🏙️ What happens when AI writes the news?

Plus, a collection of articles to help you navigate this economic downturn. This is your Sunday Briefing.

On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to speak on AI and journalism at KPMG’s inaugural Generative AI summit. The event was a fantastic and varied exploration of how Gen AI needs to be incorporated ethically into your business, and how it needs to happen right now. Truly, it was one of the best summits I’ve been to in a long time.

Here’s the thing, though. We didn’t talk enough about how terrifying the upcoming onslaught of misinformation will be, and how that will impact society. Being fooled by an AI image generator’s Balenciaga-clad Pope, or the new deepfake Drake and the Weeknd song, is one thing. But what happens when people start using AI copywriting tools to generate “news?”

It’s only a matter of time before AI-only “news outlets” start producing and disseminating their own content. And when that happens, those stories are going to eat the lunch of real journalism. The original research, interviewing, and fact-checking that are built into the journalistic process takes time. While AI can produce something that reads convincingly in seconds, it’s often not correct.

I was asked on Wednesday what we can do to avoid this dystopian future — where people can’t trust anything they read. Here’s what I think. It’s not possible to regulate the use of AI in news: with ChatGPT, the genie is already out of the bottle. The only way we can be sure of truthful, original news is to bolster the organizations that we read and trust right now.

What can you do? AI “news sites” are coming soon, and will take the market share away from trusted journalistic outfits, spreading misinformation in their wake. Don’t let them. Vote with your wallet, and pay for your news now.

Supporting real news sites isn’t just for you. Truly, it’s for the survival of society.

Now onto today’s briefing. It’s 1,110 words: a four-minute read.

-Kate, @KateWilsonSays

- P.S. As always, we’re meeting this Tuesday for our Vancouver Tech Morning Coffee. See you from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. at The Coffee Bar (10 Water Street, Gastown). It’s free! Register here »

- P.P.S. Thanks to our new members Eric, Mitchell, Keith, Mike, Jenn, and Sheenah — and a whole lot more — who joined us this week. Be like them and enjoy the perks of VTJ membership too. Become a member »

- Oh, and if someone else sent you this, you can subscribe right here, right now.

Lessons from down-turns past

How veteran tech leaders managed through tough times before, and how the current crop of CEOs can apply those lessons today. Start reading »

CoPilot AI builds amidst economic turbulence

How the SaaS startup opted to bypass venture capital and pursued generous non-dilutive funding from the Canadian government. Start reading »

Yield Exchange announces $700K pre-seed raise

The local fintech outfit also plans a national expansion on the heels of the oversubscribed round. Start reading »

Confessions of a serial entrepreneur: Rob Bakshi

Learn from the CEO of Active Witness (who’s already built two acquired companies) on how to create scalable, disruptive ventures – even in economic headwinds. Members only. Start reading »

A 30-year overnight success story

Read our top member briefing from last week. Members only. Get started »

The city is investing heavily in supporting companies in green building construction, the circular economy, water tech, clean transportation, and more. Read the partner message from Invest Surrey »

🤝 Funding and deals

  • Quantum computing pioneer D-Wave secured USD $50 million in financing from its majority shareholder, Public Sector Pension Investment Board, in an effort to ease a near-term liquidity crunch. Learn more »

  • The provincial government will invest $44.5 million over three years to boost skills training opportunities to nearly 7,500 people in communities around the province. Read more »

  • The provincial government will also contribute $42 million to support people and businesses working in motion picture, music, publishing, and interactive digital media industries in British Columbia. Learn more »

  • And again, the provincial government will also invest $500,000 in the Pacific NorthWest Economic Region to deepen cross-border partnerships. Continue »

  • Seaspan Shipyards was awarded three contracts totalling approximately $2.6 million to enable four Canadian marine companies to advance digitalization and modernize shipbuilding and fleet maintenance. Read more »

  • For more local funding news every week, become a Vancouver Tech Journal member »

🎁 Featured VTJ Membership Perk

This week: The Vancouver Entrepreneurs Forum (VEF)

VEF is an online and offline platform for entrepreneurs within the technology space. Through monthly forums, VEF brings together like-minded people to cultivate connections and create conversations designed to stimulate ideas.

- Vancouver Tech Journal members receive 10% off VEF monthly events plus access to a limited number of free VEF event tickets.

Contact [email protected] to redeem your perks or learn more about VTJ membership.

🗞️ In other news

  • New Ventures BC has announced the 206 B.C. tech startups moving on to the second round of its NVBC Competition. Read more »

  • Unbounce, a landing page builder, launched “URL to Ads”: an AI tool that allows marketers to generate ad copy by inserting a URL from a website or landing page.​​ Continue »

  • Lululemon launched its first products made from plant-based nylon, following its equity investment in sustainable materials company, Geno, in 2021. Read more »

  • The Canadian Federation of Independent Business has warned that small businesses in B.C. and across Canada that rely on Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) services and tax guidance are threatened by the strike by CRA workers. Learn more »

  • Arya Health, a SaaS startup for electronic medical records, joins the Fastlane Program at the Vector Institute for Excellence in Emerging AI. Learn more »

  • For all local news and our daily coverage, become a Vancouver Tech Journal member »

Why VTJ is Sweatin’ for Science

Our team is taking part in an event that helps raise funds and awareness for science fairs and STEM programming across B.C. and the Yukon — and you can too. A partner message from Sweatin’ for Science. Start reading »

💼 Take your career to the next level

Whether you're looking for a dream role or a dream employee, Vancouver Tech Jobs has you covered with a wide selection of local tech roles.

Check out who else is hiring on our Vancouver Tech Job Board »

Growing your team? Post a job with us »


Get your ideal V1 digital experience. Finally.

Partner with Z1 to shape, design, and build your product idea within 16 weeks. Their team of digital crafters has the right combination of mindset, skills, processes, and pricing structure.

And they're trusted by 140+ startup founders worldwide, including Aaron Dignan from Murmur, Cole Nussbaumer from Storytelling With Data, and Chris Motley from Mentor Spaces.

Check out Z1's playbook and discover how they balance investment and impact to deliver products to the market — not just to you.

💡 Ideas and insights

👋 Before you go…

Today’s one little ask: Vancouver Tech Journal relies on you to fund local journalism and to keep building your community. If you can spare $8.25 — or $7.23, using the “friends of” code for Kate, James, or Allison — please consider becoming a member. (And you’ll also get access to a whole load of exclusive perks!)

Join the conversation

or to participate.