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A Gemini Reunion ❤️📖




March 19, 2024



In this week’s What’s Appening, we delve into Bloomberg’s report that Apple is negotiating a deal with Google to bring Gemini’s generative AI to the iPhone. Deals between Big Tech rivals are not uncommon, but this is certainly an admission that Apple missed the boat in the AI arms race. Rumors had swirled that Apple was working on its own generative AI products, yet its courtship of Google (and OpenAI) suggests some level of panic has set in at Cupertino. We also cover the explosive news from Congress, with US lawmakers threatening a shutdown if TikTok’s Chinese owners refuse to sell. We have news on Nvidia’s GTC 2024, Mr Beast teaming up with Amazon Prime, and Starbucks sunsetting its NFT program. And our GPT of the Week takes the hassle out of listing your items for sale on second-hand marketplaces.

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Our Top Take 🎬

🍏🧑‍🤝‍🧑Apple – Reports on Deal with Google to Power iPhone AI Features

Bloomberg has reported that Apple is in talks with Google to use Gemini to power the iPhone’s AI software. We have previously reported that Apple seemed to be caught on the hop in the AI arms race, but this seems to be an admission that the company is further behind than we thought. Of course, deals between Apple and Google are not surprising – Google pays Apple gazillions of dollars to be the default search engine on Safari – but the fact that Apple has been (reportedly) in talks with both OpenAI and Google to supply gen AI services suggests that Apple needs them, not the other way around. It reminds us of how Google Maps was the de facto directions app for the longest time on iPhone before Apple rolled out Apple Maps, which for a very long time was clearly inferior. It’s a major win for Google (Alphabet’s stock rocketed on Bloomberg’s report), and it also gives a much-needed boost to Gemini after a series of blunders. But we think the bigger story is what it says about Apple. The iPhone maker is expected to release some home-grown AI features for iOS 18 (released in September), yet it is forced to go to a rival for generative AI tools, such as text-to-image and text-to-chat. We had been told countless times, including by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, that Apple was working on super-duper AI tools, such as Project Ajax, which included a bot code-named Apple GPT, but that, if true, must be far from ready. All eyes will now be on WWDC 2024 in June: Apple simply can’t afford to ignore AI as it did at the 2023 event. #AppleGemini Read more here.

🦾 GPT of the Week: SellMeThisPen

This week’s Custom GPT is SellMeThisPen. The second-hand listings market is booming in the United States and is expected to reach $82 billion by 2026. SellMeThisPen GPT takes the work out of listing by analyzing the photos of the items you want to sell and creating a sales pitch based on all the specs. After that, simply upload your item to eBay, OfferUp, Facebook Marketplace, or wherever else you choose to make a few bucks from your old stuff. For us, it perfectly encapsulates the concept of a GPT as a “microservice”. Check it out here.

⚖️🛒 TikTok – Congress Passes Bill Ordering Sale or US Shut Down

Hmmm, we knew that something was brewing in Congress, but we didn’t expect the House of Representatives to take the proverbial sledgehammer to TikTok. Last week, the HoR passed a bi-partisan bill demanding TikTok either be sold in six months or shut down in the US. While, ostensibly, the bill is based on the accusation of spying by the Chinese government, some see what’s happening as a political response to the sharing of content from the Middle East, but whatever the motives, it’s unlikely to succeed. This goes beyond TikTok as an entertainment source; it’s an economic issue. There are 170 million US TikTok users, and it is estimated to be directly linked to 300,000 US jobs. It would be political suicide for the President to sign a bill that would ostracize so many voters in this election year. While the administration says it does not want a ban, it clearly wants TikTok to be divested from its Chinese owner, ByteDance. #TikTokBan Read more here.

🗣️ Nvidia CEO Gives Keynote at GTC. Nvidia’s annual conference has none of the razzmatazz that you would see from the likes of Apple, but the chipmaker is powering the AI boom and what it says matters. Among other highlights at GTC, Nvidia announced the world’s most powerful chip, Blackwell. Details from Jensen Huang’s keynote here.

🧑‍⚖️ EU Parliament Approves Artificial Intelligence Act. It had to be EU, eh? The EU has formulated the world’s first major AI regulations. As you might expect, it has annoyed just about everyone involved in the sector. Full story here.

🍟 McDonald’s Ain’t Lovin' It Amid Shutdown. We are accustomed to social media and mobile networks having outages, but McDonald’s? Restaurants worldwide were forced to shut their doors as their IT systems failed. More here.

🧐 Stat of the Week: $5M

📽️🎳 Streaming – Mr Beast & Amazon Prime Partner for “Biggest” Game Show

Jimmy “Mr Beast” Donaldson is the hottest property in the streaming world, and he has now teamed up with Amazon Prime Video to create what they term the “biggest game show” in history. It will be based on his ultra-successful YouTube show, Beast Games, pitting 1,000 contestants in a series of challenges to win $5 million. It’s a big coup for Prime Video, but will it be enough to stem the backlash against the streaming service? It’s been p****ng off just about everyone with its new ads policy. #PrimeBeast Read more here.

🕸️ What’s dAppening?

☕❌ Starbucks – Coffee Chain Sunsets Odyssey NFT Rewards Program

Starbucks has hit the pause button on the NFT program it once described as “revolutionary”. Odyssey was launched in 2022, promising coffee lovers new experiences and loyalty rewards. At one point, there was a brisk trade in Starbucks NFTs, and that will continue on the Nifty NFT marketplace, but the program itself will be sunset on March 31st. Starbucks isn’t giving up on web3, though, as it claims Odyssey will evolve into something more substantial. We get the sense that Starbucks knows it’s on to something with NFT loyalty programs, but it doesn’t know exactly how to achieve it. Let’s see what it brews up next. #NFTSunset Read more here.

Meanwhile at 3Advance...

The last month has been a flurry of activity! While we put the finishing touches to some major releases in the back of the house, up front we’ve been getting together in person again - supporting our clients and supporting each other. Cameca traveled to DC to meet the 3A home team, while Jackson and Paul travelled to Austin to catch up with Sandip and Kayne (amidst the hustle and bustle of SXSW). Being a remote team has so many benefits, but it can get lonely. Getting together is always a treat, and this past month has been no exception. #Team3A

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