Hello, readers. If you are readers, that is. Or are you AI? Perhaps I am, too. I’m Hallam Bullock, reporting to you from London, and welcome to my existential crisis.
Well, perhaps that is a little strong, but I’ve recently joined Elon Musk in mulling whether life is all just one big simulation.
That’s because a recent study let 25 AI avatars loose in a virtual city, and it turns out they behave very similarly to us. You can read about it here – though it might leave you questioning life, the universe, and everything.
Now, let’s take a look at the week’s top tech stories.
1. Amazon CEO Andy Jassy’s total compensation plunged last year to $1.3 million. It may still seem like a lot of money, but in 2021, Jassy’s total pay was over $200 million. That’s a jaw-dropping drop. However, there’s more to this than meets the eye.
- Jassy’s much smaller compensation in 2022 was due to him not receiving any stock awards during the year.
- Although he received nearly $212 million in stock awards in 2021, they will take 10 years to vest and are intended to represent most of his compensation for the coming years.
- Also, keep in mind that Jassy’s base salary in 2022 was $317,500, an 80% leap from $175,000 in 2021.
Top tech stories of the week:
2. An employee asked to go remote. Her CEO outsourced her job to India instead. The CEO, Johnny Taylor Jr., told the Journal that he saved around 40% in labor costs in the process. Read more.
3. Elizabeth Holmes’ purchase of a one-way flight to Mexico was a “bold move.” That’s according to a judge who denied her request to remain free on bail. Holmes is now set to report to prison later this month. Read more.
4. Elon Musk won’t sell Twitter for the amount he bought it for… Unless he can find a buyer who will “rigorously pursue the truth.” Musk said: “I don’t care about the money really, but I do want to have some source of truth that I can count on.” Read the full story.
5. Billy McFarland is just one year out of prison and says Fyre Festival II is “finally happening.” In case you’ve forgotten about the infamous festival that landed McFarland in jail, these photos explain it. For more on Fyre Festival 2.0, click here.
6. Tony Hawk turned down a $500,000 payment for “Pro Skater,” opting for royalties instead. The decision was possibly his craziest maneuver away from the half-pipe — and it paid off. Here’s how much Hawk ended up making.
7. A jet-tracking student thinks he is getting under Musk’s skin. Jack Sweeney, the student who runs a Twitter account tracking Musk’s private jet, said the Tesla CEO “seems really bothered” by his account. Read why.
8. TikTok looks totally different for Gen Z and Gen X. Our 23-year-old reporter went undercover as a 50-year-old to see what Gen X is watching on TikTok. After making a new account and setting her birthday to 1973, Jordan Hart was stumped by Gen X’s sense of humor. Read more.
From our tech analysis team:
9. More tech employees should expect to lose their jobs. Silicon Valley has laid off over 330,000 workers since last year, but there are signs that some tech firms have not gone far enough to adjust to a new economic reality. Read our full analysis.
10. Musk’s reign of chaos at Twitter may have saved it from collapse, but there’s a long way to go. After drastic cost cutting, Musk said this week the company is roughly breaking even. But the same aggressive strategy won’t work if he wants to turn a long-term profit. We break down why.
Today’s team: Hallam Bullock in London, Lisa Ryan in New York, Shona Ghosh in London, and Dave Smith in Toronto.