Hello, readers. Hallam Bullock here, coming to you from London on April Fools’ Day. My advice for you today would be to not believe everything you hear, but that’s my mantra most days.
However, there are people who make boatloads of money without a degree altogether. One underground miner we spoke to makes as much as $160,000 a year. We’ve also written about new AI “prompt engineer” jobs that can pay up to $335,000 a year — and many don’t even require a background in tech
Now, before you start mulling a career change, let’s take a look at the week’s top tech stories.
1. The latest development in AI: humanity has decided it can say “no.”
Elon Musk was one of more than 1,000 people to sign an open letter calling for a six-month pause on advanced AI development.
Why, I hear you ask? Simply put, experts are worried AI could become too powerful. The letter cited several potential risks to humanity and society, including the spread of misinformation and automation of jobs.
Meanwhile, ChatGPT has been banned in Italy over privacy concerns. Italy’s national data-protection agency said the restriction was temporary, but also announced it was starting an investigation into the AI’s creator, OpenAI.
Top tech stories of the week:
2. Bosses have forgotten how to say “good job” — and it’s driving employees to quit. For a lot of employees, positive feedback can matter more than a big paycheck. A study found the top-two reasons people quit their jobs are because they don’t feel valued by their company or manager. Read more.
3. Big Tech’s big downgrade. Google, Amazon, Meta, and other big tech companies have chased short-term fads in a desperate attempt to win the favor of Wall Street investors — and it’s making the online experience worse, Ed Zitron writes for Insider. Read the full story.
4. The good news: Only old office buildings are doomed. The bad news: That’s 70% of them. To battle remote work, companies are moving into fancy offices with “wow factor” to draw employees back in. Meanwhile, older buildings are fighting for survival. More here.
5. Elon Musk concedes Twitter is now worth less than half what he paid, per reports. According to Zoë Schiffer, the managing editor of Platformer, Musk also said Twitter had been “about 4 months away from running out of money.” Read more.
6. A laid-off Indeed.com employee went on a final pantry run. On his way out, he filled a black bag with chips, instant noodles, and an assortment of other snacks — and yes, he filmed the whole thing.
7. An Amazon driver went viral on TikTok after delivering a package during an active police standoff. Viewers were both awed and horrified by the driver’s dedication to getting the package delivered with one user commenting: “More scared of Jeff Bezos than getting taken out.” Read more.
8. A principal in Florida has resigned after writing a $100,000 check of the school’s money to a scammer pretending to be Elon Musk. Jan McGee said she believed the tech billionaire would invest millions of dollars in the school in exchange for the money upfront, according to a local news station. More here.
From our tech analysis team:
9. We analyzed revenue per employee to show why Amazon, Meta, and others are axing workers with brutality and speed. More than 300,000 workers in the tech industry have been laid off since the beginning of 2022. We crunched the numbers to analyze why it’s happening. View the charts here.
10. Apple’s own execs are split on whether the company should make smart goggles. Apple is reportedly introducing its Reality Pro smart goggles in June. But NYT reported on a rare wave of dissent internally at Apple, raising doubts about the product. Here’s what we know so far.
Today’s team: Hallam Bullock in London, Lisa Ryan in New York, and Dave Smith in Toronto.