Google Announces ChatGPT Rival; Mercedes Bows e-Sprinter Van; Twitter-Only 180,000 US Subscribers; Meta Labs Dropped $13.7 Billion on AR & VR

Google has revealed that they are working on a ChatGPT rival dubbed Bard. reports that the artificial intelligence chat system was revealed in a blog post yesterday. From the post, it sounds like it will be as capable as the buzzy ChatGPT. Google described the tool as an “experimental conversational AI service” that will answer users’ queries and take part in conversations. The software is available to a group of “trusted testers” now, before becoming “more widely available to the public in the coming weeks.” Meanwhile, over at Microsoft, they are busy integrating ChatGPT into the Bing search engine. It is worth noting that Google actually invented part of the AI that runs ChatGPT…the ’T’ part stands for transformer, and that key tech came from Google. Google has been more cautious with AI up to now, but seems to have been shocked into moving more quickly with the release and rapid spread of ChatGPT. 

Mercedes-Benz is joining the electric delivery van party. The venerable German car maker rolled out the eSprinter van, which will go on sale later this year in the US, according to A European model will follow before the end of the year. Like the Ford e-vans and Rivian’s for Amazon, the electric vans don’t have near the range of most cars…but since they are made for local delivery, and carry much heavier loads, that is expected. No EPA estimate yet, but a ballpark puts it at around 120-140 miles on a charge. An interesting wrinkle: the Mercedes will use a lithium iron phosphate battery instead of lithium-ion. Fast charge from 10 to 80% will take about 42 minutes. Mercedes hasn’t released the maximum load weight or pricing as yet. 

Twitter has a long climb before they see significant revenue from subscriptions. says that as of last month, the platform only had 180,000 Twitter Blue subscribers are only bringing in $27.8 million a year for the company…and they have lost far more than that in cancelled ad revenue. We just reported on Twitter’s plan to charge businesses $1000 a month for gold verification badges, but it will take a massive increase in both to haul in the $3 billion a year Elon Musk is looking for. The company has to come up with $1 billion a year on interest alone to service debt they are carrying. 

Previously, Meta had reportedly lost $10 billion in 2021on the so-called ‘metaverse.’ Now, notes that Meta has reported $13.7 billion in losses for Reality Labs during 2022. As a point of reference, Meta (then just called Facebook) only paid $2 billion for Oculus back in 2014. The company said it expects losses to be even higher in 2023, as they prep to launch the next generation mixed reality headset later this year. Apple is also prepping to roll out a mixed reality headset by fall.

I’m Clark Reid and you’re ‘Technified’ for now. 


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