scratch.

We redesigned the product architecture and UX from the ground up for the XOS 1.0 launch. We're about to launch our XOS v 1.0, the biggest news to announce!

We started erxes with the mission of making marketing technology accessible for all companies at any stage, including the ones in their early days. Though due to marketing being inextricably linked to other aspects of business such as finance, core operations, and human resources, we've ended up expanding our business scope to include many additional features and improvements that are non-marketing upon the request of our clients.

We now have EXM (employee experience management), PXM (product experience management), delivery (logistics management), etc... This is why, today, you can not fully define erxes as marketing software anymore. It is now an experience operating system. Read more...

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