Recent workforce reductions at Google and Amazon have indicated that the tech giants are poised to continue cutting jobs in 2024 as they channel substantial investments into generative AI technologies.
Industry analysts and experts anticipate that these layoffs will be more targeted and of a smaller scale this year, with companies racing to gain ground in the AI race opting for such measures to offset their substantial expenditures in the field.
Alphabet recently hinted at this trend as it announced its intentions to invest in its “biggest priorities” while laying off approximately a thousand employees across various divisions, including its voice assistant unit and teams responsible for Pixel and Fitbit.
Even its advertising business faced cuts, with reports of hundreds of job reductions surfacing.
Amazon also joined the layoffs wave, releasing several hundred employees in its streaming and studio operations.
The company saw similar cutbacks in its Twitch live-streaming platform and Audible audiobook unit, as reported by media outlets.
In the month of January alone, the tech industry has seen over 7,500 employees let go, according to tracking website Layoffs.fyi.
D.A. Davidson & Co analyst Gil Luria emphasized, “No company wants to get left behind by the AI revolution and they are all making sure they have these capabilities and are prioritizing them, even when it is at the expense of other initiatives.”
Both Google and Amazon are aggressively investing in their AI endeavors. Google, aiming to close the gap with Microsoft in the AI race, unveiled its long-awaited Gemini model last month. Simultaneously, Amazon is developing a model codenamed “Olympus” to compete with OpenAI’s GPT-4 model, the maker of ChatGPT.
Nevertheless, the scale of these layoffs is expected to be significantly smaller compared to the massive workforce reductions witnessed in the previous year, thanks to a more stable economic climate that has prompted increased tech spending.
SpaceX funded flying car company boasts huge pre-orders
Alef Aeronautics, a pioneering flying car company backed by SpaceX, has announced a significant milestone in its journey towards revolutionizing personal transportation.
The California-based firm revealed that preorders for its futuristic electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle have surpassed 2,850, signaling robust demand for its innovative technology.
The Alef Model A, a two-seater flying car, has garnered widespread attention, with eager customers securing preorders by placing a $150 deposit online.
Alef aims to offer customers flexibility by allowing them to withdraw their deposits at any time, ensuring they’re not committed to the purchase.
With a planned price tag of $300,000 per vehicle, the cumulative order value from the preorders has exceeded $850 million, underscoring the significant market interest in Alef’s groundbreaking offering.
Jim Dukhovny, CEO of Alef Aeronautics, expressed pride in achieving this milestone, highlighting the Model A’s position as the bestselling aircraft in history, surpassing established aviation giants like Boeing and Airbus.
Despite the substantial investment required from prospective buyers, Dukhovny emphasized the necessity of the higher price point for Alef’s startup operations.
Alef is committed to delivering cutting-edge technology and ensuring the utmost safety and performance standards, factors that contribute to the pricing strategy.
The Alef Model A, showcased as a half-size model at the Mobile World Congress, distinguishes itself from competitors with its innovative design.
Unlike traditional eVTOLs, which often resemble drones or helicopters, the Model A bears a closer resemblance to a conventional car, with a mesh shell housing rotors that facilitate vertical takeoff and landing.
Apple unveils M3 powered MacBook Air
The unveiling includes updated models in both 13-inch and 15-inch variants, showcasing Apple’s continued innovation in the laptop market.
The M3 chip, initially introduced in October alongside versions for the iMac desktop and MacBook Pro laptops, aims to enhance performance and user experience across Apple’s product lineup.
The introduction of these new MacBook Air laptops comes as Apple reported $7.78 billion in Mac revenue during its fiscal first-quarter earnings, reflecting a modest growth of less than 1%. With the latest computers boasting advanced features and capabilities, Apple anticipates a potential boost in sales.
Key enhancements in the new MacBook Air lineup include sharper 1080p webcams, support for faster Wi-Fi networks, and an impressive battery life of up to 18 hours.
Design is consistent
Despite these improvements, the design of the laptops remains consistent with earlier models.
Notably, the M3 chip enables users to connect up to two external displays, a notable improvement from previous chip iterations which supported only a single screen.
Apple’s marketing strategy around artificial intelligence (AI) takes center stage with the new MacBook Air release.
The company brands the MacBook Air as the “world’s best consumer laptop for AI,” signaling a heightened focus on AI capabilities. This shift in language suggests Apple’s intent to compete with emerging Windows laptops marketed as “AI PCs.”
Headache for Musk and Tesla as Chinese EV slashes prices
China’s leading electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer BYD has unveiled a new version of its best-selling car at a price lower than its predecessor.
It signals a fierce price battle in the world’s largest automobile market.
In a bid to maintain its competitive edge, BYD has slashed prices for several models, following similar moves by rivals.
The price change represents a significant 12% reduction compared to the final sales price of its predecessor.
Analysts suggest that BYD’s aggressive pricing strategy aims not only to capture a larger share of the domestic market but also to enhance profitability through increased exports.
As competition intensifies and consumer preferences evolve, manufacturers like BYD are strategically adjusting their pricing strategies to remain competitive and sustain growth both at home and abroad.
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