Microsoft researchers hint at human-level intelligence with new AI: A research study showcases a model with advanced, flexible capabilities. Challenges mean it won’t necessarily be a best-seller.

Paramount lays off 800 as acquisition rumors swirl: As the streaming industry begins to consolidate, Paramount is looking for ways to eke out an advantage.

Shopify’s Q4 revenues rose 24%: But the company projects its Q1 operating costs will eat into its profit—a surprise after it trimmed its expenses about 20% last year.

OpenAI joins the tech elite with $2 billion revenue milestone: Its revenue soars but costs could continue making profitability elusive. Generative AI’s challenges create a hamster wheel for companies.

The debit card gave Affirm a boost in active users and strong numbers, but to continue this pace of growth, Affirm may need to get creative

Whoever takes over the portfolio will gain 12 million cardholders—a large but potentially risky volume opportunity

The company got a boost from getting users to adopt its payments software, helping gross payment volume increase 69% YoY

US consumers are most receptive to ads on shopping (36%), news (35%), social media (35%), and entertainment (34%) websites, per Q3 2023 data from Integral Ad Science.

Sometimes, consumers don’t behave how we expect. Despite their digital-native status, Gen Zers still shop in-store, while baby boomers are all about new-kid-on-the-block Temu. And though they’re still mostly children, Gen Alphas are making their mark on the retail landscape.

Digital wallets are fast becoming consumers’ preferred way to pay, both in and out of the store.

OpenAI seeks $7 trillion to accelerate chip production, which could challenge Nvidia’s dominance. The divide between AI’s software and hardware industries is growing.

US import volumes rose 8.3% YoY in December: Experts say imports will continue to rise, even as attacks in the Red Sea lead to delays and increased costs.

Department stores are in urgent need of reinvention: Sales slid in Q4 as they struggled to meet consumers’ needs, opening the door for takeover bids.

Amazon and the FTC find common ground over fake reviews: While the FTC continues its push to ban the practice, Amazon pursues legal action against bad actors.

On today's podcast episode, we discuss how Amazon turned its ecommerce business around, how much its new AI shopping assistant moves the needle, and what's really driving its ad business. Tune in to the discussion with our analyst Zak Stambor and vice president of content Paul Verna.

Walgreens’ Nice! brand mango gummies went viral: An influencer’s TikTok video about the candy drove a surge in demand, offering a case study on why private label sales are soaring.

Ulta Beauty is using in-store vending machines to bring more joy to the shopping experience, and AI enables it to analyze more customer data for personalization. The retailer is also training its store associates to engage younger beauty consumers.

‘The Joe Rogan Experience’ is a sign of Spotify’s shifting strategy: On its path to make podcasting a “$20 billion” opportunity, Spotify is letting go of exclusivity.