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Kevin Systrom talks AI and his post-Instagram social app at TechCrunch Disrupt 2023 on July 31, 2023 at 4:22 pm

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When Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger co-founded Instagram in 2010, they basically invented photo-based social networking in the modern mobile era. Fast-forward to 2012 and a $1 billion acquisition by Facebook — and then again to 2018 when Systrom stepped down to research his next company.

That’s one heck of an eight-year ride.

Fast-forward once more to early 2023 when Systrom and Krieger launched their new app, Artifact, a personalized news reader. A rather surprising move considering the plethora of competing news readers and a struggling online news industry plagued by unbridled misinformation.

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We have so many questions, which is why we are thrilled that Kevin Systrom will join us for a fireside chat on the Disrupt Stage at TechCrunch Disrupt 2023, which runs from September 19–21 in San Francisco.

Clearly not one to shrink from a challenge, Systrom aims to make the news industry a place where creators and audiences alike can come together around topics and content they love in a sustainable way with a focus on quality and integrity.

Artifact’s underlying technology incorporates the latest advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence — key differentiators, according to Systrom. We definitely want to hear more about AI’s role, both in his app and in the media landscape at large. We’re looking forward to hearing his take on how the media landscape is evolving — or should be. We’re also curious about why Systrom believes there’s new ground left to tread around published content when it comes to journalists, audiences and community.

Don’t miss this conversation about the future of news and social media with the co-founder behind one of the world’s most iconic social apps.

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Kevin Systrom: Artifact co-founder and CEO; Instagram co-founder

Kevin Systrom, an American entrepreneur, started his career as an intern at Odeo, which later became Twitter. Systrom then worked on various consumer teams at Google and in quantitative marketing.

Systrom and Mike Krieger created Instagram, and within a few years, the app had hundreds of millions of users. In January 2023, Systrom launched Artifact, a personalized news and content reading application driven by the latest advances in machine learning.

Systrom is passionate about the next chapter of social media being driven by artificial intelligence and has dedicated the last few years to building this company. Systrom graduated from Stanford University with a degree in management science and engineering.

You’ll find conversations with tech’s leading luminaries — including Shaquille O’Neal — on the Disrupt Stage. We’ll announce the stage agenda soon, so check back for updates. Don’t forget to take a look at our six new stages for six breakthrough sectors at Disrupt.

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TechCrunch Disrupt 2023 takes place on September 19–21 in San Francisco. Buy your pass now and save up to $600. Student and nonprofit passes are available for just $195. Prices increase August 11.

Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at TechCrunch Disrupt 2023? Contact our sponsorship sales team by filling out this form.

​ When Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger co-founded Instagram in 2010, they basically invented photo-based social networking in the modern mobile era. Fast-forward to 2012 and a $1 billion acquisition by Facebook — and then again to 2018 when Systrom stepped down to research his next company. That’s one heck of an eight-year ride. Fast-forward once 

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Business

TikTok Sues US Gov’t

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TikTok is suing the US government to stop the enforcement of a bill that seeks to force the app’s Chinese owner to sell the app or face a ban. The lawsuit argues that the bill violates constitutional protections of free speech and is an “unprecedented violation” of the First Amendment.

Visit of Shou Zi Chew, CEO of TikTok, to the European Commission

Background

  • The bill, the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act, was passed last month.
  • The lawsuit was filed in the US Circuit Court of Appeals for Washington, DC.
  • TikTok argues that the bill is a permanent, nationwide ban on a single speech platform and restricts free speech without sufficient reason.

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Government Response

  • The Department of Justice has not commented on the lawsuit.
  • A White House spokesperson directed a request for comment to the Justice Department.
  • John Moolenaar, chairman of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, stated that TikTok poses a grave risk to national security and the American people.

Legal Proceedings

  • The lawsuit is expected to add to an already lengthy timeline for a potential ban or sale of the app.
  • ByteDance, TikTok’s Chinese owner, already had over a year to make a move, and legal proceedings will pause the timeline, meaning it could be years before a ban goes into effect.

TikTok’s Efforts

  • TikTok has made efforts to assure the public and US officials that it takes data security seriously.
  • In 2022, the company started “Project Texas,” a move meant to provide data security and transparency around the information the app collects about US users.

