Artificial intelligence out-buzzes the blockchain

NEW YORK, Jan 27 (Reuters Breakingviews) – The blockchain is so last year. The newest craze to excite investors is artificial intelligence. BuzzFeed (BZFD.O) is case in point. Shares in the digital publisher more than doubled on Thursday after the Wall Street Journal reported that the company run by Jonah Peretti is going to use OpenAI, creator of the ChatGPT chatbot, to power its quizzes and listicles. It’s a welcome boost for the $300 million company, whose stock price has been in the dumps since it merged with a blank-check firm in 2021. If past trends are any indication however, the giddiness is likely to be short-lived.

The blockchain once had a similar potency that caused shareholders to go gaga. In 2017 shares in beverage company Long Island Iced Tea almost quadrupled in value after it rebranded as Long Blockchain. The excitement faded and the company eventually de-listed four years later.

In the internet craze of the late 1990s, companies enjoyed a stock price boost by adding “dot-com” to their nameplate. But the moniker quickly became an albatross. BuzzFeed shouldn’t be tempted to drop the Buzz for Chat. (By Jennifer Saba)

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(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are their own. Refiles to fix editing credit.)

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