Your Daily Brief

May 2nd, 2023

Good morning, and happy Tuesday! With all this talk of how fast AI is developing, many are left wondering whether or not artists face an uncertain future. Every so often, though, a mind-bending work of art comes out of nowhere, like this image of an egret stepping into shallow water in Japan. You won’t believe your eyes when you realize that the photo contains no hint of AI…and no digital edits whatsoever! Don’t discount the human touch just yet, folks.

In Today’s Brief

  • France: Widespread May Day protests
  • USA: Tracking another balloon
  • Hollywood: Writers officially go on strike
  • American Airlines: Pilots picket at airports

...and more

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Top Tips

JPMorgan buys First Republic

JPMorgan Chase took over most of First Republic Bank’s assets in a deal brokered by regulators.

The FDIC confirmed First Republic’s failure and the sale to JPMorgan in a press release. Catering to high-net-worth individuals, the majority of First Republic’s customers’ accounts exceeded the amount of $250K that the FDIC insures. After Silicon Valley Bank failed in March, First Republic customers withdrew over $100B of deposits, and its stock lost over 75% of its value last week alone. The FDIC briefly took control of it over the weekend before overseeing an auction that resulted in the sale to JPMorgan.

With $229B in assets, First Republic’s collapse makes it the biggest casualty of this year’s banking system turmoil that has claimed both Silicon Valley and Signature Bank, and the second-largest bank failure in U.S. history. Washington Mutual, which collapsed with $307B in assets in September 2008, is still the largest.

Aerosmith farewell tour

American hard rock band Aerosmith announced a 40-date farewell tour for this fall and said it is retiring from touring when it wraps.

The group’s “Peace Out” tour begins September 2nd in Philadelphia and is scheduled to conclude on January 26th, 2024, in Montreal. The Black Crowes will be opening all dates on the tour, which is being produced by Live Nation. Founding drummer Joey Kramer, who sat out parts of the band’s recent Las Vegas residency, will not partake in the tour so he can “focus his full attention on his family and health,” according to Aerosmith’s announcement.

Formed in 1970 in Boston, Massachusetts, Aerosmith is the best-selling American hard rock band of all time, with total global sales of over 150M records. The band has earned 25 gold, 18 platinum, and 12 multi-platinum albums, and holds the record for the most total RIAA certifications by an American group.

Godfather of AI quits Google

Artificial intelligence pioneer Dr. Geoffrey Hinton has resigned from Google so he can speak freely about potential risks that AI poses, according to a report published by the New York Times.

In a tweet, Hinton said that he left so that he “could talk about the dangers of AI without considering how this impacts Google” and added that Google so far “has acted very responsibly.” Along with the spread of misinformation, Hinton expressed fears that AI could upend the job market, helping human workers at first but eventually replacing them in certain roles.

Hinton’s AI breakthrough came in 2012, when a team he led successfully created an algorithm that could analyze photos and identify common elements, such as dogs and cars. Shortly thereafter, Google purchased the company he started around the algorithm. Alongside two others, Hinton earned the Turing Award in 2018 for his work developing the AI subfield of deep learning.

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Quick Tips

Around the Globe

  • Around 800K people in France took part in May Day protests that turned violent in a show of opposition against President Macron’s recent move to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64, according to French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin (More)
  • The U.S. estimates 100K Russian casualties in the past five months in fighting against Ukraine in the Bakhmut region (More)
  • Fiji’s former attorney general was taken into custody after being charged with abuse of office (More)

On the Homefront

  • The U.S. military is tracking another unidentified balloon that flew over parts of Hawaii, though it’s not clear what it is or whom it belongs to, according to three U.S. officials (More)
  • A board appointed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis voted to file a lawsuit against the Walt Disney Company in response to the lawsuit Disney filed last week against DeSantis and the board (More)
  • Former President Trump will participate in a CNN town hall next week in New Hampshire, according to a statement from the network (More)

Glitz & Games

In partnership with Flaviar

  • Film & TV writers agreed to go on strike after negotiations broke down between the union and the labor group representing studios and streamers; the strike will halt the majority of productions in Hollywood (More)
  • Snoop Dogg joins entrepreneur Neko Sparks’ group bid to buy the Ottawa Senators NHL franchise; if the deal goes through, Sparks would be the first Black owner in NHL history (More)
  • Pedro Pascal is in final talks to join the ‘Gladiator’ sequel at Paramount, according to familiar sources; Paul Mescal, Barry Keoghan, and Denzel Washington are signed on, and Ridley Scott is returning as director (More)

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Business & Markets

  • Major indexes in the stock market ended lower, with the Dow leading losses (Dow -0.14%, Nasdaq -0.11%, S&P 500 -0.04%)
  • General Motors cuts several hundred full-time contract workers including employees at its engineering hub in suburban Detroit, according to a company announcement (More)
  • American Airlines pilots began picketing at 10 U.S. airports to put pressure on the airline to reach a new contract with their union, the Allied Pilots Association (More)

Tips & Tricks

  • Feel Good: Meet Laura Young, an antique dealer from Texas who was browsing a Goodwill in Austin when she found a 2K-year-old Roman bust that once belonged to King Ludwig I of Bavaria
  • Bump This: Queen of country-pop Shania Twain reflects on the beauty and pain of getting older in her haunting new single “Bone Dry” - listen on Apple Music, Spotify, and YouTube
  • Chow Down: After a long day of work, an easy baking project can be the perfect way to decompress - try out this recipe for lemon poppy seed muffins that are perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack
  • Nerd Out: Learn about the results of a new study showing that severe droughts may have caused the decline of the Bronze Age Indus Civilization, which was considered one of the three earliest civilizations in the Near East and South Asia, alongside Egypt and Mesopotamia
  • Go Deep: Read up on the growing trend of young people opting to attend trade schools over pursuing a traditional college education and their reasons for doing so
  • Say What: “This part of the crisis is over…everyone should just take a deep breath,” JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said to analysts yesterday during a conference call addressing the bank’s takeover of First Republic
  • Life Hack: Healthy communication is the foundation on which every successful relationship is built, and each of us always has room to improve in this area - here are 12 concrete steps to improve communication in your relationships, according to marriage therapists and psychologists


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Figures from the launch of Apple’s new savings account.

The science behind what happens to your brain during death.

Looking Back…

On May 2nd: Lou Gehrig ends his 2,130-game streak (1939); U.S. President Bill Clinton announces that highly-accurate GPS would be made available to the public (2000); Osama bin Laden is killed by U.S. forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan (2011); wrestler and actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is born (1972).

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Question of the Day

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