|The Big Idea|
Everybody’s talking about an AI tool that does (almost) everything
Wordsmiths, get nervous.
OpenAI, the artificial-intelligence outfit backed by Elon Musk, recently opened up access to GPT-3, a new AI language model.
It’s so powerful that it can produce text that’s practically indistinguishable from human work.
Psh. Robots can’t write
That used to be true. People fed books and scripts to these programs and generated hilariously bad endings to episodes of Game of Thrones.
But while earlier models mimicked a human’s vocabulary and writing style, GPT-3 is able to analyze context. One guy used GPT-3 to write an entire blog post, and he was surprised by the quality of the results.
And that’s not all GPT-3 can do
How do I get my hands on this?
The API currently is in beta, and you have to request access to use it. When the API becomes commercially available, OpenAI will use the proceeds to fund further research.
We at The Hustle will be nervously watching for future developments. Last week, Microsoft cut dozens of full-time MSN staffers in favor of news curation that’s handled by AI.
We asked Trung Phan, one of our Trends analysts, what he thought of this powerful new toy. Here’s what he told us — not aided by GPT-3 (or was he?).
In the classic sci-fi movie Terminator 2, the villainous AI Skynet becomes self-aware at 2:14am ET on August 29th, 1997.
That prediction may have been 23 years too soon, but here we are. *nervous laughing*
The purpose of OpenAI is to ensure the development of AI “benefits all of humanity.” Fingers crossed.
|Culture Those Nuggs|
Space fishcakes, pet food: The 3D-printed meat market is looking juicy
Your chicken nuggets might soon come from a Russian lab.
KFC just announced a partnership with the Moscow-based company 3D Bioprinting Solutions to test out bioprinted chicken — one of the highest-profile deals yet for the lab-grown meat industry.
KFC, which will wrap its final experiments with the nuggs this fall, thinks printed meat will become part of its “restaurant of the future.”
3D-printed meat is going intergalactic
The California-based startup Finless Foods has been trying to use 3D printing to spice up astronauts’ diets. It wants to create cultured fish cells that can be grown in zero-gravity environments.
To do it, Finless Foods partnered with 3D Bioprinting Solutions. Last year, the two companies sent a bioprinter — plus a set of fish cells — to the International Space Station for testing.
Pets are going to love it
Bioprinting has gotten so big that you can now find lab-grown shrimp protein in Singapore and kangaroo meat in Australia.
But there’s one catch: Most lab-grown meats don’t mimic the same muscular structure of, say, a normal steak. Instead, according to the Boston Globe, they look a lot like mincemeat.
That might make them a bit less appealing to earthbound humans. But you know who is going to go wild for meat mush? Your dogs and cats.
A number of companies — including Bond Pet Foods and Because Animals — are already racing to corner the 3D-printed pet food market.
+Bonus deep dive: How exactly do meaty innovations make it to market, anyway? Devour this story on the origins of the flat iron steak to find out.
5 stories to catch you up quick
1️⃣ Twitter admitted that hackers successfully breached 130 accounts last week — and downloaded data from 8 of them.
2️⃣ Disney is joining the ranks of companies cutting back their Facebook ad spending.
3️⃣ TikTok pumped the brakes on talks to move the HQ of its non-China business to London, in the latest sign of tensions between the UK and Beijing.
4️⃣ Fore: The driving-range company Topgolf is in talks to go public.
5️⃣ Coursera, a pioneer in the world of huge, free online courses, raised another $130m in funding.
And 5 more to delight you
1️⃣ Good luck taking pics of these bad boys: “Vantafish” absorb 99.95% of the light projected onto them.
2️⃣ The summer box office is usually full of flashy action movies. But this year, the top grossers are… low-budget horror flicks.
3️⃣ How the maraschino cherry took over the world, from cocktail bars to ice-cream shops.
4️⃣ Now you can wear a Rembrandt: The newest museum souvenir is the painting-themed mask.
How do you keep 6 feet of #socialdistance in the office?
Let’s be real, planning desk space for your office was already a huge headache.
Then, a pandemic walked in, whirled around like a tornado, and said “if you’re bringing people back, they have to stay 6 feet apart at all times.”
In other words, figuring out who sits where when is gonna be even trickier for a while.
