Technology * Innovation * Publishing Newsletter #285

Kathy Sandler
9 min readFeb 27, 2024


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While I focus on Technology, Innovation, and Publishing, because I have a platform, I also flag items that I think are important, which you might have missed, and try to include a bunch of resources & opportunities. I’d love to hear what you think of this newsletter.

Important Items

Tennessee governor signs bill allowing public officials to refuse to perform same-sex marriages


Breaking out of optimization

Smart thinking on innovation by @neilperkin

Google DeepMind alum unveil Bioptimus,aim to build 1st universal biology AI model

The new open science model will connect the different scales of biology with generative AI — from molecules to cells, tissues and whole organisms. Bioptimus unites a team of Google DeepMind alumni and Owkin scientists who will take advantage of AWS compute and Owkin’s data generation capabilities and access to multimodal patient data sourced from leading academic hospitals worldwide.

New model identifies drugs that shouldn’t be taken together

Using a machine-learning algorithm, researchers can predict interactions that could interfere with a drug’s effectiveness.

Lululemon is unveiling the world’s first nylon that has been recycled from nylon using enzymes

Over the past 5 years, Lululemon’s Align leggings and shirts have become a $1 billion business, and they make millions of them a year. The key ingredient is nylon, blended with lycra, both plastic-based materials, which will sit in landfills for centuries and break into microplastics in our oceans and food systems. Lululemon is unveiling a new material: the world’s first nylon that has been recycled with enzymes back into nylon, with a goal to build a circular system.


Dear AI community: Copyright law is serious business

The authors break down the NYT’s copyright lawsuit against OpenAI and warn the AI community to take note of previous copyright cases involving music startup and Google Books

Adobe Acrobat adds generative AI to ‘easily chat with documents’

AI Assistant in Acrobat can recommend questions that you may have about the contents of a document and then answer those inquiries so you don’t have to rummage through the file.

New York Times Plans Generative AI Ad Tool

The New York Times is recruiting partners to test new ad-targeting solutions using generative AI, beginning next quarter.

Publishers test new Offerwall monetization tool from Google

It lets audiences unlock access to content on their websites by selecting from a range of options such as buying a subscription, viewing a video ad, sharing data, or purchasing short-term access.

Windows getting its own Magic Eraser to AI-modify your photos

Google and Samsung aren’t the only ones- they’re table stakes for Windows PCs too. Microsoft has just announced Generative erase, which lets you do similar things in Photos app bundled w Windows

The women in AI making a difference

Smile: AI will analyze you during this meeting

A few months ago, apps like Otter and Firefly started appearing in more meetings. Now there’s a bloom of similar apps. I’ve turned up to Zoom meetings where AI bots have outnumbered the humans

Meta’s new AI model learns by watching videos

“I analyzed 5M freelancing jobs to see what jobs are being replaced by AI”

LinkedIn predicts that the jobs of 55% of the platform’s users will be impacted in some way by the adoption of generative AI

HT @neilperkin Notably ‘solidly middle-class’ workers.

Microsoft, Google, Amazon and tech peers sign pact to combat election-related misinformation

A group of 20 leading tech companies has announced a joint commitment to combat AI misinformation in this year’s elections.

Gab’s Racist AI Chatbots Have Been Instructed to Deny the Holocaust

The proliferation of generative AI chatbots on extremist platforms could lead to increased radicalization, experts warn.

Pinterest Launches Its First Streaming Show Under Former YouTube Content Execs

Pinterest is creating its own streaming programming with the launch of a new series called “Deliciously Entertaining.”

Walmart to buy TV maker Vizio for $2.3 billion in move to grow its ad business

Walmart touted the potential to boost its ad business through Vizio’s SmartCast Operating System, which allows users to stream free ad-supported content on their TVs.

