Technology * Innovation * Publishing Newsletter #294

Kathy Sandler
10 min readMay 21, 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

Women do ask!

MT @amydiehl Study finds 54% of graduating women MBAs (2015–2019) from top schools negotiated their salary vs 44% of men. But women were turned down more often than men & earned 22% less.

https://www.axios.com/2024/05/15/women-salary-negotiate-gender-pay-gap

Trump Pledges to End LGBTQ+ Protections “On Day One”

https://epgn.com/2024/05/15/trump-pledges-to-end-lgtbq-protections-on-day-one/

First case of human contracting bird flu from a dairy cow confirmed: ‘The virus has jumped’

MT @MeetJess Scientists have confirmed that, for the very first time, a human has contracted the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus — not from a bird, but a dairy cow.

https://www.thestar.com/news/first-case-of-human-contracting-bird-flu-from-a-dairy-cow-confirmed-by-officials-the/article_ad1055dc-12b7-11ef-add0-e782fe0897e8.html

Innovation

How NASA Is Hacking Voyager 1 Back to Life

NASA engineers managed to diagnose and repair Voyager 1 from 24B kilometers away — all while working within the constraints of the vintage tech. A lot of it was going back thru old memos, like an archeological dig to try & find info on the best way to proceed

https://spectrum.ieee.org/voyager-1

Airbnb “Icons” Brings Imagination to Life

The Up! House and The Musée d’Orsay are my favs! HT @FoSTorg The Up! House recreation is an exact replica of the house from the movie, down to the most minuscule detail. “We built the house down to its specific Pantone colors and weathering of the shingles to make sure it looks exactly like what was in that film.”

https://www.printmag.com/design-news/airbnb-icons/

Technology

USA Today is adding AI-generated summaries to its articles

Gannett is planning to launch a new program that will add AI-generated bullet points to the top of journalists’ stories.

https://www.theverge.com/2024/5/16/24158531/gannett-ai-generated-overviews-usa-today-memo

OpenAI strikes deal to bring Reddit content to ChatGPT

Ahead of Reddit’s IPO, Reuters reported that Reddit struck its deal with Alphabet, worth about $60 million per year.

https://www.reuters.com/markets/deals/openai-strikes-deal-bring-reddit-content-chatgpt-2024-05-16/

Nvidia, Databricks Sued in Latest AI Copyright Class Actions

HT @inkbitspixels Writer Andre Dubus III & Susan Orlean alleged Nvidia’s NeMo Megatron AI models were trained by copying their work. Authors Rebecca Makkai & Jason Reynolds filed a nearly-identical suit against Databricks Inc. over its MosaicML model

https://news.bloomberglaw.com/ip-law/nvidia-databricks-sued-in-latest-ai-copyright-class-actions

What Happens When a Romance Writer Gets Locked Out of Google Docs

HT @inkbitspixels In March, an aspiring author got a troubling message: All of her works in progress were no longer accessible. What happened next is every writer’s worst fear.

https://www.wired.com/story/what-happens-when-a-romance-author-gets-locked-out-of-google-docs/

Sony Music warns AI companies against unauthorized use of its content

Sony Music sent letters to >700 AI companies/streaming platforms & warned them against using its content without permission, which denies the label + artists control & compensation

https://www.theverge.com/2024/5/17/24158887/sony-music-ai-training-letter

Google upgrades search engine with ‘AI Overviews’ — risks revenue drain for media companies

Google has unveiled a major overhaul to its search engine that uses AI-generated summaries to displace the links to news stories.

https://nypost.com/2024/05/14/business/googles-alphabet-unveils-improved-ai-chatbot-gemini/

Some publishers worry about the impact of AI summaries in Google’s Search Generative Experience

Raptive estimates some may lose up to 60% of their traffic

https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2024/05/13/google-ai-search-io-sge/

Google’s invisible AI watermark will help identify generative text and video

Google’s SynthID watermarking tool can already detect AI-generated images and audio, and now it encompasses more media.

https://www.theverge.com/2024/5/14/24155927/google-ai-synthid-watermark-text-video-io

You can now search the web by uploading a video through Google Lens

It’s much easier to show a problem than to try and describe it in keywords, so Google’s AI will now let you do just that.

https://www.theverge.com/2024/5/14/24155318/google-lens-ai-video-search-multimodal-io

