OpenAI unleashes GPT-4, SVB files for bankruptcy, and a PE firm acquires Pornhub

Welcome to Review of the Week, guys, TechCrunch’s regular recap of the week on tech. GPT-4, OpenAI’s AI that understands text and images, may have dominated the headlines for the past few days. But new drama surrounding the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank also emerged.

We cover all that and more in this edition, so grab a coffee and enjoy.

Notebook, Early stage TechCrunch 2023 coming very fast. It will take place in Boston on April 20 and will feature three concurrent sessions of founder workshops, case studies, and insights with tech startup experts. Even further, mark your calendar for TechCrunch Disruption 2023, will take place in San Francisco on September 19–21. As usual, the event will be filled with round tables, receptions, Q&As, and introductions from celebrities in their fields. You won’t want to miss it.

Now, about the news.

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OpenAI launches GPT-4: After much anticipation, OpenAI, an AI startup with big backing from Microsoft, has… release a powerful new AI model called GPT-4. GPT-4 can generate text and accept image and text inputs — an improvement over its predecessor that only accepted text — and works at “human level” on a variety of benchmarks . But GPT-4 is not perfect. Like most general text AI, this model “hallucinates” facts and introduces inference errors — sometimes with great confidence.

Microsoft goes all-in on AI: Leveraging the latest technology from OpenAI, including GPT-4, Microsoft has launched new AI-powered features across its productivity toolkit under the Copilot brand. The copilot handles different tasks depending on the application used. For example, in Word, Copilot writes, edits, summarizes, and creates text; in PowerPoint and Excel, Copilot turns natural language commands into engineered presentations and data visualizations; and in Power Apps, Copilot helps refine ideas for low-code software.

SVB filed for bankruptcy: A week later Transaction has been paused for SVB Financial and later the governing body has control holding company for Silicon Valley Bank and other subsidiaries, SVB Financial has taken the inevitable next step. On Friday, the bank announced that it has officially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. This means that SVB Financial can apply — and plans to file — in court to continue operations while it finds a buyer for its assets, including continuing its plan to sell off SVB Securities. and SVB Capital.

Goodbye Google Glass: Google Glass, Google’s misunderstood piece of AR technology, is gone. Google announced this week that it will stop selling the final version of Glass, Glass Enterprise Edition, on March 15 (but will continue to support existing customers until September 15). Readers will recall that Glass, which just celebrated its 10th anniversary last month, never garnered attention, becoming the subject of ridicule and ridicule even after redirecting focus from consumers. used for business.

YouTube TV gets expensive: In a sure-fire move to cut the cord, YouTube has announced that they are increasing the price of their YouTube TV subscription to $72.99 per month — an $8 increase from the current monthly fee of $64.99. The Google-owned company blamed the increase in “content costs” for this change. (Perhaps not coincidentally, the recent YouTube TV announced a streaming deal with NFL Sunday Ticketis said to be worth $2 billion per season.)

Through the acquisition of Citymapper: Transport start-up Throughwhich has recently enhanced $110 million at $3.5 billion valuation, grabbed city ​​map, the London-based startup that produces the popular urban mapping app of the same name. Initially made a name for himself as a alternative to apps like Google Maps For consumers planning trips in urban areas using public transport, Citymapper arguably never really capitalized on its initial momentum and promise.

Baidu’s ChatGPT competitor fails: In other AI news this week, Ernie Bot, China’s search giant Baidu’s answer to ChatGPT, was underwhelmed. TechCrunch wasn’t able to try it, but industry observers inside and outside of China pointed to the fact that instead of showcasing Ernie through a live demo, Baidu opted for a lengthy presentation with audio recordings. before Ernie’s answers. The company’s shares fell as much as 10% in Hong Kong following Li’s presentation.

Pornhub meets private equity: MindGeek – owner of several adult entertainment websites, including Pornhub, Brazzers and Redtube – is buy by a Canadian private equity firm, Ethical capital partner (ECP). The acquisition comes after a difficult couple of years for the porn giant. MindGeek CEO Feras Antoon and COO David Tassillo have all left the company in June 2022. MindGeek is also currently in the middle. much lawsuit alleging that it knowingly profited from child sexual abuse material.

Dishes for customers in the dark: Dish customers are still searching for answers two weeks after the US satellite TV giant was hit with ransomware. In a public filing published on February 28, Dish confirmed that ransomware was the cause of the ongoing outage and warned that hackers stole the data, which “ may” include customer personal information, from its systems. But Dish hasn’t delivered a major update since then, though customers continue to experience problems — and it’s unknown if their personal data is at risk.


TechCrunch’s steady quality podcasts grow by the hour. (Rejoice, commuters.) This week on Fair, Alex And Natasha discussed the M&A battle that won Qualtrics, Cvent, and Mint Mobile, as well as what happened after the demise of SVB, GPT-4, and why Y Combinator shrunk from its late stages. In Establishmeanwhile, amanda And Darrell spoke with Teddy Solomon, co-founder of Fizz, a social media app for college students focused on building community on campus. The interview covered what Gen Z is looking for on their social media, how radically censoring a platform like Fizz, and how this kind of community building can go beyond universities.


TC+ subscribers get access to in-depth commentary, analysis, and surveys — things you’d know if you were already a subscriber. If you do not, consider signing up. Here are a few highlights from this week:

Rethink the points of failure: Natasha USA writes about how, in the wake of SVB’s demise, perhaps founders should rethink entrusting a single person to lead their businesses to success. She polled several early-stage founders building companies that have raised Series A or below to understand how they think about succession. The consensus is that it’s not a priority, or even a top priority, in a world where founders are more focused on runways, product-market fit, and growth.

Strange things are happening at Unearthed Materials: Heart reports Unearth Materials, a startup that claims to have big-name investors behind the technology that could lead to a breakthrough in superconductors. But as it turns out, not all of those investors are involved, especially given the dubious track record of Excavation Materials.

Good news for software companies: Bored from this week in the news? Alex write that it’s not all doom and gloom. Some software companies are doing pretty well during the tech industry’s broader collapse — at least if their earnings reports are anything to go by.


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