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Famed YouTuber Marques Brownlee makes a splash not for what he said — but for how

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Why does the text mention the power of YouTubers to influence companies?

To compare traditional and modern media influencers

What change in media landscape does Brownlee reflect on?

Involvement of non-institutional voices in tech opinions

Match the following concepts with their descriptions:

Tone policing = A technique used to dismiss messages based on delivery style Bias = A preference for a particular tech product or feature Fanboy = An overly enthusiastic supporter of a tech topic Sham = A fake or deceptive product or service

The technique of tone policing is used to focus on the content of the message rather than how it is delivered.

False

In the past, tech reviewers at institutional publications like The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times were the only voices consumers sought out for their opinions.

False

When a YouTube video of Brownlee's goes up on a product, there are usually only a few others going up on the same product around the same time.

False

What change in the media landscape does Brownlee reflect on?

The increased number of voices sharing opinions on tech

What does Marques do in a world full of shams and frauds?

He does what he thinks is right

What happens when Brownlee's YouTube video on a product goes up?

There are hundreds of other videos on the same product

Study Notes

Humane AI's Product Release and Criticism

  • Humane AI raised over $230 million in funding before releasing its product, the Ai Pin, which costs $699 plus a $24 monthly subscription
  • The product received negative reviews from tech reviewers, including Marques Brownlee (MKBHD), citing issues with battery life, wearability, and reliability
  • Brownlee's review, titled "The Worst Product I've Ever Reviewed… For Now," sparked controversy on social media, with some accusing him of being harsh and irresponsible with his influence

Criticism of Marques Brownlee

  • Some critics argued that Brownlee's review was unethical and careless, given his large following of 18 million subscribers
  • Others defended Brownlee, stating that he was simply doing his job as a reviewer and that his critique was fair and balanced
  • The controversy raised questions about the power and responsibility that comes with social media influence

Humane AI and Fisker Comparison

  • Both Humane AI and Fisker, an EV startup, faced criticism and negative reviews from Brownlee, which some believed contributed to their financial struggles
  • However, both companies had underlying issues, such as poor product quality and financial struggles, that preceded Brownlee's reviews
  • The incidents highlight the influence of social media reviewers and the complexity of identifying cause and effect in product failures

Race and Tech Industry Bias

  • Some Black techies viewed the criticism of Brownlee through a different lens, arguing that his review was seen as harsh because of his race
  • They pointed out that Brownlee's critique of the AI bubble was seen as negative because he is Black, and that there is a double standard in tech when it comes to criticism and accountability### The Power of Influencers in Tech
  • Marques Brownlee, a YouTuber known as MKBHD, with over 18 million subscribers, reviewed Humane AI's product, Ai Pin, and called it "The Worst Product I've Ever Reviewed… For Now."
  • The review sparked a debate on social media, with some accusing Brownlee of being harsh and irresponsible with his influence.
  • Critics argue that Brownlee's review could potentially harm the company, Humane AI, which has raised over $230 million in funding.

The Context of Humane AI

  • Humane AI is not a young startup, but rather a company that has raised a Series C round and attracted investors like Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, and top venture capital firms.
  • The company released its Ai Pin, which costs $699 plus a $24 monthly subscription, and received largely negative reviews from tech reviewers, including Brownlee.

The Critique of Brownlee's Review

  • Some critics accused Brownlee of being unethical and irresponsible with his influence, arguing that he should be more careful with his words.
  • However, others defended Brownlee's review, saying that it was fair and balanced, and that Brownlee was simply doing his job as a tech reviewer.

Race and Bias in Tech

  • Some Black techies viewed the critique of Brownlee's review through a different lens, arguing that if Brownlee were not Black, his review would be seen as honest and critical, rather than harsh and irresponsible.
  • The incident highlights biases in the tech industry, where Black people's voices are often dismissed or scrutinized more heavily than those of their white counterparts.

The Impact of Influencers

  • Brownlee's review of Humane AI's product sparked a wider conversation about the power of influencers in the tech industry.

  • The incident highlights the influence that popular YouTubers and reviewers can have on companies and their products.

  • The power of influencers raises questions about responsibility and accountability in tech journalism.### Critique of Marques Brownlee's Review

  • Some people think Marques Brownlee should be more gracious in his critique.

  • Brownlee's review was criticized for tone policing, a technique used to dismiss what Black people say based on how they deliver their message rather than the content.

Biases in Tech

  • Tech has issues with bias against Black people.
  • Tech has issues with the media being a critic rather than a cheerleader.
  • There is a bias against Black tech media taking a critical stance on popular topics like AI and IoT.

The Power of YouTubers

  • A YouTuber is perceived as having the power to make or break a company.
  • Marques Brownlee's review was notable for its influence on the tech industry.

Shift in Tech Review Landscape

  • In the past, tech reviewers at prominent publications like The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times were the primary sources of opinions on new tech.
  • Now, anyone on the internet can have a say, regardless of their institutional affiliation.
  • There are many more voices in the tech review space, with hundreds of videos going up on the same product around the same time.

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