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Boston Dynamics unveils a new robot, MKBHD controversy and Tesla layoffs




Boston Dynamics unveils a new robot, MKBHD controversy and Tesla layoffs

Welcome, folks, to Week in Review (WiR), JS’s weekly news roundup. The weather is getting warmer – but not as hot as in the generative AI space, where a slew of new models have been released this week, including Meta’s Llama 3.

In other AI news, Hyundai’s robotics company Boston Dynamics unveiled an electric-powered humanoid follow-up to its long-running Atlas robot, which was recently retired. As Brian writes, the new robot – also called Atlas – has a friendlier, gentler design than both the original Atlas and more modern robots like the Figure 01 and Tesla Optimus.

Dom and Amanda briefly turned our attention to YouTube, writing about how Marques Brownlee (MKBHD), the famed gadget reviewer, shouldn’t be blamed for the fate of AI startup Humane AI, whose product, the Ai Pin, Brownlee had a scathing review from earlier this week. They point out that Humane is a well-financed company with plenty of money in the bank to burn, and say critics of Brownlee — who accuse him of being unfairly tough — have misplaced their anger.

And Rebecca and Sean report on layoffs at Tesla, which they say have hit top performers and devastated some departments. The cuts were largely due to poor financial performance; Tesla has seen its profit margin shrink in recent quarters as the electric car price war continues.

Much more happened. We’ll recap it all in this edition of WiR – but first a reminder to sign up to receive the WiR newsletter in your inbox every Saturday.


X costs for items: X CEO Elon Musk plans to charge new X users a small fee to enable posting on the social network, in an effort to curb what he describes as a “bot problem.”

Change ransomware: A racketeering group has published part of what it says are the personal and sensitive patient records of millions of Americans stolen in February’s ransomware attack on Change Healthcare.

Tesla adjusts prices: In more Tesla news, the automaker has removed price discounts on EV inventory in what CEO Elon Musk characterized as a move to “streamline” sales and delivery. Tesla also lowered the price of its advanced driver assistance package, Full Self-Driving, to $99 per month in the US.

March free for everyone: Devin reports that space startups are licking their lips over NASA’s decision to convert its $11 billion, 15-year mission to collect and return samples from Mars into an essentially free commercial mission.

Waymo issues: Six Waymo robotaxis blocked traffic entering a San Francisco driveway on Tuesday. This isn’t the first time Waymo vehicles have caused a roadblock, Rebecca notes, but this is the first documented incident involving a highway.


Google Cloud focuses on generative AI: Ron writes about how Google Cloud is investing heavily in generative AI, as evidenced by the series of announcements at Google’s Cloud Next conference earlier this month.

Generative AI in healthcare: Generative AI is coming to healthcare, but not everyone is excited. Some experts don’t think the technology is ready for prime time.

Airchat, to talk: Anthony cuts through the hype about Airchat, an app launched by former AngelList founder Naval Ravikant and ex-Tinder product manager Brian Norgard that focuses on voice, not text.