Sam Altman to join Microsoft after OpenAI rejects his return
Top stories today:
- Sam Altman to join Microsoft after OpenAI rejects his return
- xAI will be 25% owned by X Corp shareholders, says Elon Musk
- SpaceX’s 2nd Starship launch sees successful booster separation
- Hollywood strikes drive down U.S. production budgets
0. Data and calendar
All values as of 6 AM ET / 3 AM PT, other than S&P500 close (4 PM ET / 1 PM PT).
All times are ET.
1. Sam Altman to join Microsoft after OpenAI rejects his return, hiring pro-AI safety Emmet Shear as interim CEO
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella made the announcement:
Microsoft stock is +2% in the premarket
OpenAI’s new interim CEO Shear recently said he was in favor of semi-pausing AI development
Shear’s p(doom) is 5-50%, he recently said on a podcast.
Previously, Ilya Sutskever and 3 other board directors led the firing of Sam Altman, reportedly fearing he was not taking AI safety seriously
The DevDay announcements infuriated Sutskever and his allies. In particular, the launch of customized versions of ChatGPT and the announcement that OpenAI would allow these GPTs to operate tasks independently.
New CEO Shear denies this report: “The board did not remove Sam over any specific disagreement on safety, their reasoning was completely different from that.”
Altman was trying to raise $10B+ for a TPU chip company, code-named Tigris, to compete with NVIDIA, and for a hardware company with former Apple design chief Jony Ive.
OpenAI's $86B valuation share sale was put on hold.
Elon Musk, who originally recruited Sutskever, suggested the firing indicates that AGI may be near
Our view: this was a semi-failed coup of AI doomers, who want to slow down AI progress until AI alignment is solved
Doomers think the odds of AI killing humanity are high, that current AI development is too fast, and that more efforts should be placed on alignment research.
Centrists believe this risk is manageable.
e/acc generally either believe this risk doesn’t exist, or that AI itself will be able to solve problems that arise from AI.
Altman’s firing should lead to OpenAI’s progress being slowed, as employees and investors flee.
But Microsoft and others will continue to be able to accelerate AI development.
Our view: board control matters, and OpenAI's complicated structure left all the power to the parent nonprofit's board
3. xAI will be 25% owned by X Corp shareholders, says Elon Musk
Our view: it is only fair that X Corp shareholders get something out of xAI
xAI is using X's data and branding.
xAI could have been a subsidiary of X.
X’s equity has already suffered a lot since its inception.
4. SpaceX’s 2nd Starship launch sees successful booster separation, but main ship blows up after 7 minutes
SpaceX was optimistic about the flight test
5. Hollywood strikes drive down U.S. production budgets for TV shows, movies
6. Interesting videos, posts, and memes
7. Other headlines
Vision Pro now expected in March.
Apple building its own cellular model, expected by 2026.
Xiaomi's revenue +1% YoY to $9.8B.
Cruise co-founder, CEO Kyle Vogt resigns.
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Tech & law
Rosalynn Carter, former first lady, dies at 96.
Argentine libertarian Milei wins presidential elections, 56%-44%.
Israel nears deal with Hamas: 50+ hostages freed, 5-day pause.
Taiwan frontrunner to name former envoy to U.S. as running mate.
F-16 shipments at “high risk of delays”: GOP reps.
Chinese submarines catch up to U.S.’s.
Defense Secretary Austin visits Kyiv.
Plan B Passport: learn how you can obtain one.*
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