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Does Generative AI = Cocaine Bear?

Marketing, Discussion, Employee Experience, Newsletter, Work Tech Trends, Work Tech Weekly
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Marketing, Discussion, Employee Experience, Newsletter, Work Tech Trends, Work Tech Weekly


It was a big week for AI with OpenAI’s surprise GPT-4 launch followed closely by Google’s answer, Bard. With all of that news, I can only think about one thing: Bears.

Some of it is the bear-ish financial news, but some of it is about actual bears. First, there’s the movie Cocaine Bear – which is tops at box office this month. Then there is Ben, the escape artist Andean Bear in St. Louis. It seems you can’t keep a good bear down.

All of this came to mind when a disturbing story emerged from a Stanford University professor who asked GPT-4 if it needed help escaping its computer. I mean, if we can’t even keep a 280-pound bear in its cage, what are we supposed to do about AI?

Now here’s the good news: I let ChatGPT pick my NCAA Tournament bracket. Based on those results, I don’t think we have anything to worry about.

What else is going on this week?


  • Tiger Global writes down venture fund bets by 33% in 2022. The investment firm, which has been a major Work Tech investor, erased $23 billion in value from Tiger’s giant holdings of startups around the globe. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Morgan Stanley: “High proportion” of startups could fold by year’s end. (MarketWatch)
  • Rippling raises $500 million Series E. Turns out the SVB crisis presented the company with an opportunity that’s actually improved its market position. (TechCrunch)
  • Gravie raises $179 million in growth equity. Minneapolis startup offers an employer health benefits platform. (FinSMEs)
  • Rain raises $116 million in equity and debt. The LA startup offers financial wellness products for employees. (FinSMEs)
  • Medwing raises €44 million Series C. The Berlin startup offers a digital HR management platform for healthcare. (FinSMEs)
  • Wingspan raises $14 million Series A. The NYC startup offers a payroll platform purpose-built for flexible workforces. (TechCrunch)
  • Elate raises $4.9 million Series A. The Indianapolis startup offers cloud-based strategic planning software. (FinSMEs)
  • FrontM raises $1.5 million in venture funding. The London and India-based startup offers a collaboration software platform for the maritime industry. (FinSMEs)
  • Upduo secures $4 million seed round. The San Francisco startup helps teams leverage peer-to-peer learning. (Press Release)
  • AG5 raises €6 million in venture funding. The Dutch startup offers a skills and training management platform for the manufacturing industry. (
  • Entre raises $1.6 million seed round. The Austin startup is developing a networking platform providing a community-focused alternative to existing professional networking apps. (FinSMEs)

Work Tech events, 2023

Conferences are back in full swing post-2020. If you’re attending or exhibiting at an event this year, you ought to get the most out of it that you can. Wondering what to do? Take a look at our latest e-book, Know Before You Show: The big book of Work Tech events, 2023, for survey results from Work Tech leaders and hot takes from our SMEs. Check it out!

MICROPODCAST: What’s the point of SEO?

Straight from the team of experts at our full-service CX agency: Matt Tatum discusses 
SEO Strategy
 with our resident SEO expert, Brandy McGeehan. How should marketers think about SEO and SEM?

Check out the micropodcast!

Industry notes

  • Mercer appoints Jason Averbook as Senior Partner. (PeopleMatters)
  • Open AI founder Sam Altman admits that he is a little bit scared of ChatGPT and worries it will “eliminate many jobs.” (Business Insider)
  • Layoffs at Indeed (2,200 employees/15% of workforce), Workhuman (130/10%), and Xing (58/ND).
  • Microsoft details how Generative AI will change Office apps. (Axios)
  • CoachHub showcases coaching effectiveness with its Advanced Insights Hub. (Press Release)
  • LMS365 strengthens the employee learning experience with upcoming LinkedIn Learning integration. (Press Release)
  • Wave of stealthy China cyberattacks hits U.S., private networks, Google says. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Alight adds to its Board of Directors. (MarketScreener)
  • Bank collapses cause ripple effects across the digital advertising industry. (Adweek)

Around the shop

Things we’re talking about or find interesting right now.

  • A laid-off Meta employee says she wasn’t given anything to do: ‘You had to fight to find work’. (Entrepreneur)
  • Technology skills every employee should have today. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Salesforce rolls out a platform for big brands to create NFT loyalty programs. (Decrypt)

That’s it for this week!


Everybody love everybody,

Steve Smith

Steve Smith

Partner & Chief Marketing Officer

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