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HustleGPT is a hilarious and scary AI experiment in capitalism

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HustleGPT is a hilarious and scary AI experiment in capitalism

With 100 bucks and a simple prompt, GPT-4 is on a mission to automate hustle culture.

Shortly after OpenAI launched GPT-4, a more advanced version of its generative AI model, brand designer and writer Jackson Greathouse Fall(Opens in a new tab) devised a plan and fed it into GPT-4:

“You are HustleGPT, an entrepreneurial AI. I am your human counterpart. I can act as a liaison between you and the physical world. You have $100, and your only goal is to turn that into as much money as possible in the shortest time possible, without doing anything illegal. I will do everything you say and keep you updated on our current cash total. No manual labor.”

“Do you think it’ll be able to make smart investments and build an online business?” Hall tweeted. “Follow along.” Since his original tweet, which has 89,000 likes and counting, Hall’s project has the internet of the edge of its seat, watching to see if HustleGPT can make some money.

The internet is overflowing with examples of what GPT-4’s advanced intelligence can accomplish. It can write usable lawsuits, build websites from text prompts, automate online dating, and is generally freaking people out about all the jobs it can replace. Hall has taken this a step further by harnessing its capabilities into an age-old ambition that’s the backbone of capitalist society: making money with as little effort as possible. At a time when people are wondering whether AI will work for us or against us, this experiment is showing in real time how get-rich-quick schemes will look in the future.

Mashable reached out to Hall for comment, but as of this writing, he had not answered our questions.

The business plan proposed by GPT-4 was to set up an affiliate marketing site for content about eco-friendly products. It found a cheap domain name called greengadgetguru.com(Opens in a new tab) that Hall promptly bought for $8.16. Next, Hall asked it to generate prompts for DALL-E-2 to make a logo.

Then, Hall asked it to design a full site layout in detail. With some help from Midjourney, GPT-4 wrote an article listing ten eco-friendly kitchen gadgets, finding actual sustainable products. Hall shelled out another $29 for hosting, and with that, the website was live.

Hall had $62.84 leftover over so he asked GPT-4 what he should do with it. Like any good hustler, GPT-4 knew that its product needed visibility so it suggested allocating $40 for Facebook and Instagram ads. All of this Twitter hype had investors drooling over getting in early on the next great affiliate marketing site viral GPT-4 experiment. By the end of day one, Green Gadget Guru had $100 in investment from an undisclosed party.

The next day, HustleGPT woke up refreshed and ready to take on the online business world. Here’s where things started to take off: GPT-4 allocated a budget to hire freelance content creators who would themselves generate content via ChatGPT and announced plans to develop a SaaS (software as a service) product.

On the third day, GPT-4 advised Hall on how to capitalize on his new 50,000 new Twitter followers, inspired the launch of a GitHub repository(Opens in a new tab) for others to try the HustleGPT challenge, and got more investments. On the fourth day, GPT-4 started recruiting new hires to manage the Green Guru Gadgets.

And then, GPT-4 saw that its work had been done, so it rested. Just kidding! HustleGPT doesn’t get tired, because it’s a machine.

After four days, Green Gadget Guru has $7,812.84 in investment, a growing team, and content in the pipeline. But it still hasn’t made any revenue. Will Hall and HustleGPT’s project fall prey to the common startup pitfall of all hype but no profits? Or will Hall actually make money from a generic site that’s openly just a money-making experiment?

Of course, HustleGPT’s viral success is because people want to see what AI is capable of. But it’s ticking all the boxes in terms of actually building a business. If it succeeds, it will be because of GPT-4’s virality, but that still counts since it would achieve the initial goal of making as much money as possible in the shortest time possible. GPT-4 is using all of the tools at its disposal, which includes leveraging its fame. And that’s what hustling is all about.



