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GitLab soars on plan for new AI-powered product

GitLab’s stock made a big ol’ jump yesterday – over 35% in fact. Why? Well, they’re about to shake things up with a new product that uses AI, or artificial intelligence. This AI thing will give software developers – the folks who use GitLab – new tricks like making suggestions when they’re writing code.

They’re calling this new feature “ModelOps,” and it’s going to be part of their existing “DevSecOps” platform. Not only does it look like a real money-maker, but it’s also expected to drop later this year, and they’re only asking for 9 bucks a month for it. That’s like, two lattes at a hipster coffee joint.

Bank of America analysts – some pretty sharp tools in the shed – reckon this could give GitLab a serious boost in 2025. And if GitLab’s recent stock jump is anything to go by, folks are believing them.

Not to brag, but GitLab’s revenue did a neat somersault in the first quarter, soaring 45% to nearly $127 million. That’s more than what those smarty-pants over at Refinitiv thought they’d make. Consequently, a bunch of analysts hiked up their predictions for GitLab’s future stock price.

So the big question now is – should you invest? Well, the average advice from 18 analysts seems to be a resounding “buy.” They’re even betting the stock could hit $53.50. Who knows, maybe it’s worth a shot?


Instagram might be working on an AI chatbot

It looks like Instagram’s got an itchy trigger finger for AI. Based on some leaked images from tech sleuth Alessandro Paluzzi, the photo-sharing platform may be hatching an AI chatbot. Supposedly, it’ll answer questions and throw out advice, packing a punch with 30 different personalities. Remember when Snapchat tried the same thing and got a slap on the wrist for age-inappropriate advice? Fingers crossed Instagram has taken notes.

Nobody knows what AI tech Instagram’s going to strap onto this, but given the rising tide of AI use, all signs point to it being something from Instagram’s momma bear, Meta. Meta’s been leveraging AI like it’s going out of style, from helping advertisers to, rumor has it, developing its own coding tool, CodeCompose (but they’re playing coy and haven’t released it publicly yet).

In the meantime, Instagram’s apparently also cooking up a rival to Twitter, like a chef trying to outdo a rival’s signature dish. Leaked info suggests the text-based app, mysteriously dubbed ‘Barcelona’, will play nicely with Instagram. If the grapevine is to be trusted, we should see this Twitter doppelgänger ready to rumble by this summer. Instagram’s keeping mum, but they haven’t denied the whispers either. Isn’t silence sometimes louder than words?


Google’s AI to power virtual travel agent from Priceline

Priceline, the online trip planner, has partnered up with Google for a bit of AI magic. With Google’s artificial intelligence, Priceline aims to roll out a smarter chatbot for trip planning by this summer. It’s kinda like having your own private butler, knowing your preferences and serving up hotel suggestions that fit your style.

According to Priceline’s tech guru, Martin Brodbeck, the plan is to make your hotel booking as informed as possible. Say you fancy New York City during Christmas. You’ll know, for instance, that there’s a Yuletide market buzzing in Bryant Park from November through January.

This whole AI hocus pocus comes from Google’s cloud division. We’re talking about generative AI tech that can spin text like a human author and extract relevant information from data to ensure accuracy.

Now, Google’s been lagging a bit behind Amazon and Microsoft in the cloud services race. So, getting businesses hooked on its AI is a smart move to catch up. For Priceline, embracing this tech could give it an edge in the cut-throat travel booking arena.

Other travel platforms like Expedia and Kayak aren’t just twiddling their thumbs either. They’ve already incorporated AI to offer travel suggestions and inspire trip ideas on their apps.

While Google has been a competitor for Priceline in the past, its cloud capabilities apparently sealed the deal for this collaboration. After all, who doesn’t like a good plot twist?

So, what’s the big takeaway? It seems we’re witnessing a burst of AI tech usage, much like the Cambrian explosion that ushered in a host of new species long, long ago. And Priceline, with Google’s AI, is ready to ride the wave. Travel planning is about to get a lot more sci-fi. As for Google Cloud’s profitability, well, that remains a well-guarded secret.


Google Launches Free Generative AI Courses – Stock Continues To Rise

The tech titan Google, is playing catch-up in the AI race, offering ten fresh-out-the-oven, free AI courses to prep folks for the brave new world of AI-heavy jobs.

Why the sudden generosity, you ask? Well, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a big boom in data scientist roles, up by 36% by 2031. Now, if you don’t have a calculator handy, that’s a whole lot of number crunchers.

Google’s schooling aims to give every a crash course in AI and machine learning. Sure, some would argue it’s a sly way of getting folks into the Google system and using Google software, but hey, all’s fair in love and tech wars, right?

Now, before you toss out your laptop, bear in mind, AI’s not all doom and gloom for jobs. Microsoft found that 70% of people wouldn’t mind handing off some work to AI. But on the flip side, companies like IBM and BT are planning to cut jobs in favor of our computerized comrades.

