Chief AI Officer

January 30th, 2024

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Did you know, on this day in 2020, Coronavirus was declared a public health emergency of international concern by the World Health Organization? Think about that one for a moment…

In other news… the Chief AI Officer is now a thing, Saudi Arabia is a luxury travel destination, and some movies are getting cut up into TV shows.

Top Trends

X → Dune

Google → Suicide Squad 

Reddit → Tom Selleck

TikTok → “prove it”

Spotify → “Stay Cool”

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New member at the all-hands // Illustration by Kate Walker

AI generates a new C-suite role

The Future. The explosive popularity of AI has prompted organizations across every industry to open up the buzziest position in the office: the Chief AI Officer. Echoing the implementation of the Chief Technology Officer in the ‘80s, the CAIO will likely become a permanent fixture in the C-suite… but don’t be surprised if one firm tries to make headlines by installing a chatbot in the role.

System supervision
Everybody wants a piece of the AI goldmine.

  • Equifax credit bureau, Mayo Clinic, Ashley Furniture, The New York Times, and 400 federal agencies are just some of the organizations that have hired or are looking for an AI leader.

  • An AI forum on Glassdoor last year had 122 people with the job title of “Chief” or “VP of AI” join — a huge jump from the 19 who attended in 2022.

  • The roles, which can command compensation packages of over $1 million, are focused on company-wide implementation of the tech, experimenting with emerging systems, and navigating evolving risk factors.

As AI is all the rage, the metaverse is on the fritz. Many metaverse lead roles have vanished from high-profile firms (Disney, CAA, Procter & Gamble), while the term “metaverse” was only mentioned twice last year in the quarterly earnings reports of all the S&P 500 companies.

No wonder so many Chief Metaverse Officers are trying to rebrand as Chief AI Officers.

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Trojena // Courtesy of NEOM

Saudi Arabia turns to tourism for a reputation reboot

The Future. Saudi Arabia hopes that exorbitant spending on cutting-edge construction projects will remake the country as the luxury travel destination of the Middle East. That’s a tall order. But by seemingly catering to young and wealthy Chinese, British, Indian, and Australian travelers, The Kingdom could become, well, a mecca for the experience economy.

Polished up
Saudi Arabia has been on a check-writing spree in its quest to attract 100 million foreign and domestic visitors by 2030, per Forbes.

  • Projects include a futuristic city for 600,000 people built around gaming (Qiddiya), a ski resort in the middle of the desert (Trojena), 50 resorts built across a 22-island archipelago (The Red Sea), and a $5 billion theme park built on an oil platform (The Rig).

  • The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) estimates that the country has already spent $800 billion on the projects, which are set to create one million new jobs.

  • But that’s a reasonable investment when the WTTC believes that, by 2032, tourism in the country should generate $169 billion towards its GDP — over 17% of its entire economy.

The tourism infrastructure projects — most falling under the massive NEOM development in the country’s northwest — is part of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030 plan, which aims to remake The Kingdom’s economy (less reliance on oil) and gain international soft power (sports, filmmaking).

That’s pretty wild for a country that didn’t really allow international tourists as recently as 2016.

So, now we want to hear from you…


We ask the hard-hitting questions.

Would you go to Saudi Arabia?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

51.3% of you voted Yes in yesterday’s poll: Are traditional publishing giants your go-to news sources?

“I don’t trust news on social media feeds like X, TikTok, Facebook, etc.”

Rolling Stone/Variety/Maxim/Inked... I believe they are published by existing publishers unless it’s changed.”

“They got so biased, woke, and the amount of fake news… I don’t trust any of the media outlets.”

The WSJ is my go-to news source.”

“I read a huge amount of news from diverse sources all day long mostly focused on green and social issues. I would not rely on AI to curate my newsfeed ever.”

“Reporting the news has obviously changed dramatically. It’s the influencers’ influence!”

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Snipping Australia // Illustration by Kate Walker

Streaming remakes movies into shows

The Future. Last year, two movies were re-edited and re-released as high-profile streaming series, blurring the line between the two formats. If more filmmakers take on similar experiments, under-the-radar indies and box office bombs could get second chances at becoming hits on the small screen… and give streamers a cheap way to license “new” titles.

Runtime marathon
Younger audiences are more likely to binge hours of a show than watch a long movie… so some films are adapting.

  • Faraway Downs is actually a re-edited and expanded version of Baz Luhrmann’s 2008 epic, Australia. It premiered as a six-part series on Hulu.

  • BlackBerry, directed by Matt Johnson, premiered as a film early last year and then was cut up and expanded into a three-part series on AMC in the US six months later.

These titles aren’t the first to re-release as series (Ingmar Bergman’s Scenes from a Marriage did it back in 1973), but this may be the first time that they were done with such radical ambitions.

  • Luhrmann took the footage he shot and constructed a “significant” new plot for the series.

  • Johnson and his team always planned for the dual release to create two separate revenue streams.

And, yes, the original movies are still widely available to watch. Could this be a new lane in the streaming economy?

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The best curated daily stories from around the web

Media, Music, & Entertainment

  • The SmartLess podcast — the interview series hosted by Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, and Sean Hayes — has inked a $100 million, multi-year deal with SiriusXM. Read More → thr

  • Ted Lasso was the most-watched original streaming series in the US last year, according to Nielsen, clocking in at 16.9 billion minutes watched. Read More → deadline

  • Netflix added “generative AI” as a risk factor that could negatively impact the company’s business in its annual report filed with the SEC. Read More → variety

Fashion & E-Commerce

  • Walmart is a great deal for those who don’t have a college degree — store managers can now make up to $400,000 in total annual compensation. Read More → wsj

  • Elijah Wood’s SpectreVision has partnered with the original Mondo team to launch a new art and collectibles venture called Mutant. Read More → variety

  • Dior is setting sail into the experience economy with a spa cruise on the Seine in France. Read More → hypebeast

Tech, Web3, & AI

  • Taylor Swift may have inadvertently created a paradigm shift in how aggressively AI companies and social platforms crack down on sexually explicit deepfakes. Read More → variety

  • Major music labels aren’t too happy with how YouTube trained its AI-powered “Dream Track” feature. Read More → tubefilter

  • Amazon is no longer acquiring Roomba-maker iRobot, which set off a wave of layoffs at the Massachusetts-based company. Read More → insider

Creator Economy

In partnership with Shareholder Vote Exchange

  • Reddit hopes to IPO at a minimum of $5 billion when the offering launches in March. Read More → bloomberg

  • “Chicken Shop Date’s” Amelia Dimoldenberg has been tapped to serve as the social media ambassador and red carpet correspondent for this year’s Academy Awards. Read More → variety

  • People can’t stop livestreaming themselves getting fired… and people can’t stop watching them. Read More → axios

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Today’s email was written by David Vendrell.
Edited by Boye Akolade. Copy edited by Kait Cunniff.
Published by Darline Salazar.

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