Apple’s future wearables may include AI-powered smart glasses + AirPods w cameras

Smart glasses would be angled as AirPods stand-ins w more sensors, AI features, + longer-lasting batteries. AirPods would have embedded, low-res cameras paired w AI

Apple releases free new sports app for iPhones

Apple is releasing a free iPhone app for tracking sports scores, its latest effort to become a major provider of sports content and news.

Google is sunsetting the Google Pay app in the US later this year

Google has announced that Google Pay is shutting down in the United States in June, as the standalone app has largely been replaced by Google Wallet.

My Comments Are in the Google Doc Linked in the Dropbox I Sent in the Slack

HT @liahaberman For a laugh!

Publishing & Media

Vice Site to Shut Down, New Owners Prepare to Slash What’s Left of Its Work Force

Vice Media, which emerged from bankruptcy last year, is planning to cut hundreds of its more than 900 employees.

American Library Association’s $7 million fund is supports libraries in small and rural communities

Since 2014, ALA has operated the Libraries Transforming Communities program, which provides grants to libraries to bolster their roles as community centers. “It started off as a need to shift public discourse away from libraries as institutions in crisis and as a way for us to facilitate them as agents of change.” Among the grant recipients so far: A Pennsylvania library studying how to support autistic patrons; a Kansas library addressing community illiteracy and dyslexia; and an Iowa library, looking to install a chair lift at its facility, which serves as the town storm shelter.

Book Résumés

RT @UABookBans 📚 NEW: BOOK RÉSUMÉS! In collaboration w/publishers, librarians, and @sljournal, #UniteAgainstBookBans is launching our FREE book résumé collection to help librarians, educators, parents, students, and other advocates keep challenged books on shelves

Maryland Introduces Freedom to Read Act

HT @veronikellymars

Washington state pushes back on book bans

RT @ALALibrary Washington state legislators want to pass a law this year that would slow conservative efforts to ban books in local classrooms and school libraries.

West Virginia House passes bill allowing prosecution of librarians

HT @PublishersWkly

Resources & Opportunities

WMG 50th Anniversary Gala

Can’t wait to celebrate these award winners at WMG’s 50th Anniversary Gala at the New-York Historical Society on 3/25! Sign up today!!

Ask An Agent Anything

RT @WMG_NYC Join us on Feb 27, 6–7:30 PM to explore publishing trends with seasoned literary agents in fiction, YA, cookbooks & more. Connect with experts, learn about wish lists, and discover how your skills fit in. Free for WMG members; $15 for non-members.

Propel Yourself to Success with Po-Ling Power

Don’t we all want to achieve success and inspire others we admire and respect to do the same? Betty Ng, CEO, author, public speaker, and co-founder of the Asian American Authors Book Club, will introduce us to the Po-Ling Power framework — a decision, evaluation, and measurement tool that will help you set goals, stay focused, and analyze and make decisions.

AI Reporting Grants

MT @pulitzercenter Are you interested in holding AI accountable? Report on the impact of AI systems on communities globally. We are seeking stories on AI supply chains, disinformation, warfare, and more. Apply now for a Pulitzer Center AI reporting grant!

2024 WNDB Black Creatives Revisions Workshop

MT @diversebooks Attention Black Writers‼️ Applications are now open for the Revisions Workshop! 10 writers will revise their manuscript with guidance from an author mentor and have the opportunity to have their novels submitted to a team of editors at Penguin Random House. #teamPRH

Black Music Action Coalition, Live Nation Create Live-Music Career Course and Paid Internship Program

Night of Ideas in 20 Cities

MT @villa_albertine March 1: Night of Ideas comes to Jersey City! 🌃 This free, late night event addresses urban growth and the future of cities with debates, workshops, and multimedia pop-ups. An annual global happening, Night of Ideas takes place in 20 US cities.

Flaco, the Eurasian Eagle Owl, Has Died

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Kathy Sandler

Sr Mgr, Content Applications, Penguin Random House * Innovation * Technology * Publishing * Opinions expressed are my own