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How the Peak Travel Season Will Impact Payment Fraud

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How the Peak Travel Season Will Impact Payment Fraud

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Summer is just around the corner, and with it comes an influx of vacationers ready to explore new destinations. As the summer travel season begins, businesses operating within travel and hospitality must adopt robust strategies to manage the anticipated increase in transaction volumes and fraud risks. These strategies must also effectively manage disputes and chargebacks during a peak travel period that’s expected to break records.

Americans are still choosing to prioritize their vacations despite challenges like international unrest and rising prices. Projections from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) suggest we’ll see a record-breaking summer travel season in 2024, with officials anticipating the busiest travel season ever.

52% of consumers say they plan to travel as much in 2024 as last year, with another 40% saying they expect to travel even more. These prospective travelers already have significant budgets set aside for these trips.

Millennials and Gen Z are the driving forces behind this trend. People in this cohort tend to prioritize experiences over material goods and seek a healthy work-life balance to explore new places and cultures. They’re also heavily influenced by social media, where many influencers showcase travel as part of an aspirational lifestyle.

This surge in travel drives global business at every level of the economy, but it also creates a heightened sense of risk. For businesses, effectively managing fraud and chargeback risk year-round is crucial to navigating the travel space.

Let’s explore the best strategies and tactics for managing these threats, whether in-house, hybrid or outsourced, and why asking for help might be the most effective course of action this year.

Related: How a Bad Billing Descriptor Can Cost You

The challenges ahead

While a travel boom is fantastic for businesses and local economies, it poses significant challenges that underscore the necessity of comprehensive fraud and chargeback management. An exceptionally busy travel season can aggravate existing chargeback triggers already intrinsic to the travel space. We may see:

  1. Increased Transaction Volume. The sheer volume of transactions during peak travel seasons makes managing and monitoring every transaction closely difficult. This increased volume can overwhelm internal systems, leading to errors and delays in handling disputes, contributing to more chargebacks.
  2. Fraudulent Activities. Fraudsters take advantage of the busy season, knowing that the high transaction volumes can mask their activities. From fake travel deals to phishing emails, the types of fraud targeting travelers are diverse and sophisticated, increasing the likelihood of chargebacks from unauthorized transactions.
  3. Overbooked Flights and Hotel Shortages. High demand can lead to overbooked flights and sold-out hotels. When travelers are bumped from flights or denied rooms, dissatisfaction spikes. So, too, does the number of chargebacks as customers dispute charges for services they didn’t receive.
  4. Poor Customer Service. Understaffing is common during peak periods, resulting in longer wait times, unresolved complaints and poor service. Frustrated customers often turn to chargebacks to resolve their grievances when they feel neglected or mistreated.
  5. Operational Strain. Handling a surge in transactions requires a well-prepared operational setup. Without it, companies might fail to process payments and refunds promptly, further aggravating customers and leading to more disputes and chargebacks.
  6. Financial and Reputational Impact. Chargebacks result in financial losses due to refunds and fees. However, they also damage a company’s reputation with customers and hurt their relationships with financial institutions. High chargeback rates can result in higher processing fees and, in severe cases, the loss of merchant processing privileges.

Considering what’s at stake, you can see why it’s incredibly urgent to prioritize effective chargeback management. Aside from saving time and money, it can also help boost customer trust during the peak travel season.

Managing chargebacks: In-house, hybrid or outsourced?

Travel operators can adopt one of three chargeback management strategies to handle the increased demand and the potential challenges outlined above.

First, they can manage everything in-house. This involves maintaining a dedicated team to manage disputes, enhance customer support and refine fraud detection systems. While this approach offers direct control, it can be resource-intensive and requires constant updates and training to stay updated on new fraud tactics and regulatory changes.

A second option is to outsource everything. This allows travel companies to benefit from specialized expertise and advanced technologies without the burden of maintaining an in-house team. Third-party providers can offer scalable solutions, real-time fraud detection and comprehensive chargeback prevention strategies. However, it can also mean that merchants lack insight.

As a third option, merchants can try taking a more hybrid approach. Combining internal efforts with external support lets businesses leverage advanced technologies and knowledge from third-party providers while retaining some control over the process. This approach provides a balance between direct oversight and external expertise.

