Block online distractions + First AI programmer // Stay Ahead #16

This week is wild: Devin AI Engineer, the EU AI Act, and the US ban on TikTok. Amidst all of this, these tools can help protect your concentration from dist
Evelyn Le
Evelyn Le
Strategic Product Lead, Stay Ahead, FlexOS
With a rich background in communication research and analysis, Evelyn guides readers with expertise, offering innovative advice in the digital work.
March 19, 2024
min read

Welcome to Stay Ahead #16 from FlexOS!

Every Tuesday, we share the latest tools and tips to help you work smarter, not harder. 

In this week’s edition:

  1. News of the Week: The first AI software engineer, EU AI Act. 
  2. Productivity Tools: Sounds and tools to track your time and boost productivity.
  3. Must-read News: TikTok’s facing a ban in the US.
  4. Job Board: Future-forward roles at BBE Marketing, HappyLoop, Motive, and more.

Let’s dive in!

Highlights of the week

Devin: The first AI software engineer

Last week, Cognition launched Devin as “the world’s first fully autonomous AI software engineer.” 

Devin can write code, debug, and build a well-designed, complete deliverable from a natural-language prompt. 

What’s crazier? It can collaborate with human engineers, address feedback, and train other AIs.

Devin outperforms general language models in resolving real-world software engineering problems.

Still, its core technology remains undescribed.

Will Devin replace human software engineers? You can listen to some hot takes on this: 

EU passed the “AI Act” - The first major set of AI regulations

On March 13, the European Union’s parliament officially approved the AI Act

The “AI Act” is a set of legal frameworks to ensure AI systems and the companies behind them respect “fundamental rights, safety, and ethical principles.” 

While the EU is proud of being the “global standard-setter in AI,” some people are concerned that this will hinder them in the technology-advanced competition with the US and China. 

Read more news at the end.


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Best Productivity Tools To Try Out This Week

  • Noisli - Nature sounds to help you maintain your focus and calmness in digital space. 
  • MindMeister - Beautiful and practical mindmap layouts to visualize and share your ideas. 
  • Cold Turkey - The toughest web blocker to prevent your productive time from all online distractions. 
  • Timeular - Automated time tracking tool to track your productive time and boost effective workflow. 

Need more AI tools? Check out:

In the News 

Every week, we pick must-read articles about the future of work so you can stay ahead. 

This week, TikTok is facing a threat of being banned in the US:

The House passed a TikTok bill. Will the US really ban the app?

TikTok is facing its biggest existential crisis in the US as the House of Representatives asked TikTok owners to sell the app or get banned. 

A generalist AI agent for 3D virtual environments

Google DeepMind’s Scalable Instructable Multiworld Agent (SIMA) can perform tasks across different video game settings. 

What Employees Need from Leaders in Uncertain Times

Learn about how leaders should lead in times of disruptions, turbulence, and inflections, shared by the founder and chairperson of TR Clark Associates, LLC.

OpenAI’s deals with publishers could spell trouble for rivals

OpenAI’s new deals with several publishers to enrich its training data can intensify the race to pursue licensing agreements. 

‘AI-powered’ ad ignites creator controversy on Instagram

The “first AI-powered sports commercial” is accused of reusing others’ work without proper credits to boost AI hype. 

The Secret to Amazing Online Meetings (with Jakob Knutzen, CEO, Butter)

We all want our online meetings to be fun and effective, but how can we achieve that? Listen to the sharing of meeting facilitation guru Jakob Knutzen, the founder and CEO of Butter.

Jobs to Level Up

We want you to make the change we need in this world of work. And do it from wherever is best for you. Here are some jobs that caught our attention:

Emerging Talent (1-5 years of experience)

  1. BBE Marketing Inc.: Remote Social Media Manager
  2. WP All Import: Remote WP All Import: SEO Strategist & Writer
  3. Remote Data Engineer/Data Scientist
  4. HappyLoop: Remote Generative AI Engineer

Experienced Leaders

  1. Motive: Regional Vice President, Strategic Sales
  2. Samsara: Senior Growth Marketing Manager - CRO
  3. Modaxo: Group HR Director

Need more options? WeWorkRemotely, FlexJobs, Remote, and Jobgether are great places to get vetted remote-friendly roles. 

Also, check out our guide on “How to Get a Remote Job Today.”

How did we do?

That’s it for this edition of Stay Ahead, the newsletter that keeps you ahead in the future of work.

We’re here for you, truly.

Daan and the team at FlexOS​

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