Everything you need to stay 6 feet away — no yardsticks required
Robin is a clever workplace experience tool that makes a safe return to the office a total breeze. With Robin, you can:
- Map out a socially-distanced floor plan
- Experiment with new seating arrangements
- Easily share seating updates with your team
- Give everyone a living map of your latest layout (complete with daily desk reservations)
The end result? Safe, socially-distant collaboration for all the teams in your office.
If that sounds up your alley, we’ve got more good news — attend a demo of Robin and you’ll get a $50 Amazon gift card (terms apply, of course).
The stan accounts trying to rescue discontinued foods
2015 was a dark time for Panera die-hards. That year, the chain axed one its most beloved lunch staples — the chipotle chicken panini.
Fans were outraged. So they launched a website, Bring Back The Original Chipotle Chicken Panini, where they encouraged other Panera partisans to call customer support and demand the sandwich’s prompt return.
“Tears have been shed, glass ornaments have been shattered,” the homepage says, “and Panera has lost hundreds of dollars in revenue from just our team here.”
The wide world of snack revivalists
The chipotle chicken panini is far from alone: Campaigns to resurrect Pizzaria chips, Swiss-cheese-flavored Cheez-Its, and Taco Bell’s Bell Beefer have popped up across Facebook.
One company, Canadian Candy Nostalgia, has turned it into a business — it’s buying up lapsed trademarks and recreating discontinued foods itself.
Don’t call them longshots
Internet campaigns have brought French Toast Crunch, Crispy M&Ms, and Crystal Pepsi back to the shelves.
But the story isn’t quite as bright for the chipotle chicken panini. In 2016, Panera did relaunch a spinoff of the beloved sandwich — but this time the chain added avocado.
The Bring Back The Original Chipotle Chicken Panini site left a scathing review: “In conclusion,” it wrote, “the Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt is disgusting.”
Does one of your favorite discontinued foods deserve a 2nd act? Tweet your faves to us at @TheHustle.
|THE BIG NUMBER|
You thought Tesla stock was flying high? Take a look at the rubber glove industry.
The Malaysia-based Supermax Corp, one of the biggest rubber glove makers in the world, has seen share prices jump more than 1000% this year. Another behemoth, Top Glove Corp, has grown 389%.
The Twitter thread we all needed today: Eldery people recreating famous album covers.
These 3 Zoom devices are changing the way we meet. Check out Neat’s flagship products right here to up your Zoom experience.*
*This is a sponsored post.
Each week at Trends, we write 3 signals. These Signals are emerging business opportunities that are poised to explode.
The criteria for signals is simple: data-backed, non-obvious, and most importantly… actionable. We show you what’s growing, why, and how you can take advantage of it.
So, my question for you: can you guess the signal below?
Did you know that Americans spend $50 billion a year on indoor plants?
We called this out in 2019. Our prediction was simple: in the next 3-5 years, we’ll see a handful of new direct-to-consumer startups that sell indoor plants to young people become billion dollar startups.
With houseplant interest at an all-time high, we showed how millions of people searched for specific plant varieties every single month (swiss cheese plants, amirite?) and how this space was ripe for digital disruption.
We followed up on this trend last week. So now for the fun. Which of two online plant companies have doubled their traffic since January? [Answer at the bottom of the email]
Were we right? Absolutely. It’s still booming.
You can read our first report and the follow up at Trends.
Also, here are a few recent Signals you’re missing out on:
- 🎽 An apparel fixture had its patent expire, with one company moving $3.2m per month
- 💊 What we can learn from a digital therapeutic that took 7 years to get FDA approval
- 📈 This industry has VCs changing tide, with funding growing from near-zero to $4.4m in 2016
- ☕️ A coffee product that is giving the cronut a run for its money
- 🏃♀️ An activity that has over 9000 people running in circles
Want in on our full database of 100+? It only costs $1 to try it out.
A super-serious look at what’s coming your way, if stars align.
Major League Baseball’s pandemic-shortened season kicks off Thursday night.
The charts represents web traffic for The Sill and Bloomscape, two new indoor plant startups.
PS: We’re bringing in the Sill’s CEO and Founder, Eliza Blank, for a live Q&A next week. You can join us here.
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