News in apps delivered weekly to your inbox on 🌮 Tuesday.THE FEARS OF AI MIGHT BE MISPLACED, BUT WE BETTER START EMBRACING THE TECH
“AI will not replace you. A person using AI will.”  @svpino VIA Twitter


In this week’s What’s Appening, we dive into the world of AI again. While everyone is talking about the technology on social media, real use cases and apps are emerging. In our main take, we highlight some of those new products, and we also detail how Microsoft could be the big winner from the expected AI boom. In other news, the rumor mill says that Apple is working hard on getting its eagerly-awaited AR/VR headset ready for a spring unveiling. Elsewhere, our Stat of the Week highlights how the world’s top companies are building brands using web3. And What’s dAppening has news of National Geographic’s new NFT collection, which will drop next week to celebrate the publication’s 135th birthday. 

What’s Appening is brought to you by 3Advance, the product development team that eats, sleeps and breathes apps. Not diggin’ the apps? You can opt-out below. Forwarding to a friend? Please do 🙏. They can subscribe here or y’all can watch our video episodes on YouTube📺.

Takes 🎬

🤖🎨💬 AI – Flurry of New Apps and Use Cases for Disruptive Technology

Yesterday marked 16 years since Steve Jobs announced the iPhone, and we can’t help but wonder what the great man would have thought about the transformative technology of today – Artificial Intelligence. Led by OpenAI’s projects like ChatGPT and DALLE-2, the rapid rise of the tech has caught the imagination more rapidly than anything we have seen before. Everyone is talking about it, putting forward their ideas on how and why it will disrupt our future. But it’s not just idle chat, as real use cases are emerging. For instance, in a world’s first, an AI will be used in a court case next month, telling the defendant exactly what to say in a trial over a speeding ticket. We’ve also had some fun with the Historical Figures app, which allows you to chat in real-time with over 20,000 different “celebrities” from throughout history. And right now as schools return after the Holidays, teachers are losing their minds over students using AI to write essays. So, as you can gather, not everyone is convinced that the technology is ethical, but it is undoubtedly powerful. One of the big winners from this AI boom might be Microsoft. The company was an early investor in OpenAI, and it has already managed to secure a deal to incorporate AI into its Bing search (as well as other products like Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook) – one of the many reasons Google is said to be quaking in its boots over the impending AI revolution. Anyway, Microsoft is said to be working on a deal to secure a 49% stake in OpenAI for a cool $10 billion, which looks like a bargain in terms of potential. Of course, with all the predictions of how AI will change the world, there’s a little bit of hysteria right now: Writers, visual artists, teachers, and even lawyers are among those being told that they may soon become obsolete in the face of faster, smarter AI counterparts. But such panic is arguably misplaced. AI can be a tool to augment job roles in these industries – all industries – helping you discover, log, and present information with more speed and less effort than before. It’s not supposed to replace you as an artist or writer, but to help you generate ideas and solve problems. This relates to us at 3Advance, too. The technology might soon disrupt our day-to-day business of building apps, given how adept AI can be at writing code. But the answer is not to bury one’s head in the sand and hope that it will go away. As you can see in the Meanwhile section below, 3Advance has already incorporated AI into our business. And there’s a lot more to come. #AICaramba! Read more here.

🍏👓🎧 Apple – Growing Consensus of Spring Debut for AR/VR Headset

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman is considered a reliable source when it comes to Apple news, so it was with great interest that we saw his prediction that Apple wanted to debut its highly-anticipated AR/VR headwear as early as the spring. In fact, Gurman has claimed that Apple is so insistent on launching the product as soon as possible that it has been scaling back other projects and upgrades to get the headset ready for market. A spring showcase, or a grand unveiling at WWDC in June, would suggest the product would be on sale commercially by the fall. There are reports that a handful of select developers have been given early access to the device prototype, allowing them to begin the process of developing third-party apps for the headset’s launch in 2023. Some details of the product design have also been leaked, including designs for the Digital Crown, which will allow users to switch from the virtual to the real world. The current starting price mooted for Apple’s headset is a hefty $3,000. But rumored features like iris-scanning for logins and payments suggest that Apple really believes it can truly “wow” us with a new product, something that it has failed to do for a very, very long time. #AppleVRSpring Read more here.

🧐 Stat of the Week: 43%

🤳📸 NFTs – Binance CEO Claims 43 of the World’s Top 100 Brands Are in Web3

There was a time when crypto, NFTs, and web3 were considered niche, and the term “mainstream adoption” had become a byword for some unrealized future goal. That time, it seems, has now passed, and we really have the receipts to show it. A post by Changpeng Zhou (CEO of Binance) listed 43 of the world’s top 100 brands that have entered web3 to create NFT loyalty programs and other initiatives. Perhaps the most striking aspect is the diversity of those brands: From Coca-Cola to Meta, BMW to Gucci, Taco Bell to the Golden State Warriors – they are all harnessing the power of NFTs, tokenization, and blockchain to strengthen their brands and connect with customers like never before. #Web3Brands Read more here.

🕸️ What’s dAppening?

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

🔎💰 NFTs – National Geographic Enters Web3 with Photography Collection

To celebrate its 135th anniversary next week, National Geographic will be launching its debut NFT photography collection in partnership with SnowcrashNFT. Titled GM: Daybreak Around the World, the collection will feature the works of 16 legendary photographers, including Jimmy Chin and Mia Forrest, with 118 photos from each portraying sunrises from different locations on earth. 1888 NFTs will be minted in total, with a “blind” drop occurring on Polygon on January 17th. As with many new NFT projects, the collection is not just about the tokenization of photographs, but a chance for the artists to tell a story using the images. With Nat Geo providing some of the most stunning moments in photography across three different centuries, we are really looking forward to seeing what they provide for their maiden NFT launch next week. #NatGeoNFTs Read more here.

Meanwhile at 3Advance…

So, of course we’ve been using ChatGPT over the holidays too. And we’ve brought that Christmas gift back to the office. Here are a few of the things we’ve used ChatGPT for within the last few weeks, and there’s so much more to come. Within the next year:

The 3Advance Handbook is getting a lot more polish with rewritten, much-improved language, and some helpful policy suggestions we’d previously overlooked.Ahead of real content, sample filler content for our apps in development. Our alpha apps feel much better and it helps gets the creative juices flowing for our clients to do it for real.What’s Appening Tweets: Yeah, we’re still writing this newsletter ourselves, but follow @3advance next week to see What’s Appening real time!

And why stop with text? DALL·E 2 (also from OpenAI) uses generative AI to produce imagery – or dare we say it, “artwork”. To stave off some founder homesickness over Christmas, we asked the machine to create the scene of a traditional Irish music session… Yeah, yer man on the right has an extra arm, but doesn’t it sometimes feel that way?

📺 Check out the What’s Appening video series!

Our next video episode will be released shortly on YouTubeFacebook, and LinkedIn. You can also watch our ‘shorts’ 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.