Sam Altman backs teenagers’ startup, Google unveils the Pixel 8 and TikTok checks an ad-free tier

Hiya, of us, and welcome to Week in Overview (WiR), TechCrunch’s digest of the previous week in tech information. It’s TC’s column that highlights the key tales over the previous few days, and — we humbly submit — it’s a darn helpful useful resource for folk on the go.

This week, we cowl Sam Altman backing a teen’s AI startup, Google’s {hardware} occasion (and first impressions of the Pixel 8 Professional), Flexport drama, and the continuing FTX fallout. Additionally on the agenda: Gmail’s harsher guidelines to stop spam, TikTok testing an ad-free subscription plan, and LinkedIn going large on AI instruments. And that’s not all.

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Altman backs teen entrepreneurs: Sam Altman is among the many backers of an AI startup, based by two youngsters, that’s aiming to help companies in automating workflows in “beforehand unexplored” methods. Manish writes that Induced AI, based this 12 months, lets companies enter their back-office duties in plain English and converts the directions to pseudo-code in actual time.

Google unveils new {hardware}: This week was Google’s annual {hardware} occasion, the place the search and client tech large confirmed off what it’s been engaged on. Christine wrote up a thorough roundup of the information, which included updates on the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Professional, Pixel Fold, Android 14, Pixel Buds, Google Assistant, Bard, Pixel Watch 2 and different goodies.

Fingers on with the Pixel 8 Professional: Darrell took the newly unveiled Pixel 8 Professional for a whirl, and he appreciated what he noticed. Whereas similar to final 12 months’s mannequin (the Pixel 7 Professional), Darrell felt that the improved cameras, brighter display and enhanced AI-powered options made it sufficient of an improve to (doubtlessly) warrant a purchase order — minus the underutilized temperature sensor. Keep tuned for his full evaluate.

Turmoil at Flexport: Dave Clark, the previous Amazon government who was ousted as CEO of Flexport only a 12 months into the job, fired again at its founder and board, calling latest reporting on the logistics firm “deeply regarding.” Clark made the feedback Monday in a prolonged publish on social media website X following a report from CNBC that supplied new details about his final days at Flexport, a freight forwarding and customs brokerage startup valued at $8 billion.

SBF allegedly tried to purchase off Trump: The TC crew’s been skilled on the Manhattan Federal Court docket for the trial of Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced entrepreneur accused of orchestrating the collapse of cryptocurrency alternate FTX. However fascinating particulars about SBF’s political dealings are rising from a e-book by Michael Lewis, “Going Infinite,” that debuted on the primary day of the trial, like SBF’s try to purchase off Trump to get him to not run once more for president.

Gmail fights again in opposition to spammers: Google this week introduced a sequence of serious modifications to the way it handles e mail from bulk senders in an effort to chop down on spam and different undesirable emails. The corporate says that, beginning subsequent 12 months, bulk senders might want to authenticate their emails, supply a simple solution to unsubscribe and keep below a reported spam threshold.

TikTok checks an ad-free tier: TikTok is testing an ad-free subscription tier for some customers. For $4.99, subscribers get an ad-free expertise on TikTok — no different strings hooked up. However don’t search for the choice to reach anytime quickly. TikTok says that it’s piloting the plan in a single, English-speaking market outdoors the U.S. for now.

LinkedIn leans into AI instruments: LinkedIn this week unveiled a string of latest AI options spanning its job looking, advertising and gross sales merchandise, Ingrid writes. They embrace an enormous replace to its Recruiter expertise sourcing platform, with AI help constructed into it all through; an AI-powered LinkedIn Studying coach; and a brand new AI-powered software for advertising campaigns.

Musk comes clear about X’s metrics — possibly: In September, Elon Musk stated that X customers have been producing a number of content material — creating 100 million to 200 million posts on daily basis, excluding retweets. However talking at an occasion this week, X CEO Linda Yaccarino supplied a contradictory determine. She claimed X was seeing 500 million posts per day on the platform. So who’s proper? Beats us.

Former NSA director’s startup shutters: IronNet, a once-promising cybersecurity startup based by a former NSA director, has shuttered and laid off its remaining workers following its collapse. The Virginia-based IronNet was based in 2014 by retired four-star basic Keith Alexander and had raised greater than $400 million in funding. However IronNet failed to realize traction after going public in August 2021, and its inventory worth continued to steeply decline within the wake of an preliminary spike.


On the hunt for a brand new podcast to hearken to whilst you work out, do the dishes or rake the leaves (now that fall’s arrived)? Look no additional than TechCrunch’s roster, which covers the world of startups, the blockchain and extra.

On Fairness this week, the crew talked in regards to the SBF trial; offers from VR companies Rainforest, At One Ventures, Part 32 and Greylock, the place enterprise funding has declined; and the way Fearless Fund, a agency based to spend money on girls of colour, is being barred from awarding grants to Black girls founders.

In the meantime, Discovered featured Esther Rodriguez-Villegas from Acurable, a medical gadget firm that makes patient-friendly wearable units to diagnose and handle respiratory situations at house. As a career-long educational, Rodriguez-Villegas talks about how she by no means meant to be a founder till she discovered about how the at present obtainable medical units make it extraordinarily troublesome to detect and deal with ailments like sleep apnea and epilepsy.

And over on Chain Response, Jacquelyn did a crossover episode with Alex in regards to the SBF trial. Jacquelyn has been on the bottom on the Southern District of New York courthouse, listening in to the trial in the identical room as Bankman-Fried, so there was heaps to speak about.


TC+ subscribers get entry to in-depth commentary, evaluation and surveys — which you understand if you happen to’re already a subscriber. When you’re not, take into account signing up. Listed here are a couple of highlights from this week:

Contained in the SBF trial: Rebecca and Jacquelyn report on the second day of the SBF and FTX trial. The prosecution painted Bankman-Fried as somebody who knowingly dedicated fraud to attain nice wealth, energy and affect, whereas the protection countered that the FTX founder acted in good religion, by no means meant to commit fraud or steal and principally bought in over his head.

Battery-boosting software program tech: Tim covers Breathe Battery Applied sciences, a startup that’s developed a little bit of software program that may be slipped into nearly any lithium-ion battery in use at the moment — endowing it with both quicker charging speeds or larger longevity.

What lies past ChatGPT: Anna surveyed 10 buyers about the way forward for AI and what they consider is perhaps the subsequent large factor. Amongst different subjects, they touched on the place startups nonetheless stand an opportunity, the place oligopoly dynamics and first-mover benefits are shaping up and the worth of proprietary knowledge.

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