TLDR 2023-03-09

Spotify's redesign, Google's next-gen robot 🤖, running LLMs on CPU 👨‍💻

Big Tech & Startups

Spotify’s new design is part TikTok, part Instagram, and part YouTube (3 minute read)

Spotify is introducing a new design to make it easier for users to find new content to listen to and watch. The redesign incorporates heavy use of imagery and vertical scrolling to increase discoverability across the Spotify ecosystem. Spotify's new design separates podcasts and music while giving each more space. Opening the app presents a set of album and playlist covers, but also includes autoplaying video podcasts and Instagram-style photos that provide more information about relevant playlists. Examples of the new design are available in the article.

Google’s PaLM-E is a generalist robot brain that takes commands (4 minute read)

Google and the Technical University of Berlin's AI researchers have developed a multimodal embodied visual-language model (VLM) called PaLM-E. PaLM-E has 562 billion parameters, making it the largest-ever VLM. PaLM-E combines language and vision for robotic control and can perform a range of tasks without requiring retraining by analyzing data from its camera. It is adaptable and can react to changes in its surroundings. PaLM-E exhibits emergent abilities such as multi-image inference, even though it was trained on single-image prompts.
Science & Futuristic Technology

This geothermal startup showed its wells can be used like a giant underground battery (11 minute read)

Fervo Energy claims it can create flexible geothermal power plants that can increase or decrease their electricity output as needed. The power plants would serve as a power source in periods of low production and act as a battery. While there are still outstanding questions about whether the system is scalable, affordable, and entirely safe, the technology offers a way to make it cheaper and easier to eliminate greenhouse-gas emissions from electricity systems.

Researchers develop blood test for anxiety (3 minute read)

Researchers from the Indiana University School of Medicine have developed a validated blood test to objectively determine an individual's level of anxiety, the severity of their current anxiety, and which therapies are suitable. Physicians at MindX Sciences are currently developing the test for wider use. The test could also determine a person's risk of developing future anxiety and evaluate how hormonal changes might impact their anxiety. The new test, when used in conjunction with other tests, provides a more comprehensive view of a patient's mental health and could be used to develop new, more individualized anxiety treatments based on a patient's biomarkers.
Programming, Design & Data Science

Trance Stack (GitHub Repo)

Trance Stack is a Remix stack built for AWS Lambda, providing various features such as authentication, security, internationalization, feature flags, and analytics. It is intended to serve as a starting point for Remix projects. The stack offers production-ready Remix applications and allows for customization and modification in accordance with users' preferences.

UpTrain (GitHub Repo)

UpTrain is a tool that aids machine learning (ML) practitioners in observing and improving ML models for optimal performance. It is a data-secure tool that easily integrates with existing production pipelines. UpTrain's features include data drift checks, data integrity checks, customizable metrics, real-time dashboards to monitor the model's health, edge case signals, AI explainability, and special dashboards to understand model-inferred embeddings. Users can get alerts on Slack when using UpTrain.

AI Looks Like a Bubble (15 minute read)

AI seems to be the new bubble, with multiple reports of companies raising large valuations despite having no revenue. Bubbles are when people buy too much unnecessary stuff due to the belief that they can sell it to someone even more ignorant. An example of this is the crypto bubble of 2017 where blockchain companies saw huge gains in stock price as a result of Bitcoin skyrocketing. While emerging technology can lead to new opportunities, returns from these opportunities are not likely to be distributed equally.

The Perils of Working on a CEO’s Pet Project (10 minute read)

Tech companies have turned to mass layoffs in order to make cuts. Many employees are at risk of losing their jobs due to the failure of long-term projects. Unlike previous years, employees can no longer slip into another position at their company if a project fails. Employees are now much more vulnerable to layoffs. Technology projects that were previously championed by former CEOs, but may be years from profitability, are the most affected by layoffs in recent months.
Quick Links

Sam Altman invested $180 million into a company trying to delay death (11 minute read)

Retro Biosciences came out of stealth mode in mid-2022 with the mission to add 10 years to the average human lifespan.

Google and Meta over-hired thousands of employees who do 'fake work,' says PayPal Mafia's Keith Rabois (6 minute read)

Rabois says that Google and Meta brought on too many staff to fulfill the vanity metric of hiring.

ADHD startups are exploding, and now there even a dedicated browser (2 minute read)

Sidekick is a productivity browser with features geared towards ADHD sufferers.

Americans Are Having More Babies. Is Remote Work the Cause? (4 minute read)

Statisticians observed a surprising increase in the number of babies born last year.

How does the world's first vaccine for honeybees work? "It's like magic" (2 minute read)

Scientists hope that the vaccine will pave the way for other vaccines.

LLaMa CPU fork (GitHub Repo)

This repository contains a fork of Facebook's LLaMa model that runs on the CPU.

TEKsystems - Senior Full Stack C# Developer (Fully Remote, $120,000 - $160,000)

TEKsystems is a third-party recruiter hiring for a Senior Full Stack C# Developer to play a central role in executing a client’s Microsoft Azure platform cloud strategy.

Qatalog Ltd - Senior Backend Software Engineer (Fully Remote, $65,000 - $115,000)

Qatalog Ltd is hiring a Senior Backend Software Engineer to be responsible for establishing best practices for technical architecture, quality control, scalable design, and modularity of the codebase for a company that creates bespoke software that centralizes people, processes, and knowledge.

NexGen Cloud - Senior Backend Developer - Senior Backend Developer - Python (Fully Remote)

NexGen Cloud is hiring a Senior Backend Developer to take charge of various Python development projects to assist in building out billing, monitoring and alerting, automation, and business logic systems for an Infrastructure as a Service provider.
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