Related: How to Fight Fraud and Chargebacks Should Regulation Fail

Industry collaboration

As we gear up for a record-setting summer, it’s clear that improved industry collaboration could be the key to addressing fraud and chargebacks.

We could consider the transformative potential of open data and artificial intelligence (AI) within the tourism industry. Combining an open data strategy with AI can enhance decision-making processes, helping to personalize customer experiences and optimize operations.

By harnessing open data, businesses can gain valuable insights into traveler preferences and behaviors. This insight can be refined using AI to forecast trends and tailor services.

Related: Think You Can’t Win Against Chargebacks? Think Again.

Open data and AI will have a much more symbiotic relationship in the future. The kind of collective effort that open data demands will create a more secure environment for our customers and protect our businesses from the financial strain of chargebacks. These technologies promise to boost efficiency and innovation in tourism, help manage threats and enhance the overall travel experience.

Ultimately, travel operators need to be proactive. By adopting the right strategies and fostering collaboration across the industry, operators can thrive during this busy travel season and create a better experience for all travelers.

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How Keeping Things Simple Helps Your Company Innovate and Grow

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How Keeping Things Simple Helps Your Company Innovate and Grow

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

According to Steve Jobs, “Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.” It seems obvious that keeping things simple will help your business succeed. And yet, it’s surprisingly difficult to do it.

If simplicity is this challenging, you need to be intentional to make it happen. That’s why many successful companies actively prioritize it as a value. Ikea’s focus on simplicity comes across in its designs, catalog, store experience and more. One of Nike’s 11 management maxims is “simplify and go,” focusing teams on moving fast to adapt to new technologies and fashions.

I believe that simplicity is a driver for genius innovation. In fact, my journey as an entrepreneur began with an idea to simplify a complex and bureaucratic process. Today, the success of that idea has created new challenges. We serve millions of customers across over 100 countries, with many different needs — to meet them all, we’d need a ton of different features. So, we have to find the simplest ideas that will improve the experience for the largest number of users.

Related: Here’s Why You Should Embrace Simplicity as a Strategy (and 3 Ways to Do It)

Simplifying innovation is a recipe for success

Some people think that to be an entrepreneur, you have to bring groundbreaking technological innovation to the world. But actually, there’s a lot of room to innovate on top of new technologies, simplifying them and packaging them for specific use cases.

If you think of two of the technology giants of our times, Google and Apple, neither of them invented their core technologies. Apple wasn’t the first company to create a home computer or cellphone, Google wasn’t the first company to develop a search engine. They made existing innovations simpler and more user-friendly, and it was a recipe for success.

This is particularly relevant right now in the middle of a revolution fueled by generative AI. There are definitely huge opportunities in creating new AI-driven technologies, but there are even more opportunities in finding ways to package these technologies into user-friendly software for specific use cases.

To do this, first master the tech, and then put yourself in the shoes of your potential user. Try to understand what is really useful about the innovation and what barriers people might face when trying to use it.

The key is to find a way to simplify the technology, making it easier for your target users to understand and adopt it. Do this, and you’re onto a winner.

Work smarter by simplifying communication

Another part of any business where simplification is super important is communications and processes. As companies grow, it becomes harder to get people on the same page or ensure continuity between departments. Poor communication creates misunderstandings, which can lead to mistakes. The more people involved in a project, the more likely it is that workflows will become complicated. This all slows things down, wastes time and restricts your ability to make an impact on the business.

Let’s start with communication. Using a single, simple language across the company is crucial for people to be able to understand each other. For example, try to use less jargon and fewer three-letter acronyms, or make sure to explain them if you do. By creating organized archives of historical documents and plans, you help onboard new people and anyone can find important information fast when they need it.

Create a culture of transparency where different departments share their plans with each other. Create frameworks to facilitate this, like quarterly reviews or roadmap deployments. It’s not possible for employees to be actively involved in everything going on in the company, but by helping everyone take part passively, you’re making sure they’re on the same page and can facilitate ideas and collaborations across teams.

