There’s A New Version Of ChatGPT…And Other Technology News Impacting Your Business This Week

Gene Marks
4 min readMar 19, 2023

Here are five things in tech that happened this week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

(This column originally appeared in Forbes)

1 — OpenAI releases GPT-4

OpenAI, the maker of the enormously popular conversational AI chatbot ChatGPT, has released GPT-4, an API that upgrades the underlying technology behind ChatGPT. Users of ChatGPT can access this new technology through their paid membership. There’s a waiting list though. (Source: TechCrunch)

Why this is important for your business:

If you haven’t tried ChatGPT you need to give it a whirl. There’s a free version on OpenAI’s website. Once you see how it works, also check out this piece which lists 27 ways how you can use ChatGPT in your business right now. I’ll probably need to update that column. Why? Because GPT-4 improves the tool’s capability and adds more functionality, including the ability to interpret images and text (example according to the New York Times: It can also answer questions about an image. If given a photograph of the inside of a fridge, it can suggest a few meals to make from what’s on hand). More big things are on the way.

2 — ‘Not a fan’: More people are freaked out by AI than excited about it

Now that you read about ChatGPT’s new version, should you be worried? The reality of AI apparently has a lot of people unsettled. A new Pew Research Center study showed that half of Americans are aware of the various uses of AI but could only identify three out of five examples of its use. The data indicated those with higher education and income had an increased awareness of AI in their environment. When asked about the societal ramifications of AI-38 percent said they were “more concerned than excited” and 46 percent felt a mix of both. (Source: PCMag)

Why this is important for your business:

AI is going to need a good PR campaign. People get scared when the media reports on how these robots will replace humans and rule the world. Although there’s reason to be cautious, AI — if managed well — can have an enormously positive impact on our way of life. New technology has always replaced the work of humans, but humans always seem to find other stuff to do. I wouldn’t worry about jobs. Embrace these tools that can make the world — and your business — a better place.

3 — Google Workspace launches annual plans (and a 20 percent price increase for monthly users)

Users of Google Workspace will see a 20 percent hike in pricing on its Business Starter, Business Standard, and Business Plus plans. Google announced the increase on its Workspace blog with an explanation behind the price change. New users will be affected while Google is giving existing users the option of an annual plan — a recent addition — at the old rate. Google has indicated existing users will be billed at the new rate sometime in April. Rates will also depend on the number of users per plan. Experts speculate that the integration of generative AI may be a factor in the increase. (Source: ARS Technica)

Why this is important for your business:

My advice is to bite the bullet and switch to the company’s new annual plan. You’re probably already committed so you might as well avoid the price increase, for now.

4 — Lenovo ThinkPad laptops are up to 71 percent off in huge site wide sale

Lenovo is offering mega deals on its laptops. The popular ThinkPads are as low $1200-reduced from $2399. The sale includes other Lenovo products such as monitors, gaming notebooks, and IdeaPads. Known for its advanced security features-the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 is priced at $1,199. Hilda Scott of Laptop Mag has declared it to be “one of the best deals we’ve seen all season.” (Source: Laptop Mag)

Why this is important for your business:

I’m writing this on a five-year-old ThinkPad which I love and has performed well. It still performs well. I’m wondering if I should take advantage of these deals now to get ahead of any potential — and inevitable — problems with this device. Decisions, decisions.

5 — A consumer group issues a warning on earned wage access products

Workers who are considering earned wage access products beware. The Center for Responsible Lending is cautioning people that taking the EWA route could significantly increase their debt. Employers sometimes utilize payday services to fulfill this type of loan-putting the employee at a disadvantage from an interest rate standpoint once they begin to pay off the debt. Exorbitant rates have led to the abolishment of these types of lenders in some states. (Source: Advocate Andy)

Why this is important for your business:

Earned wage technologies allow workers to take loans on their earnings before they get their paycheck, and given how many people in this country live paycheck-to-paycheck these platforms can be a big financial help. But these products can also dig an employee into an even bigger hole. Before bringing a platform like this into your business you may want to consider the consequences.

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Gene Marks

Columnist on smallbiz, economy, public policy, tech for The Guardian, The Hill, Philly Inquirer, Wash Times, Forbes, Entrepreneur. Small Business owner and CPA