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OpenAI appears to acquihire “creativity” startup Global Illumination

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Top stories today:

  1. OpenAI appears to acquihire “creativity” startup Global Illumination
  2. Twitter working on ID verification: report
  3. Fed minutes suggest further rate hikes, but markets don't buy it
  4. China's housing market is worse than official data shows
  5. Smartphone market expected to drop by -6% to 1.147B units

0. Data and calendar

All values as of 6 AM ET / 3 AM PT, other than S&P500 close (4 PM ET / 1 PM PT).

All times are ET.

1. OpenAI appears to acquihire “creativity” startup Global Illumination

  • Startup had no major product launched, other than Biomes, an open-source sandbox MMORPG.

  • “Entire team has joined OpenAI to work on our core products including ChatGPT.” - Techcrunch, OpenAI, Github

2. Twitter working on ID verification: report

Analyst Nima Owji posted this unconfirmed screenshot:

Our view: non-anonymous accounts would greatly benefit from ID verification

  • As the current verification system doesn't ask for ID, it only signals that the user has a credit card and a phone, not that they are who they claim they are.

    • Formal ID verification fixes that.

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  • No AUM fees, no account minimums, no hidden fees... ever.

  • Tax strategies, investment management, equity modeling, estate planning, and more — all in one place. - Range.com

*Sponsored.

4. Fed minutes suggest further rate hikes, but markets don't believe it

Markets expect rates to remain stable, and cuts to start in May 2024:

  • Fed minutes mention “further tightening”: “Most participants continued to see significant upside risks to inflation, which could require further tightening of monetary policy.”

  • September meeting uncertain:Policy decisions at future meetings should depend on the totality of the incoming information and its implications for the economic outlook and inflation as well as for the balance of risks.” - CNBC, Fed minutes

5. China's housing market is worse than official data shows

Home prices are up to -26% in some regions, when compared from Nov. 18 to Mar. 23:

In related news:

6. Smartphone market expected to continue to drop, by -6% in 2023, to decade low of 1.147B units

7. Post-Covid excess savings down from $2.1B to $0.2B: Fed study

Households are close to spending all their Covid-related accumulated excess savings:

8. Study: ChatGPT naturally talks like a Democrat

9. Interesting tweets, memes, and videos

10. Other headlines

AI

  • Google's Gemini to perform 21+ personal, professional tasks.

  • Eric Schmidt to start OpenAI-like nonprofit.

  • NYT considers legal action against OpenAI.

  • Snapchat AI goes rogue, posts random pictures to stories.

  • AP tells newswriters to avoid using ChatGPT for published content.

Tech

  • LK-99 not a superconductor: Nature.

  • NYT joins tech companies to sue to block “child privacy” law.

  • Amazon sets extra 2% fee on merchants to ship products themselves.

  • Alphabet's Verily has operating results of -$568M, to cut costs.

  • Adyen revenue +21% to €739M, EBITDA margin of 43%.

  • Databricks to raise more after losing $380M on $1B revenue.

  • White House orders agencies to set “adequate cybersecurity practices.”

Biotech

  • Wegovy could prevent 1.5M heart attacks over 10 years in U.S.

  • Ozempic: some ads may exaggerate effects, which are still large.

  • Pig kidney transplants in brain-dead people start to work.

  • Caloric restriction works in part by improving immune function.

  • FDA's Peter Marks wants more accelerated approvals for rare diseases.

  • FDA approves ultra-rare disease drug palovarotene.

Business

  • Tariffs: U.S. plans new ones on food-can metal from China, Germany, Canada.

  • Cisco revenue +16% YoY to $15.2B.

  • Nubank CEO sells $191M in stakes to donate to his foundation.

Crypto

  • Coinbase wins approval to offer BTC, ETH futures in U.S.

  • Sei goes live, $1.8B fully market cap.

  • BitGo raises $100M at $1.75B valuation.

  • 3AC founders fined $2.7M by Dubai regulator, fail to pay.

  • Ripple opposes SEC's move to file appeal.

  • Shibarium, Ethereum L2 promoting Shiba Inu, goes live.

  • Ledger Live lets users buy BTC, ETH through PayPal.

  • PayPal UK to halt crypto sales until “early 2024.”

U.S. politics

  • Trump may time Georgia surrender with GOP debate.

    • March 4: DA proposes start date before Georgia 2024 vote.

    • 52% say Trump should be prosecuted for 2020, 42% disagree.

    • 53% think Trump did something illegal, 50% for Hunter Biden.

  • Pence: Georgia election “not stolen.”

  • Giuliani went to Mar-a-Lago in April to ask Trump to pay 7-figure bill.

  • Biden celebrates IRA while critics say it contributed to inflation.

  • George Santos fundraiser charged with fraud.

World

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