🌎 Ford's Eureka moment

Plus: ChatGPT has something to say about the economy
🌎 Ford's Eureka moment

Good morning, Quartz readers!

Here’s what you need to know

Ford has identified the issue with the F-150 Lightning. A flaw in the electric vehicle’s battery caused a truck to catch fire, but the automaker doesn’t think models already sold are affected.

Norfolk Southern officials flaked on East Palestine residents. Representatives of the railway company whose derailed train caused a toxic spill didn’t show up to a public meeting in the Ohio town, citing security concerns.

The founder of the WallStreetBets forum is suing Reddit. Jaime Rogozinski alleged his 2020 ousting from the online community was a ruse to prevent him from trademarking the name.

Twitter won’t get a new CEO any time soon. Elon Musk, who reportedly upended the platform so it would favor his tweets, said he’ll remain in charge at least until the end of the year.

James Dolan, the interim chair of AMC Networks, picked the company’s next CEO. Board member Kristin Dolan—James’s wife, although the two are separated—will start on Feb. 27.

Bird flu has spread to more countries. Argentina and Uruguay were the latest countries to record first cases of the disease in wild birds.

What to watch for

Love them or loathe them, Crocs are more popular than ever. When the Colorado-based maker of colorful foam resin clogs posts earnings today (Feb. 16), it’s expected to report another stellar quarter in a record-breaking year.

A reputation for comfort and ease, an affordable price point, and various celebrity fans have made the ugly-cool shoe a permanent fixture on Amazon’s best sellers list. The brand has also resisted the curse of the pandemic darling: After recording a sales increase in the second half of 2020, as stuck-at-home consumers prioritized their feet’s happiness over appearance, revenue just kept growing.

Last month, Crocs boosted its annual revenue estimate to $3.55 billion, which would make 2022 the best year ever for the brand that first hit the shelves 20 years ago. Fashion changes, but an instantly recognizable and memorable product will never get old—it just becomes timeless.

ChatGPT has something to say about the economy

AI chatbots may be playing a bit of PR catchup (it’s hard to just dust off a $100 billion mistake), but there’s new evidence that large language models like ChatGPT can help economists do better research. That is, if they know how to use them correctly.

A perk of these systems is that they can generate content and consume large amounts of text faster than humans. This is especially true for “microstasks,” those that researchers do every day but are too minor to assign to other human assistants, such as:

😜 Generating catchy titles and headlines

🐞 Debugging code

❤️ Extracting sentiment

🤖 Predicting human reactions

The examples above are just a sampling. There are at least 18 other ways AI can be applied to economic research… with some disclaimers.

The world leadership lineup is skewing even more male

Image for article titled 🌎 Ford's Eureka moment
Photo: Reuters pool (Reuters)

Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon shocked the world when she announced her resignation yesterday (Feb. 15). As the latest woman to walk off the political stage in the past few weeks, world leadership is starting to look even less gender balanced.

Sturgeon and New Zealand’s former prime minister Jacinda Ardern blamed exhaustion and pressure as reasons for their departures, and as Quartz’s Cassie Werber explains, now it’s hard to imagine world leader “family portraits” getting more equal any time soon. (Though there could be a notable exception.)

✦ Want to keep up with global leadership trends? Help keep our content free and accessible by picking up an annual membership. Daily Brief readers get 50% off.

Quartz’s most popular

✈️ What Air India’s historic aircraft deal means for the company—and for India 

🤑 A tech founder who didn’t pay employees for months has been arrested

📵 What caused the T-Mobile outage? 

😎 Louis Vuitton has chosen Pharrell Williams to fill Virgil Abloh’s shoes

💰 Warren Buffett’s “buy and hold” rule doesn’t seem to apply to tech stocks

💉 The cholera vaccine shortage could increase the earthquakes’ toll in Syria and Turkey

Surprising discoveries

The AI photo app trend is so last year. No one is downloading them, it’s cringe, get with the times!

A medieval warship sank with a side of seasoning. Its 500-year-old pantry is still chock full of spices, fruits, and cereals literally fit for a king.

Kids are compassionate—to a point. When it comes to sacrificing rewards, they aren’t as keen on helping others.

The Milky Way may have a younger twin. Nicknamed “The Sparkler,” from where we’re looking it’s around 9 billion light years our junior.  

A US fighter jet fired $400,000 worth of taxpayer dollars into a lake. It shot at and missed a UFO. 

Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, ocean salt, and twin Milky Way bars to hi@qz.com. Reader support makes Quartz available to all—become a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Ananya Bhattacharya, Sofia Lotto Persio, Julia Malleck, and Morgan Haefner.