Google’s not just making moves in the classroom, they’re also encouraging AI entrepreneurs with their Google for Startups Growth program in Europe. There’s a race to keep up with OpenAI’s ChatGPT, but Google’s own Bard is on the case. It’s also under scrutiny for labelling AI-generated content, after a fake Pentagon attack sent Wall Street into a tizzy.

On the money side of things, Google’s been raking it in. Their share price has shot up 17% in the last month and a whopping 41% since the start of the year. Big thank you to AI for that. So if you’re a savvy investor, this might be the time to hitch your wagon to the Google star.


OpenAI CEO Sam Altman rules out IPO plans due to ‘strange’ company structure

Well, OpenAI’s big cheese, Sam Altman, says going public is a no-go for now. Apparently, cooking up superintelligence brings on some head-scratching decisions that wouldn’t exactly win popularity contests on Wall Street. In other words, Sam doesn’t fancy a legal spat with the suits over at the stock exchange.

How’s OpenAI doing without an IPO? Just fine, it seems. They’ve raked in a cool $10 billion from Microsoft, making the company worth nearly $30 billion. Mostly, the cash is going to beef up their computing muscle and push their AI wizardry further.

What’s different about OpenAI? They’ve got a funny way of doing business. Starting as a non-profit, they later morphed into a “capped-profit” outfit, letting in outside money while keeping the non-profit spirit alive.

AI isn’t all rainbows and unicorns, though. Altman and his brainy pals have been sounding the alarm about the risks, some even likening it to doomsday scenarios. They’re calling for a bit of regulation to keep things in check.

Altman’s been gallivanting across the globe, chit-chatting with bigwigs from a bunch of countries. Stirred up a hornet’s nest in Europe, suggesting OpenAI might pack up if the proposed AI rules got too tough. Some folks didn’t take kindly to that, but he’s since dialed it back, saying they’re eager to operate in Europe, just waiting for a clearer picture on EU’s AI Act.

EU’s planning a big rulebook for AI, including stuff about revealing copyrighted material used in training these AI brainiacs. OpenAI hasn’t spilled the beans on that for its latest whiz-kid, GPT-4.

Despite the hullabaloo, EU tech honcho Margrethe Vestager’s got Altman’s back. The guy seems pretty psyched about the AI future, painting a picture where GPT-4 will look like a plaything compared to what’s coming next.

Jobs disappearing because of AI? It’s a worry. But Altman’s not losing sleep. He reckons the job market’s going to look different, but hey, that’s progress for ya, and it’s not without its silver lining. There’ll be new opportunities popping up, so it’s not all gloom and doom.


McKinsey says ‘about half’ of its employees are using generative AI

Looks like the big shots at McKinsey & Company are all aboard the generative AI train, with about half of their workers getting their hands dirty with ChatGPT and suchlike tools. That’s a whopping 15,000 or so out of their 30,000 global workforce, if you’re counting.

The company has rules of the road in place, to keep everything hunky-dory and confidential info under lock and key.Despite being tighter than a tick, they didn’t spill the beans about the specific AI services in use, or their exact purposes.

Mr. Ellencweig and his pals also shared some juicy tidbits about how their clients are using generative AI. They’ve got a neat little list they call “the four Cs” – coding, customer engagement, creative content generation, and content synthesis. Who knew that marketing to each person like they’re the only one on earth, or a “segment of one,” was a thing?

For the fence-sitters, Singla’s got a handy five-step plan to dip your toes into the generative AI pool. It involves thinking about your IT setup, the kind of data you’ll use, choosing the right AI model, user interface, and how to manage the changes. Sounds like a recipe for success, or at least a way to avoid a belly flop.


Tim Cook uses ChatGPT and says Apple is looking at it closely

Apple’s main man, Tim Cook, has been caught gabbing with ChatGPT, and is pretty jazzed about it. Says there are “unique applications” to explore. Now don’t get too fancy, “unique applications” here just means he thinks there could be some cool ways to use it.

Spilling the beans on “Good Morning America,” Cook said Apple’s got AI in its stuff already, even if the folks at home don’t see it that way. Plus, the company’s got ChatGPT in its sights, so that’s something to chew on.

Cook talked up chatbots like ChatGPT, saying they’ve got a lot of potential, like a high school football player before the big game. But they’ve also got some nasty habits to shake, like spreading rumors or worse. It’s like that buddy of yours who always manages to say the wrong thing at the wrong time.

Cook reckons we need some rules and boundaries for AI, but he’s got a point; this tech train is rolling fast. Companies, he says, need to make some moral calls on their own, because regulation is trying to catch a greased pig. That’s a fun way of saying it’s hard to keep up with how fast things are changing.

Cook’s chatter follows Apple’s annual WWDC show, where the company flaunted their AI toys for iPhone, iPad and Mac, from smart prompts for would-be journal keepers, to better autocorrect tools (thank goodness!), and sharper face-recognition features.