This week, Elon Musk dominated headlines throughout the tech news cycle. In an effort to push the Twitter Blue paid verification program, the CEO granted a free blue check to LeBron James. Separately, he also revealed plans to launch his own AI chatbot called TruthGPT.
Musk’s SpaceX took its own hit when the Starship rocket exploded minutes after taking off. On the product side, meanwhile, Hong Kong music collective Yeti Out teamed up with audio brand AIAIAI for a pair of modular wireless headphones.
Below, Hypebeast has rounded up the top tech stories of the week so you can stay up to date on trends in the industry.
Months after Elon Musk launched Twitter Blue, the platform has begun stripping previously verified users of their “legacy” checks, essentially forcing them to sign up for a subscription. Some public figures have maintained that they don’t plan to pay for the service.
LeBron James was among the few that said he’d be saying goodbye to his blue check, however, it seems Musk had different plans. The CEO extended a complimentary verification to the basketball star, as well as to author Stephen King and actor William Shatner. Musk himself confirmed the news, saying that he is “paying for a few personally.”
Hong Kong-based music collective Yeti Out has joined forces with audio design brand AIAIAI for a new pair of TMA-2 wireless headphones. Inspired by youth culture in cities around the world, the modular headphones come in a box that reflects two now-defunct nightclubs: London’s Turnmills and Shanghai’s Arkham.
Priced at $220 USD, the headphones themselves are controlled with a single joystick and boast 40 hours of battery life. They’re also made out of 30% recycled materials. AIAIAI offers the option for users to replace and upgrade each part of the headphones as necessary.
Only a few minutes after take off, SpaceX’s 400-foot tall Starship spontaneously exploded over the Gulf of Mexico. The rocket, which is the biggest in history, was expected to go on an hour and a half long test flight.
Four minutes into its journey, the Starship experienced what SpaceX’s livestream narrators called a “rapid unscheduled disassembly.” An exact reason for the explosion wasn’t provided.
“With a test like this, success comes from what we learn, and today’s test will help us improve Starship’s reliability as SpaceX seeks to make life multi-planetary,” SpaceX said in a statement.
The tech mogul said that he was involved with OpenAI in the early stages of conceiving a chatbot but seemingly parted ways with the company. He criticized the chatbot, claiming that ChatGPT is “close-source, support profit, and closely allied with Microsoft.”
“I’m going to start something called TruthGPT, or a maximum truth-seeking AI that tries to understand the nature of the universe,” Musk said later on. “I think this might be the best path to safety in the sense that an AI that cares to understand the universe is unlikely to annihilate humans because we are an interesting part of the universe.”