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How tech and AI can mitigate supply-chain crises.
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May 24, 2024

Tech Brew

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It’s Friday. Hey there! Like you, we’re counting down the hours till quitting time so we can get a head start on our three-day weekend. We’ll be off on Monday for Memorial Day, but worry not: We’ll be back in your inbox on Wednesday. Have a lovely holiday weekend!

In today’s edition:

Jordyn Grzelewski, Kelcee Griffis, Patrick Kulp, Annie Saunders

FUTURE OF TRAVEL

Challenging logistics

Illustration of a container ship. Alex Castro

The coronavirus pandemic. Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping routes. The Baltimore bridge collapse.

This is merely an abbreviated list of events the automotive industry and its byzantine supply chains have weathered in the last few years. Individually, they are challenging; taken together, they reflect what one expert told Tech Brew is the auto industry’s “decentralization and fragmentation” and the need to overhaul logistics strategies as a result.

“Automotive is a far cry from the Model T days where they had vertical integration all the way back to the trees for the rubber,” said Jason Clark, global VP of manufacturing and energy for supply-chain management company Exiger. “We’ve gone to the opposite end of that spectrum…and now we’re feeling the pain of that as geopolitical tensions as well as some of these supply-chain shocks highlight the fragility of the network.”

But thanks to emerging technological capabilities and a heightened focus on supply-chain management in the wake of the pandemic, businesses may be better positioned to weather these types of crises.

Keep reading here.—JG

   

PRESENTED BY SAP

Resilient supply chain? Check

SAP

Resilience and agility take the spotlight as a top priority for mid-market decision-makers. However, many businesses admit they’re falling short of achieving these objectives.

That’s where GROW with SAP can help. Their cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution helps SMBs:

  • Enhance decision-making by gaining complete visibility into global supply-chain movements, risks, and performance.
  • Manage the movement of goods from production to sale.
  • Speed up daily activities and know when to make decisions with embedded AI capabilities.

By leveraging data-driven insights, you can optimize your relationships with suppliers and boost performance across your entire supply chain. In short: Say goodbye to last-minute scrambles and low visibility.

Get started.

CONNECTIVITY

Shields down

Illustration of customer leaving online reviews Thapana Onphalai/Getty Images

It’s time to plan your summer vacation! You already booked your plane tickets to Greece, so now you need to find things to do. You open Tripadvisor to choose an Athens walking tour and browse Yelp for kid-friendly restaurants near the Acropolis. The photos are idyllic, but strangely…so are the reviews. All of them.

Sharing and comparing negative feedback with more positive reviews is an important part of making decisions in the internet era, said Laura Bisesto, board of directors chair for trade association Internet Works. But a recent proposal to phase out Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act could gut the objectivity of review websites and incentivize companies to scrub all negative content for fear of legal liability, she told us.

“We came together because we all rely on Section 230 and intermediary liability protections to ensure that we can have these niche sites and niche offerings, and that we can have things like bad reviews, or good reviews organized in a certain way,” Bisesto said of the trade group, which represents small and midsize web platforms including Tripadvisor, Yelp, Etsy, Glassdoor, and Indeed.

Keep reading here.—KG

   

AI

On a roll

An Nvidia logo on a computer chip. Nurphoto/Getty Images

The generative AI wave is still minting money for Nvidia, which has come to be seen as a bellwether for the longevity of hype around the budding technology.

Nvidia execs played up that role in an earnings call this week, touting the success of AI frontrunners—and Nvidia customers—like OpenAI, Google, and Meta in turning AI into a durable business. The company continued its year-long winning streak with a 262% YoY jump in revenue to $26 billion and a profit increase of more than 600% from the same period last year to $14.88 billion.

Nvidia’s ongoing success is fueled by companies of all kinds—but especially cloud giants—continuing to pour funds into building out an infrastructure to train and run massive foundation models. CEO Jensen Huang refers to these advanced data centers as “AI factories” of the “next industrial revolution.”

Nvidia CFO Colette Kress said cloud providers buying Nvidia chips are seeing an “immediate and strong return,” claiming that for every dollar they invest in hosting capabilities, they “have an opportunity to earn $5” in revenue over four years. And Microsoft and Google did indeed post strong cloud revenues this quarter, pointing to an ongoing business appetite for AI tools.

Keep reading here.—PK

   

TOGETHER WITH KICKBOX

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BITS AND BYTES

Stat: 2 billion. That’s how many visits to ChatGPT’s site are expected in May, according to data from SimilarWeb. That’s up from 1.8 billion visits in May 2023, the previous high.

Quote: “The ‘i’ branding is a hallmark of the Steve Jobs era…The newer names—like the Apple Watch and the Apple Vision Pro—show a strategic evolution. Apple didn’t announce they’d dropped the ‘i,’ they just haven’t said anything about it. The brand isn’t ‘i,’ the brand is Apple.”—Anton Perreau, of US/UK communications agency Battenhall, to Wired in a story about Apple’s longtime use of the “i” prefix in its branding

Read: OpenAI just gave away the entire game (The Atlantic)

Stay agile: With real-time transactional data from GROW with SAP on your team, you can react to unexpected supply-chain changes ASAP. Real-time inventory + materials flow analysis helps keep efficiency up and costs down. Learn more.*

*A message from our sponsor.

COOL CONSUMER TECH

Image of a magnifying glass over the words fact/fake. Microstockhub/Getty Images

Usually, we write about the business of tech. Here, we highlight the *tech* of tech.

In search of truth: It’s no secret that we’ve abandoned Google in favor of Kagi to improve our ability to search the internet. But if you’re not willing to pony up $10 a month, there are ways to avoid, uh, questionable results in Google’s “AI Overview,” if not the slew of ads at the top of every search. The Verge has a servicey little piece about how to get around potentially unhelpful AI-juiced search results.

Would you pay a monthly fee for AI-lexa to set you a kitchen timer? Amazon is betting so. CNBC reported this week that the e-commerce giant plans to overhaul Alexa with AI—and charge users a fee to offset the cost of adding the tech to its virtual assistant.

JOBS

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