ChatGPT lets users upload from Google Drive and OneDrive directly

Once they’ve got access to the feature, ChatGPT Plus, Enterprise, and Teams users will only need to give the chatbot access to their Google Drive or OneDrive account.

https://www.theverge.com/2024/5/17/24158970/chatgpt-openai-google-drive-microsoft-onedrive-data

OpenAI’s custom GPT Store is now open to all for free

The company opened its GPT Store to paid subscribers just four months ago, and now it’s free for all. The store lets ChatGPT Plus subscribers create their own chatbots, called GPTs, and share them. Some of the trending bots right now include an image-generating bot, a chatbot called Consensus that’s geared toward helping with scientific research, and a logo-making bot. OpenAI said it would offer an engagement-based revenue sharing program for GPT builders.

https://www.theverge.com/2024/5/13/24155582/openai-custom-gpt-store-available-free-subscribers

ChatGPT is getting a Mac app

Users can ask ChatGPT questions about what’s on their screen and ChatGPT responds based on what it “sees.” Users can ask a question by using the Option + Space keyboard shortcut and take and discuss screenshots within the app

https://www.theverge.com/2024/5/13/24155573/chatgpt-app-desktop-mac

We have to stop ignoring AI’s hallucination problem

HT @michellemanafy AI might be cool, but it’s also a big fat liar, and we should probably be talking about that more.

https://www.theverge.com/2024/5/15/24154808/ai-chatgpt-google-gemini-microsoft-copilot-hallucination-wrong

AI Copilots Are Changing How Coding Is Taught

A vital expertise that students need to learn is problem decomposition. This is a skill to know early on because you need to break a large problem into smaller pieces that an LLM can solve.

https://spectrum.ieee.org/ai-coding

Art and Creativity Unleashed

Art is technology infused with human creativity. Via @rishad

https://open.substack.com/pub/rishad/p/art-and-creativity-unleashed

Meta adds more AI features for advertisers w new image+ text generation tools

Advertisers can upload reference images to create AI variations. AI to generate headlines based on ref text+create text overlays for images based on previous campaigns & products

https://digiday.com/media-buying/meta-adds-more-ai-features-for-advertisers-with-new-image-and-text-generation-tools/

Facebook News Site Referrals Have Fallen 50% In 1 Year

https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/395953/facebook-news-site-referrals-have-fallen-50-in-1.html

Yet Another NFT Copyright Failure

Studies found that almost no NFT projects were using the technology to transfer copyrights and attempts at enforcing creator royalties were dropped by large platforms. Via @plagiarismtodayhttps://www.plagiarismtoday.com/2024/05/07/yet-another-nft-copyright-failure/

How Perfectly Can Reality Be Simulated?

Unreal Engine near-photorealistic graphics, real-world physics, interactive virtual humans, and apps across film, architecture, & beyond. They study, scan, and simulate reality relentlessly. Quixel creates and sells digital assets — the objects, textures, and landscapes that compose the scenery and sensuous elements of video games, movies, and TV shows. It has the immodest mission to “scan the world.”

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2024/04/22/can-the-world-be-simulated

TikTok tests 60-minute video uploads as it continues to take on YouTube

This feature marks a shift from TikTok’s original format. The app allowed users to upload 15-second videos at launch, but TikTok has been increasing that limit over the past few years. It has slowly been embracing long-form content to take on one of its biggest competitors: YouTube.

https://techcrunch.com/2024/05/16/tiktok-upload-60-minute-videos/

Link Rot and Digital Decay on Government, News and Other Webpages

38% of webpages that existed in 2013 are no longer accessible a decade later. A quarter of all webpages that existed at one point between 2013 and 2023 are no longer accessible. 23% of news webpages contain at least one broken link. Site traffic doesn’t change this likelihood: news sites with a high level of site traffic and those with less are about equally likely to contain broken links.

https://www.pewresearch.org/data-labs/2024/05/17/when-online-content-disappears/

Publishing & Media

Inside libraries’ battle for better e-book access

HT @inkbitspixels A Connecticut bill to boost libraries’ bargaining power in e-book negotiations was tabled after a three-hour debate in the state House of Representatives. Similar bills are under consideration in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Seven states took up the issue this year, with about a dozen interested in doing so next year,

https://www.axios.com/2024/05/06/library-librarians-e-books-license-policies

AI Challenges, Freedom to Read Top AAP Annual Meeting Discussions

Strategies to rein in illegal copying of copyrighted materials by tech companies building AI tools and efforts to defend freedom of expression were front and center at the annual meeting of the Association of American Publishers, held on May 9.

