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The Code Conference 2023: all the news as it happens

The Code Conference 2023 featured some of the top names in business and tech, including AMD CEO Lisa Su, Microsoft CTO Kevin Scott, and Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe. The highlight of the event was an interview with X (formerly Twitter) CEO Linda Yaccarino at the end of day two — which became all the more high stakes after Kara Swisher invited Twitter’s former trust and safety leader, Yoel Roth, to speak just an hour beforehand.

The Verge reported from the conference live across two days, and you can catch up on all the highlights below. Code 2023 was co-hosted by The Verge editor-in-chief Nilay Patel, Platformer founder Casey Newton, and CNBC senior media and tech correspondent Julia Boorstin.

  • Jay Peters

    Sep 26, 2023

    Jay Peters

    “I think in this decade, we’re gonna see, in the next handful of years, some very interesting products across all the price ranges.”

    I asked Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe how long it might be until we get to a truly affordable EV, and he thinks it could happen in a not-to-distant future.

    Right now, many EVs are very expensive, and a huge part of the cost is because of the batteries. The company launched its vehicles at the higher end of pricing, and Scaringe says that the company hopes to keep driving down costs over time.


  • Jay Peters

    Sep 26, 2023

    Jay Peters

    Switching to NACS will benefit Rivian too, Scaringe says.

    Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe said that the forthcoming switch to NACS will not only mean that Rivians can charge at Tesla’s Supercharger stations, but Teslas can also charge on Rivian’s own charging network. Hadn’t thought about that — nice perk!


  • Jacob Kastrenakes

    Sep 26, 2023

    Jacob Kastrenakes

    Rivian will offer subscription features in its vehicles.

    Scaringe said he doesn’t like the BMW model of charging for heated seats — a feature that’s just flipped on or off.

    But for something where there’s “ongoing R&D efforts,” he thinks it makes sense and consumers are willing to pay. “We’re certainly planning that in future products,” he said.

    For Rivian, that probably looks like some sort of autonomy features.


  • Jay Peters

    Sep 26, 2023

    Jay Peters

    A Rivian vehicle without a steering wheel? “That’s not in our roadmap today.”

    CEO RJ Scaringe says that a vehicle without a steering wheel has a “relatively constrained” set of use-cases. It can also create a feeling of “steering anxiety,” which is an incredible term.


  • Jay Peters

    Sep 26, 2023

    Jay Peters

    Scaringe: “We still think consumer will still represent a larger slice.”

    Even though Rivian has a big commercial deal to make electric delivery vans for Amazon, consumer cars represent about 80 percent of Rivian’s business, he said.


  • Jacob Kastrenakes

    Sep 26, 2023

    Jacob Kastrenakes

    “It’s our number one complaint from customers.”

    Scaringe says Rivian is still working on its months-to-years long backlog and ramping up production to meet it.

    “It’s an incredibly high-cost problem to have,” he said. But he doesn’t want to get rid of it entirely. “It’s good to have some backlog.”

    He questioned whether it should be six months of backlog or more like a year and a half. I heard an audible “Yiiiiick,” from a woman behind me.


  • Jay Peters

    Sep 26, 2023

    Jay Peters

    Scaringe on the Cybertruck’s one windshield wiper: “If you like that, it’s good.”

    I don’t get the sense that Rivian is going to move to a one-wiper system.


  • Jay Peters

    Sep 26, 2023

    Jay Peters

    Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe on Rivian’s customers vs. the Cybertruck’s: “There’s probably not a lot of overlap.”

    But he’s happy that there’s competition. “I think it’s great that a product like that exists in the world.”


  • Jacob Kastrenakes

    Sep 26, 2023

    Jacob Kastrenakes

    Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe is up first.

    He’s being interviewed by Verge EIC Nilay Patel and CNBC senior media and tech correspondent Julia Boorstin.


  • Jacob Kastrenakes

    Sep 26, 2023

    Jacob Kastrenakes

    The Code Conference is about to get started.

    Day one kicks off with Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe, AMD CEO Lisa Su, Roblox CEO David Baszucki, and Warner Music Group CEO Robert Kyncl.


    A photo of the Code Conference 2023 stage.
    A photo of the Code Conference 2023 stage.
    Photo: Jacob Kastrenakes / The Verge
  • Jacob Kastrenakes

    Sep 26, 2023

    Jacob Kastrenakes

    The Code Conference kicks off tonight.

    The Verge’s editor-in-chief, Nilay Patel, is cohosting, and naturally we’ll be there to cover the big interviews.

    The event starts later today, so tune in then for live coverage. The first interviews start a bit after 6PM ET.


  • Wes Davis

    Sep 26, 2023

    Wes Davis

    Mattel’s Pictionary Vs. AI leaves the guesswork to the bots

    A picture of a smartphone pointed at a quick drawing of a cat. It’s guessing it’s a tiger. It is wrong. Game pieces are strewn about.
    Why, that’s not a tiger at all, my gAI.
    Image: Mattel

    Mattel has announced Pictionary Vs. AI, a version of its visual guessing game where an AI model does all the guessing, using computer vision with a smartphone as the medium. The company just announced the game at the 2023 Code Conference, which is co-hosted by Verge editor-in-chief Nilay Patel. The physical board game will cost $24.99 starting on September 27th at Mattel’s website, and it will head to retail on October 2nd.

    The idea is that players draw cards that assign a given word, then sketch whatever that word is before letting a web app guess what they’ve drawn. The app uses your camera to look at the artwork. You win (and move forward on the board) either when the AI identifies the image or by successfully gambling — er, I mean, correctly predicting — if the AI will figure it out. You have to bet before showing the drawing to the AI model.

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