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Digital Insights - 17 March 2023

Need to know

  • Gary Lineker forces BBC review of social media guidelines

  • Microsoft’s Satya Nadella announces AI-powered Office in a LinkedIn Live

  • Big tech job cuts continue

  • Open AI announces GPT-4

Executive Leadership on Social Media

Open AI CEO takes to Twitter to announce GPT-4

  • Racking up over 3.7M views and over 25K engagements, Open AI’s CEO Sam Altman took to Twitter to share the latest iteration of Chat GPT, opening the floor for feedback and improvements to the tool.

  • In OpenAI’s latest step in scaling up deep learning GPT-4 now accepts image alongside text inputs, exhibiting human-level performance on various professional and academic benchmarks – you can now ask GPT-4 questions about an image and receive a detailed analysis.

  • Although Altman sought to temper expectations, noting “it is still flawed, still limited, and it still seems more impressive on first use than it does after you spend more time with it”, he went on to add that “it is more creative than previous models, it hallucinates significantly less, and it is less biased. it can pass a bar exam and score a 5 on several AP exams. there is a version with a 32k token context”

  • From completing taxes to turning a simple sketch into a website, GPT-4 can now generate up to 25,000 words and new possibilities for users on the waitlist and in ChatGPT+.

Microsoft’s Satya Nadella announces AI-driven Office suite

  • On Thursday, Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella took to LinkedIn Live to announce the company’s plans to integrate AI into their Office suite including Word, PowerPoint and Excel.

  • In the announcement, Nadella compared the new AI-driven era to “seminal moments” like the advent of the personal computer and the introduction of the world wide web.

  • Nadella praised the ever increasing “symbiotic relationship” between people and technology, claiming with this latest generation of AI the technology is moving from “autopilot to co-pilot”. As such, Microsoft have dubbed the new features “Copilot”.

  • Nadella also briefly touched upon the ethics of AI, reminding audiences that it can be influenced by individuals and so we all have a “collective obligation” to use such tools responsibly.

  • Microsoft has said that the new Copilot in Word feature will give people a “first draft to edit and iterate on — saving hours in writing, sourcing, and editing time.” While PowerPoint will be able to automatically generate slides that use imagery spooled from a person’s Microsoft OneDrive storage account for compelling visuals, and Outlook will help people to more easily draft emails.

  • Throughout the LinkedIn Live Nadella and the product leads were keen to emphasise that AI can be wrong and that humans should always check any AI-generated content for errors.

  • Microsoft also did not state when the new Copilot features would debut and what the pricing would be.


Heinz launches tomato awareness campaign in Fortnite

  • Heinz launched a tomato awareness campaign called "SOS Tomatoes" in the popular multiplayer video game Fortnite, specifically targeting a Gen Z and Gen Alpha audiences.

  • The campaign replicated one of Heinz’s tomato farms to highlight the issue of declining soil quality worldwide.

  • The Fortnite map features greenhouses and fields, showcasing the tomato plant growth process and promoting Heinz's sustainability efforts. It additionally includes a Twitch activation.

  • The campaign is part of Heinz’ effort to highlight its ambition to source 100% sustainably grown tomatoes for ketchup globally by 2025 and reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

  • Previously, Unilever’s Hellmans mayonnaise ran a similar activation to highlight the issue of food waste, hosting an island in a different popular video game, Animal Crossing.

Gary Lineker forces BBC review of social media guidelines

  • On 7 March, former football player and mainstay presenter on the BBC’s Match of the Day, Gary Lineker tweeted his opposition to the UK government’s proposed Illegal Migration Bill, stating “Good heavens, this is beyond awful” and in a follow up tweet compared the rhetoric used by the government to 1930s Nazi Germany.

  • In response to the tweets the BBC suspended Lineker for breaching impartiality rules.

  • Both Lineker’s tweets and the BBC’s response caused considerable outrage online and in the press - divided along political lines. With the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, and the leader of the opposition Kier Starmer both weighing in on the debate.

