Roblox is a monster

April 1st, 2024

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Human or robot? // Illustration by Kate Walker

It’s a new week… And if you need a detox from social media but still have things to share, then Palmsy may be right for you. The new social app lets you post text and photos and rack up those sweet likes… but it’s all fake. The engagement is all artificial, but the dopamine hits are real. As a society, we may have a bit of a problem.

In other news… OpenAI clones your voice, Warner Bros. gamifies Godzilla, and Beyoncé wins the Spotify rodeo.

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LATEST PODCAST EPISODE

March 28, 2024

Today we get into how the fashion industry is struggling to find buyers and investors, the popularity of March Madness, and how albums are now franchises.

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🤖 Amazon increased its stake in OpenAI-rival Anthropic by $2.75 billion for a total of $4 billion — the most Amazon has ever invested in another company. Read More → wsj

🤠 Beyoncé’s Cowboy Carter became Spotify’s most-streamed album in a single day this year after it dropped Friday — a first for a country album in 2024. Read More → thr

📰 Meta is finally turning the lights off on Facebook News after pulling its news features in several countries over the past few years. Read More → fastcompany

📱 YouTube is allowing creators to put Shorts behind a paywall with a new feature called “Members Only.” Read More → tubefilter

👔 LinkedIn is testing a TikTok-like vertical video feed in its push to become the suit-and-tie social media king. Read More → techcrunch

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.A WORD FROM OUR FRIENDS AT KOI CBD.

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.ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE.

Open AI mimics human voices

The Future. OpenAI revealed a new tool dubbed “Voice Engine,” which can clone a person’s voice using only a 15-second recording. Coupled with its video-generator, Sora, Voice Engine could give people the power to become a one-stop production studio… for better or worse.

Clone generator
Open AI is mastering mimicry.

  • Users will be able to upload a recording with text of whatever they want to say, and the system will spit out a synthetic reading in their voice… in almost any language.

  • The tool isn’t available to the public yet (just like Sora) as the company gathers tests on how the tech can be abused. (Hint: there are a lot of ways…)

  • OpenAI said that it was working on a way to watermark synthetic voices and add security layers that prevent people from cloning the voices of politicians or other public figures.

The system is currently testing with a handful of companies, such as Spotify (which has used the tool to translate podcasts from creators like Lex Fridman) and Norman Prince Neurosciences Institute (which used it to replicate the voice of a patient who lost her voice due to a brain tumor). Those are definitely positives.

Not so positive: OpenAI is already asking banks to find an alternative to customers using voice authentication to access accounts… for the obvious reasons.

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.GAMING.

Courtesy of Roblox

Roblox sends the kids to Skull Island

The Future. Warner Bros. took its trailer for Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire to the next level by making it an interactive game on Roblox. It’s been successful in capturing players’ attention and may set a course for Hollywood to have a dedicated marketing strategy for platforms like Roblox, Fortnite, Minecraft, and other metaverse-like platforms in order to reach Gen Z.

Monster marketing
Hollywood advertising is getting gamified.

  • Warner Bros. released Godzilla x Kong Obby on Roblox two weeks before this past weekend’s release of the new Monsterverse sequel.

  • The interactive experience allowed players to “enter the 2D video and come out in the movie’s world of Hollow Earth,” per Variety.

  • Players could then navigate an obstacle course as Suko (the adorable Mini-Kong in the movie) to collect movie-themed crystals.

The game has reportedly been a hit for both Warner Bros. and Roblox. Users spent an average of eight minutes playing, and a survey found that a vast majority of players was more likely to go see the movie (or ask their parents to take them) after playing the game.

With the movie opening to $194 million worldwide, the game looks to have been part of a winning marketing strategy.

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.A WORD FROM OUR FRIENDS AT VINOVEST.

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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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