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In this week’s What’s Appening, we are covering AI and Diplomacy. The AI is Meta’s Cicero, and Diplomacy is the strategic game only humans could master – until now. The breakthrough is significant, perhaps on a par with IBM’s Deep Blue and Gary Kasparov in ‘97. But does it herald a new dawn for tech or a bleak dystopia for us mere humans? On a lighter note, Elon Musk has been going full throttle on Twitter, with Apple the latest in the firing line. Elsewhere, we bring you news of the Fizz app that’s making college students go all bubbly inside. We have a recap of the Twitter circus, as well as a worrying advertiser statistic for the owner of the “bird app”. And What’s dAppening looks at the sale of a Bored Ape that laughs in the face of the bear market. 

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Takes 🎬

🤖🤝 Meta – Cicero AI Becomes a Master of “Diplomacy” in Huge Breakthrough

If 2021 was the year of the NFT, might 2022 be the year of AI? While the tech world is transfixed on Elon’s tweets and the fall of a Crypto King, the important stories might just lie in artificial intelligence. Last week, we covered Canva’s text-to-image wizardry, but Meta’s latest breakthrough might be the most significant step this century. Twenty-five years since IBM’s Deep Blue famously beat Gary Kasparov in chess, Meta’s Cicero has conquered the game of Diplomacy. As you might guess from the name, the strategy game requires real social skills, linguistic persuasion, and even empathy – all qualities that computer programs find difficult to master. As with a lot of AI breakthroughs, the success game through repetitious machine learning, as Cicero played an online version of Diplomacy again and again until it could grasp the art of, well, diplomacy. Cicero now produces more than double the average score of a human player and ranks in the top 10 percentile globally. If you know the game, you’ll know what an incredible achievement that is. It’s arguably still closer to a starting point than a tipping point in AI, but what this signifies for technology, jobs, and society at large shouldn’t be underestimated. Good thing, then, that this revolutionary technology is in the hands of Mark Zuckerberg, someone universally respected and wholly trusted (😉) as a gatekeeper. What could possibly go wrong? #ANewDiplomacy Read more here.

🥊🍏 Apple – Elon Musk Claims Something Foul Is Brewing in the App Store

Sorry, but we can’t stop covering Elon Musk (and we have more in our Twitter recap below). On Monday, the Chief Twit took aim at Apple in a series of tweets, first accusing the company of pulling Twitter ads, then moving on to grumble about the famed 30% App Store fees, and finally reporting that Apple had threatened to withdraw the Twitter app from the App Store. While Apple has made no official statements, it has suggested that it wants to see more moderation of hate speech and misinformation on Twitter. Musk disagrees with this, reaffirming his mantra that Twitter should be the home of free speech. We expect this row to rumble on – Musk is hardly one to step back from a fight, and Apple, too, can be stubborn over its rules. However, while others (like Epic Games and Meta) have sought legal and regulatory redress against App Store rules, we can see Musk going for the nuclear option. This could get really ugly. In slightly more fun Apple news, it’s been reported the company is interested in buying Manchester United. Paul mentioned in the latest What’s Appening video that the sources are dubious (trust me, bro), but it would certainly make for an interesting acquisition. #AppleCooksMusk Read more here.

📱🍾 Fizz – New Social App Is Making Waves with College Students

A few weeks ago, we covered the rise of the Gas app, a ‘kinder’ social media experience that had become a hit with teens and school kids. Fizz, which has just secured $12 million in its Series A funding round, offers a similar experience for college students. For now, it’s only available on iOS, but the company is boasting of a high penetration rate on campuses. Like Gas, Fizz allows for the anonymous sharing of polls and questions, although it has an identity reveal option if you choose. TechCrunch, however, has hinted that the app might be getting too big, too fast, detailing reports of security vulnerabilities that have already prompted legal action from users. The founders of Fizz have big ambitions for 2023 and beyond, but let’s hope they iron out the bugs before it conquers college campuses across the nation. #FizzingOnCampus Read more here.

🥸🔵 Twitter – A Week’s Recap of Stories from Elon Musk’s New Fiefdom

One day we will no longer need to report on the Twitter circus, but alas, not yet. The biggest news from Twitter this week is the (new, new) plans for verification. A blue checkmark will denote an individual, i.e., a celebrity or other notable. A gold checkmark will identify a business, and a gloomy gray checkmark will denote a government or government official. Musk will soon be releasing a longer statement on how this will all work (and presumably how they will combat imitators), with a tentative date for the introduction on December 2nd. Elsewhere on Planet Elon, we had a lot of talk about the tyranny of the media (his words, not ours), a photo of his bedside table complete with a gun and four cans of Diet Coke, and a slideshow roadmap for Twitter’s future. The latter contained one of the most tantalizing pieces of info – Twitter Payments. As Musk has said, he wants it to become “The Everything App”. #WeekInElon Read more here.

🧐 Stat of the Week: 50% of Advertisers

📉💰 Twitter – Report Claims that 50% of Twitter’s Biggest Advertisers Have Fled

More Twitter (again, sorry), but we caught an interesting report that 50 of Twitter’s (former) 100 biggest advertisers have been lost since Elon Musk took over. It’s not small change either, with NPR reporting that these companies have spent $2 billion since 2020 (and spent $750 million in 2022 alone). Other advertisers (Apple included) have reportedly slowed their advertising. Elon might need that $8 subscription fee after all. #50AndOut Read more here.

🕸️ What’s dAppening?

A dApp is a decentralized app. Here’s the latest in web3, NFTs and blockchain apps.

🦧💸 BAYC – Even in the Crypto Winter, A Bored Ape NFT Can Sell for $1 million

The cryptocurrency and NFT markets have had to face a lot of headwinds this year: The FTX, Celsius, and Terra Luna crashes, record inflation, and just yesterday, the bankruptcy of BlockFi. But in other ways, its resilience has been remarkable. A case in point was the sale of Bored Ape Yacht Club #232 last Wednesday, which went for 800 ETH – just a smidgen under a cool $1 million. Does it mean the bear market is over? Nope. It’s a bit like saying there is no recession when some gazillionaire snaps up a Van Gogh or Picasso at Sotheby’s. But it does bode well for the NFT market generally, particularly when this long Crypto Winter thaws into a Crypto Spring. #BoredOfBearMarkets Read more here.

Meanwhile at 3Advance…

We listen to a lot of great music here at 3A! In our former DC office, you’d always find Matt, Kate, and Paul listening to KEXP radio over the office Sonos (Matt even knew the time of day based on which DJ was on!).

So, we finally created a #3a-music Slack channel for our now fully-remote team to share what they’re currently listening to (or just spreading the love for their favorite tracks). It’s been a really fun way to connect and even get to know folks a little bit better over something we all share. 🤘

Also, according to one study 90% of workers were found to perform better and produce more accurate work while listening to music. So listen on, everybody!

PS, please continue letting us know if you’re running your own World Cup Sweepstake with our Notion template! Send us an update over at (music recommendations are also very much welcomed).

📺 Check out the What’s Appening video series!

Don’t forget, this week’s video episode will be released shortly on YouTube, Facebook and LinkedIn. There’s also the mini-recap on TikTok and Instagram. As always, we appreciate y’all following along on any of these social platforms and we’d love to hear your feedback.