Jeremie Harris on what’s next for OpenAI

On this week’s episode of Free Lunch by The Peak, we sat down with Jeremie Harris to talk about what happened amid the OpenAI executive shake-up, and what’s next for the industry.
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What to do this weekend

Our picks for what to eat, read, watch, and listen to this weekend.
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Foreign actors drive the political divide

Foreign bad actors have been studying our culture and have come to the very correct conclusion that nothing divides people more than a spicy Instagram post. 

What happened: Meta has taken down a network of 4,800 fake Facebook and Instagram accounts that were designed to stoke division in the U.S. by spreading political content. 
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ChatGPT made a law in Brazil

What if laws were no longer created by our imperfect human minds… and instead, dictated by, also imperfect, but oh-so-efficient, artificial intelligence? 

What happened: A councilman for the Brazillian city of Porto Alegre revealed that a law passed earlier this year, which he proposed, was secretly written entirely by ChatGPT.
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Explain It Like I'm Five: Digital advertising and the Online News Act

What is the Online News Act?

A law coming into effect in a few weeks that would see certain tech companies pay Canadian publishers in exchange for having news on their platforms. It is based on Australia’s News Bargaining Code, which mandates that tech platforms enter a negotiation process with outlets to determine that number.

How do the tech companies feel about it?

Meta pulled news from its services so it didn’t have to be bound by the Act’s terms. Google was prepared to do the same, but reached a deal with the government this week.

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Why farmers might make it easier to fix your fridge

A big step forward in a legal battle between farmers and the leading equipment manufacturer in North America could also advance right-to-repair rules for everyone.
Driving the news: A U.S. judge rejected John Deere’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit from farmers claiming the company is actively restricting services for maintenance and repair.
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ChatGPT is a bit of a blabbermouth

Getting math problems wrong isn’t the only way ChatGPT is becoming less smart — apparently, it is pretty easy to trick into sharing its secrets (including, potentially, yours).

What happened: Researchers from Google’s DeepMind and five universities discovered an “attack” prompt for ChatGPT that got the platform to share parts of its training data, revealing personal information of random people and copyrighted material.
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Dissecting the digital dollar debate

As 2024 nears, flying cars and teleporters are no closer to becoming a reality, but countries are hard at work devising digital currencies. That’s just as cool as those other things… right? 

What happened: South Korea is launching a retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot next year, selecting 100,000 adventurous citizens to try spending with digital tokens
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McDonald’s moneymaker gets a makeover

With consumers starting to lean into burger options that are less… let’s say, mushy, McDonald’s is revamping its classic road trip staple. 

Driving the news: After seven years of testing, McDonald’s is making over 50 changes to its signature hamburgers, including the infamous Big Mac, as the world’s biggest fast-food chain tries to keep pace in the booming burger business, per The Wall Street Journal. 
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Dropping your living standards

The Canadian economy has avoided a technical recession after economists updated the numbers that triggered alarm bells earlier this year. That’s #EconomistMath. 

What happened: Gross domestic product (GDP) data shows the economy shrank by 1.1% last quarter from the previous year, falling above the 0.1% rise expected by economists and the Bank of Canada’s forecast of 0.8%, a steep drop from growth seen earlier this year.
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Digital tax spat

Move over, dairy tariff quotas… there’s a new Canada-U.S. trade disagreement in town. 

What happened: The feds introduced legislation that would introduce the Digital Services Tax (DST), which would levy a 3% tax on tech companies with annual revenues of over ~$1.1 billion and Canadian digital services revenues of $20 million (i.e. Amazon, Google).
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A year of ChatGPT

Today marks the one-year anniversary of an event that changed the world forever: The UN bestowing the baguette with protected heritage status… just kidding. 

Driving the news: It’s (somehow only) been one year since OpenAI unlatched Pandora’s Box of generative AI and publicly released ChatGPT. The chatbot was an overnight sensation, gaining 1 million users in five days, peaking with 1.8 billion monthly users in May. 
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A new news deal

Canadians will get to keep (some of) their access to news, now that the government has reached a deal with Google over the controversial Online News Act

What happened: After months of tense negotiations, Google has agreed to pony up $100 million a year for the Canadian news content hosted on its platform, part of an effort to compensate media companies for the advertising revenue that has been lost to Big Tech. 
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Japan’s wooden satellites could fix the problem of space junk

Between decommissioned satellites and bits shed from spacecraft, humans leave a lot of metal in the atmosphere. That reflective junk creates light pollution, bashes into the International Space Station, and — when it falls out of orbit and into the atmosphere — burns up into millions of tiny metallic particles. 
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The government’s digital transformation lead is quitting

What might be the least desirable job in all of Canadian tech — helping the government update thousands of aging software platforms and apps — is about to become vacant.

What happened: Catherine Luelo, the government’s chief information officer, will be leaving her post in December after roughly two years on the job. A letter to staff did not give a reason for her departure.
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Adobe’s Figma deal the latest to hit a regulator roadblock

Regulators might be playing catch-up when it comes to keeping the tech sector competitive, but they are working hard to make up for lost time.

What happened: The U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority has effectively blocked Adobe’s US $20 billion acquisition of Figma until the companies remedy anti-competitive issues it has identified.
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Scotiabank's earnings don’t bode well

Bank earnings season started not with a bang, but a whimper—one that could be sustained into 2024.

What happened: Scotiabank was the first of Canada’s Big Six banks to report earnings, missing profit estimates after setting aside a more-than-expected ~$1.3 billion to cover potential bad loans—a sign of what’s to come for other big banks later this week. 
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Windsor’s battery plant job drama

Windsor’s new electric vehicle (EV) battery plant promised a plethora of jobs for Canadian workers, but that may have been a tad overhyped. 

Driving the news: The hiring of 900 temporary foreign workers at Stellantis-LG’s NextStar EV battery plant—which prompted a political brouhaha—will cost Canadian workers and contractors ~$300 million in lost wages, per the leader of Canada’s Building Trades Unions. 
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Virgin flight lifts off, powered by cooking oil

For those of you who are already freaked out by airplanes, we have some fun news: Soon, your plane could be kept in the sky entirely by stuff you’d find in a deep fryer.

What happened: A Virgin Atlantic plane powered entirely by a combination of waste cooking oil, animal fats, and other re-used fuels completed the journey from London to New York yesterday, a feat being celebrated as an environmental milestone in the aviation industry. 

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Alberta flexes its sovereignty

In this week’s episode of Alberta vs. Feds, Danielle Smith makes what could be her most controversial announcement yet… 

What happened: Smith is invoking the Alberta Sovereignty Act to push back against federal clean electricity rules. The act is not yet final, but the idea is that it allows the province to refuse to follow federal laws that are deemed as a violation of Alberta’s jurisdictional rights.
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