Conclusion

  • The lawsuit states that Congress has not offered any evidence suggesting that TikTok poses data security risks or foreign propaganda spread that could justify the law.
  • TikTok claims the law violates the right to due process under the Fifth Amendment and is an unconstitutional bill of attainder.

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Universal Music Group & TikTok Partner in New Licensing Agreement

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In a monumental move, Universal Music Group (UMG) and TikTok have announced a pioneering licensing agreement that will transform the music landscape. This historic deal unites UMG’s vast music catalog with TikTok’s massive user base, unlocking unprecedented opportunities for artists, songwriters, and fans worldwide.

Visit of Shou Zi Chew, CEO of TikTok, to the European Commission

A New Era for Music Consumption and Monetization

The agreement marks a significant milestone in the UMG-TikTok relationship, allowing users to once again create videos featuring music from global superstars and emerging talent. The deal also paves the way for innovative monetization opportunities, with TikTok investing in artist-centric tools and campaigns to support UMG artists across genres and territories globally.
A Shared Commitment to Valuing Music and Creativity
Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of UMG, and Shou Chew, CEO of TikTok, hailed the agreement as a “new chapter” in their partnership, built on a shared commitment to promoting the value of music, human artistry, and the welfare of the creative community.

Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of UMG on the left of the photo.

Addressing Generative AI Concerns
The deal also tackles concerns around generative AI, with TikTok committing to work with UMG to ensure that AI development in the music industry protects human creativity and the economics that flow to artists and songwriters.
Deeper Connections and Responsible AI Development
Ole Obermann, TikTok’s Global Head of Music Business Development, emphasized that the agreement will “create deeper connections between artists, creators, and fans” and ensure that AI tools are developed responsibly to enable a new era of musical creativity and fan engagement.
Transformational Partnerships and Advancements
Michael Nash, Chief Digital Officer and EVP of UMG, welcomed the renewed relationship with TikTok, citing the potential for “transformational partnerships” and “significant advancements” in commercial and marketing opportunities, as well as protections for UMG’s industry-leading roster.
A Win for the Music Industry
This groundbreakingagreement is a major victory for the music industry, which has long sought to strike a balance between promoting artistic creativity and protecting the rights of artists and songwriters in the digital age. With UMG and TikTok working together, the possibilities for innovation and growth are endless, and fans can look forward to enjoying music from their favorite artists in new and exciting ways.
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House of Lords to Host Nigerian Innovators

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Clean Cyclers, alongside Sustainability Unscripted and other sustainability partners, is gearing up to host the 3rd Edition of the Global Sustainability Summit in the United Kingdom. Scheduled for March 28 – 29, 2024, at the prestigious House of Lords in the Palace of Westminster, the summit aims to raise awareness, promote collaboration across disciplines, tackle global challenges with local solutions, and advocate for social equity.

Canon Otto, the organizer and founder of Clean Cyclers, emphasized the summit’s commitment to inclusivity, prioritizing climate action, environmental stewardship, and identifying policy pathways for sustainable development. Under the theme “Advancing Sustainability, a Journey Towards a Greener Future,” the summit will gather leading visionaries, experts, innovators, and change-makers from global corporations, organizations, and government agencies to brainstorm strategies for adopting the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Sustainability Businessman Otton Canon

The summit will feature panel sessions addressing urgent topics such as climate action, circular economy, renewable energy revolution, sustainable cities, biodiversity conservation, green finance, sustainable agriculture, and climate justice. Additionally, it will recognize and celebrate companies, governments, organizations, and individuals demonstrating commitment to sustainability through practical initiatives and the realization of short-term objectives and long-term goals.

In a statement, the organizers highlighted the broad spectrum of sustainability practices, policies, and innovations aimed at mitigating climate change, conserving biodiversity, protecting natural resources, and promoting social equity. The theme “Advancing Sustainability” underscores the need for a shift from short-term exploitative approaches to long-term regenerative ones, reflecting humanity’s ability to learn, adapt, and innovate.

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The summit aims to foster knowledge exchange, collaboration, and actionable solutions over two days of physical gathering at the House of Parliament in London. Participants will explore diverse perspectives, share knowledge, and work together to shape strategies that drive meaningful change and accelerate progress towards a sustainable future.

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