https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/trade-shows-events/article/95032-ai-challenges-freedom-to-read-top-aap-annual-meeting-discussions.html

Book Business AI Showcase: Shimmr and Pix

In the 2nd of a series of articles spotlighting book business–related AI startups, PW looks at Shimmr, an automated book advertising service, and Likewise’s Pix, a chatbot and app that offers book recommendations

https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/digital/content-and-e-books/article/95034-book-business-ai-showcase-shimmr-and-pix.html?oly_enc_id=5912A6530889F3Z

3 Book Marketing Misconceptions and What to Do Instead

ICYMI via @janefriedman

https://janefriedman.com/3-book-marketing-misconceptions-and-what-to-do-instead/

Flood of Fake Science Forces Multiple Journal Closures

HT ⁦@publishingtrend ⁩Wiley to shutter 19 more journals, some tainted by fraud: Fake academic studies are turning the publishing industry on its head — forcing publishers to issue retractions and close journals. They are losing millions of dollars.

https://www.wsj.com/science/academic-studies-research-paper-mills-journals-publishing-f5a3d4bc?reflink=share_mobilewebshare

‘Real Simple’ Makes Buying Real Simple: Magazine Launches Shoppable Issue With Pinterest

Real Simple Launches Shoppable Issue With Pinterest featuring over 120 products.

https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/396082/real-simple-makes-it-real-simple-magazine-works-w.html

Apple, Netflix Amazon Want to Change How They Pay Hollywood Stars

The world’s largest streaming services looking to start paying talent based on how well their programs do. Hollywood is divided. Bonuses would be based on points system

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/newsletters/2024-05-12/apple-netflix-amazon-want-to-change-how-they-pay-hollywood-stars

Newspaper groups warn Apple over ad-blocking plans

British newspaper groups have warned Apple that any move to impose a “web eraser” tool to block ads would put journalism at risk.

https://www.ft.com/content/c6dcbe7b-eaf0-41d1-adb4-f9a68542e2cb

‘The Office’ reboot is about a dying newspaper. I’m not laughing.

The new Peacock reboot of NBC’s hit sitcom “The Office” will take place at a “dying Midwestern newspaper” that hires “volunteer reporters.”

https://www.thebaltimorebanner.com/opinion/column/the-office-reboot-peacock-journalism-4VSWNCADRRHBZAY3MBG6HY43L4/

The Cases Against Book Bans

After a string of wins, potentially significant developments now loom in several key book-banning lawsuits. PW rounded up the status of some of the more closely watched book banning cases.

https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/publisher-news/article/95030-the-cases-against-book-bans.html

Franklin County (NC) to eliminate school librarians next year

https://www.cbs17.com/news/local-news/franklin-county-to-eliminate-school-librarians-next-year/

Resources & Opportunities

A Power Hour Conversation with NPR’s Ayesha Rascoe

Includes her book “HBCU Made!” 6/6 6–7pm ET. Virtual. $25 for members, $30 for non-members.

https://www.womensmediagroup.org/event-5725930

Legal Vetting of Media Content: What You Need to Know Before You Publish

6/12 12–1pm ET. Virtual. Free for members, $15 for non-members.

https://www.womensmediagroup.org/event-5724449

Using Social Media to Grow Your Brand

With Lisa Durden from ABC News. 6/20 12–1pm ET. Virtual. Free for members, $15 for non-members.

https://www.womensmediagroup.org/event-5724468

North Star Fellowship

The North Star Fellowship is open to all Black, Brown, & Indigenous filmmakers + media artists worldwide. Selected fellows will gather for 1 wk in Maine for workshops, screenings, & excursions to gain new perspectives on the creative process. Deadline 6/3

https://pointsnorthinstitute.org/artist-programs/north-star-fellowship/

New Visions Award

MT @LEEandLOW Hey, #WriterCommunity! Have you submitted your MG or YA manuscript to our New Visions Award yet? Be sure to do so by 6/30. Don’t miss this opportunity to have your work considered for publication by a publisher that takes pride in nurturing new talent!

https://www.leeandlow.com/writers-illustrators/new-visions-award

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Kathy Sandler

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