This was not written by GPT-3


July 20, 2020

The new AI language model set the Twittersphere on fire.
July 20, 2020
The Hustle
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Robin

You don’t need a billion bucks to own a private island. One Canadian couple has spent 3 decades floating on a DIY compound they’ve named Freedom Cove.

The floating residence includes an art gallery, dance floor, greenhouses, and solar panels — plus a waterfall that produces running water. 

The couple who built it couldn’t afford their own real estate, they told CNN. “So we had to make our own.”

With outings to other islands pretty much off the table right now, it sounds like the perfect getaway.

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. 

Sam, look away.

Trung’s take

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*

More seriously, the potential threat of general AI is grounded in something more (seemingly) benign than killer robots (read: The Paperclip Maximizer article and — for a deeper dive — this book). 

The purpose of OpenAI is to ensure the development of AI “benefits all of humanity.” Fingers crossed.

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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.

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Snippets

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.

5️⃣  If you haven’t yet experienced Susan Orlean’s hilarious Twitter bender, go here to witness it for yourself. Then read her interview with the LA Times — she ain’t got no regrets.

SPONSORED

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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. 

Which means it’s time to talk to our old friend Robin. 

Everything you need to stay 6 feet away — no yardsticks required

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  • 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).

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Zombie Snacks

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.

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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%.

(Source: Bloomberg

Readers Sound Off

We asked, you answered: What are the rewards of taking risks?

Startup life is about breaking things ’til they’re fixed.

Until we chatted with Waymo’s Julianne McGoldrick, we’d never heard it expressed so elegantly. 

She got us thinking about lessons we learn from our struggles. We asked our Hustle Ambassadors about the rewards that come from taking risks.

Down but not out

Ed W. quit his job and poured his savings into a building supply company. Things fell apart as Ed and his business partner struggled to raise capital. Five years later, they filed for bankruptcy. 

“Lessons learned prepared me for my current GM role with an outstanding company that allows me tremendous freedom,” Ed told us.

Worth its weight in candy and confetti

Brit M. took a job at Halloween City after 5 months of applying for communications jobs.

“I got used to working within a team, prioritizing tasks, sticking up for myself…  and just showing up,” Brit said. Those values serve her well now that she’s landed a copywriting and editing job.

Give her the damn car back

Nicole H. was in over her head after she bought a restoration and construction company. 

On her first day, she said, a project manager shouted that he “didn’t have to &%$* listen to me.” He took off with a company car and didn’t answer her calls.

On top of that, the company was facing lawsuits and cash-flow problems.

Four years later, Nicole has a great team, cash on hand, no lawsuits… and she got that car back.

“I feel like I am just getting out of the tornado where I can actually look around and see the greatness,” she said.

Want to join the Hustle Ambassador party? Share your personal referral link with 3 friends — deets at the bottom of this email.

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The Hustle Says

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.*

Glossier has been one of the fastest-growing beauty companies of this decade. Wanna see what all the fuss is about? Start with Saturn Return or Fuzz Club, their 2 newest Colorslide gel eyeliner shades — silky smooth, versatile, and a breeze to apply. New customers get 10% off.*

*This is a sponsored post.

Guess the signal

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.

Check it out here → Hustle Horoscope

A super-serious look at what’s coming your way, if stars align.

Major League Baseball’s pandemic-shortened season kicks off Thursday night.

Prediction: Cardboard fans could make for the most enthusiastic Mets’ crowds in years.

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Riddle Answer

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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Today’s email was brought to you by Nick “Fishcakes” DeSantis, Bruce Wade Hughes (Rock and Roll Historian), Michael Waters, Caroline Dohack, Trung Phan, and Bobby Durben.

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