  • A YouGov snap poll on 11 March revealed 53% of the British public thought the BBC was wrong to force Lineker to step down. While Lineker’s co-presenters stepped back from their roles in protest of the BBC’s actions.

  • On Monday following talks with BBC bosses Lineker was unsuspended from his role.

  • The BBC’s director general Tim Davie said the situation brought to light “grey areas of the BBC’s social media guidance.”

  • In 2020, the BBC revised its 2019 guidelines after a row over “virtue signalling”.

  • Following this incident, the BBC will launch an independent review of its social media guidelines, although who will lead the review is currently unclear.

  • On his reinstatement Lineker took to Twitter again to thank his supporters and again highlighted the challenges that refugees face.

  • The situation echoes 2017 where the US sports giant ESPN revamped its guidelines in 2017 after suspending sports anchor Jemele Hill for tweeting that then-president Donald Trump was racist.

Not just Microsoft Office: LinkedIn introduces AI-Powered features for profile optimisation and job listings

  • LinkedIn is rolling out AI features to help users improve professional profiles and assist companies in creating better job descriptions.

  • The AI analyses user-provided information and generates personalised headlines and summaries for better first impressions in search results.

  • This feature will be available to select Premium subscribers initially, with a broader rollout planned in the upcoming months.

  • An AI-powered job description generator will help employers craft job descriptions based on job title, company name, workplace type, job type, and location, and will become available to select job posters in the US, India, UK, Canada, and Australia.

  • In support, LinkedIn Learning is offering over 100 free AI courses until 15 June 2023, covering various AI-related topics to help users become more efficient in their work.

Big tech job cuts continue

  • This week Meta, the company that owns Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, announced 10,000 job cuts in the second series of mass redundancies from the tech giant, which laid off 11,000 employees in November 2022.

  • This follows Twitter’s recent announcement of a further 200 job cuts two weeks ago.

  • Twitter’s mass layoffs have reportedly caused confusion internally at the tech giant, with employees unsure of who they are reporting to or whether they even have jobs.

  • The confusion at Twitter was underlined last week, when Iceland’s person of the year, Haraldur Thorliefsson sought clarity with Elon Musk, Twitter’s owner, about whether he still had a job.

  • In response, Musk posted a series of irreverent (and allegedly discriminatory) Tweets to Thorliefsson’s question, however, he later apologised to the Icelandic tech founder after he met him via a video call to “figure out what's real vs what I was told.”

  • Making the most of the talented people leaving Twitter, Reddit hired Ex-Twitter Media Exec Sarah Rosen as Head of Content Partnerships.

China’s Baidu launches its answer to Chat GPT – Ernie Bot

  • CEO of Chinese tech giant Baidu, Robin Li, showcased his company’s Large Language Model chatbot Ernie Bot at a conference in Beijing. Ernie Bot’s capabilities include writing copy, answering questions about Chinese literature, and generating multimedia responses.

  • The company planned for the mid-March release for months, but were overshadowed by the unexpected release of OpenAI’s GPT-4, drawing comparisons between the two tools.

  • The bot’s stand out feature is its multimodal output function which allows it to respond to queries with illustrations, audio and text. Other generative AI products such as Chat GPT and GPT-4 can currently only respond in text.

  • So far, Ernie Bot has only been made available to a small pool of Chinese creators. It is unclear whether the technology will be available for consumers and if it will be integrated into Baidu’s other products.

  • Li has stated the Ernie Bot “is not perfect” but that it would “impact every single company”. Its release has been criticised for feeling “rushed” and Baidu’s share price slipped 6.4% following its release but regained value on Friday 17th rising 14.3% in Hong Kong.

  • At the product’s launch Li compared Baidu to big tech firms in the West. “I can say Baidu is the first one among international tech giants to release [a ChatGPT alternative developed internally]. Microsoft just uses OpenAI access. Google, Meta, Amazon—none of these has released a product of the same kind and at the same level”. 

March 17, 2023
By Content Digital Data team
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