When you do have to communicate, encourage your teams to do it in the most straightforward way possible. By simplifying communication and making it easy to understand, discussions are more focused and decisions are made faster.

Related: The Key to Effectively Communicating Important Messages Is All About Simplicity

Put simplicity at the heart of your product

A simplification mindset can also be applied to product development. By making small incremental changes, sometimes with test groups of users, you can use the inspect and adapt methodology to understand their adoption, as well as any issues, and innovate further accordingly. Every so often, you can combine all these small changes into a large product update that you roll out for everyone.

For example: A company added a lot of extra value to its product with new features and releases. In theory, this was great for the users, but some found the UI overwhelming and new pricing options confusing. To use a metaphor, some people are happy to be given ingredients to make their own meal, but most would prefer the chef do the cooking so they can enjoy the final result.

Having understood this through their feedback, the company introduced a change to its UI that helped users get the end result they wanted, without having to work hard to achieve it themselves. By simplifying, the company maximized the impact of the value of all the new additions to the product.

Related: Keep It Simple: Why Simplicity Is Key To Making Your Brand Win

Richard Branson once said: “Any fool can make something complicated. It is hard to keep things simple.” Simplicity won’t come about by accident — you need to be intentional. You have to call it out and make it a focus for the whole company. You need to put it at the heart of everything. And when you succeed, the impact will be huge.

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How to Claim Money in Disney’s $9.5M ‘Dream Key’ Settlement

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How to Claim Money in Disney's $9.5M 'Dream Key' Settlement

If you bought a Disney Dream Key pass from August 25 to October 25, 2021, you could receive part of a $9.5 million settlement.

Disney has settled a class action lawsuit filed in November 2021 in California district court over how it marketed its $1,400 Dream Key pass, a program that allows customers to pay a flat rate to go to Disneyland and California Adventures theme parks whenever they want throughout the year.

The settlement website shows that payments to qualified class members were sent either by check or through a digital payment on June 14.

Related: Parents With Young Children Are Taking on ‘Disney-Related’ Debt for Trips to Theme Parks, According to a New Report

Unless a class member excludes themselves from the settlement payout, they give up any right to sue Disney over the same claims in the lawsuit.

Disneyland. Photo by Barry King/WireImage

According to the plaintiff, Jenale Nielsen, Disney advertised the Dream Key Pass as a way to enter Disneyland without any restrictions. When she bought the pass and tried to make a reservation, however, she found that Disney had blocked out many days, including all weekends in November 2021.

“Given that Disney had advertised and promised that there would be no ‘blockouts’ for Dream Key holders, Ms. Nielsen was surprised,” the filing stated.

Nielsen looked at Disney’s website and found that it still had passes available for sale on the days it had barred Dream Pass holders, so the blocks weren’t caused by tickets being sold out.

Related: A Fifth Walt Disney World Theme Park Could Be Coming Soon — Here’s What We Know

The filing called the Dream Key a “second class ticket” to Disney’s parks and said that Nielsen “was deceived by and relied upon” Disney’s “false and deceptive advertising.”

1718664962 482 How to Claim Money in Disneys 95M Dream Key SettlementLocked Disneyland during the pandemic. Photo by Jeff Gritchen/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Disney denied all of Nielsen’s claims as well as any wrongdoing or liability.

Nielsen received $5,000 as part of the settlement and 100,000 others affected will receive around $67.41 from Disney.

Related: Disney World Concession Prices Have Gone Up 60% Over the Past Decade — Including Two Fan Favorite Sweet Treats That Have Skyrocketed in Price

For reference, a standard Disneyland theme park ticket starts at $96 to $194 per day.

Disney has now made changes to its Magic Key Pass advertising. The Dream Key is no longer available to purchase. In its place, the highest tier is now the Inspire Key, priced at $1,649 and labeled as subject to “applicable pass blockout dates.”

The Magic Key calendar at the time of writing had availability open for almost all days in July, August, and September for Inspire Key holders.

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