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⚙️ More media companies are bowing to OpenAI

Good morning. The world is feeling like a bit of a crazy place at the moment, so I wanted to take a second here to say that I love trees. The highlight of most of my days is my mid-afternoon walk, because at the halfway mark, there is a regal sentinel of an old oak tree and it never fails to make me smile.

And a quick reminder: You can schedule a one-on-one meeting with me here to share your thoughts on The Deep View.

In today’s newsletter: 

  • ♟️ Former OpenAI board member reveals why they fired Sam Altman

  • 📱 Apple plans to combine privacy with genAI 

  • 📊 Investment firm believes Grok will be 1 of 4 models to ‘power the Western world’

  • 📚 More media companies are bowing to OpenAI

Former OpenAI board member reveals why they fired Sam Altman

Image Source: The Ted AI Show podcast

Former OpenAI board member Helen Toner on Tuesday unveiled many of the specifics surrounding the company’s failed ouster of CEO Sam Altman last year. 

  • “For years, Sam had made it really difficult for the board to actually do (its) job by withholding information, misrepresenting things that were happening at the company and in some cases outright lying,” she said. 

The details

  • Toner said that the board was never informed of ChatGPT’s initial launch; they found out “on Twitter.” 

  • Altman didn’t tell the board that he owned OpenAI’s startup fund, “even though he constantly was claiming to be an independent board member with no financial interest in the company.”

  • She added that he would regularly provide inaccurate information about the few safety processes in place at the company. 

Two OpenAI executives then came to the board in October 2023. These executives — complete with documentation of Altman’s behavior — detailed the “toxic atmosphere” that Altman was creating and said he wasn’t “the right person to lead the company to AGI.” 

  • The combination of these two factors led the board to act as it did. The result, as we know, is that the board was fired and Altman returned to helm the company (a classic Uno Reverse, if you will). Toner said that the surge of employee support for his return was partly a result of “how scared people are to go against Sam.”

My take: To me, this just feels like even more evidence that OpenAI is not a place for responsible AI development. And that Altman is a businessman, not a visionary. And that the most dangerous element of AI is that it has become a business. 

OpenAI defended Altman and the company in a statement but didn’t provide additional comment to TDV.

You can listen to the full interview here

Apple plans to combine privacy with genAI


Photo by Tyler Lastovich (Unsplash).

Earlier this year, I chatted with Deepwater Management’s Gene Munster about Apple and its ventures in generative AI. He said that, though Apple has the ability to build the best model out there, the company won’t do it because of its commitment to data privacy. 

The company, however, is seemingly trying to create the best of both worlds … in other words, make its customers and shareholders equally happy.  

  • Apple’s Black Box: The Information reported that Apple is planning to process data from its coming AI applications in a “virtual black box,” making it impossible even for Apple employees to access. 

  • This effort will be functionally realized by Apple’s “Apple Chips in Data Centers” (ACDC) project, which would allow data to stay confidential even when being processed. 

Why it matters: This method, if possible and scalable, will enable Apple to employ cloud-based applications that are less vulnerable to hackers, thus opening up more options for explorations within generative AI without going against its privacy-first mission.  

Apple didn’t respond to a request for comment. 

My thoughts: I imagine we’ll hear more about this during WWDC. While secure chips sound great, I worry that this will provide more of an illusion of privacy than the real thing as a way for Apple to pursue genAI without upsetting its customer base. 

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Investment firm believes Grok will be 1 of 4 models to ‘power the Western world’

GME Stock Chart on Robinhood App! | Via techdaily.ca | #stocks #finance #investing #gme #stonks #citadel

Photo by Tech Daily (Unsplash).

Deepwater also joined in on xAI’s $6 billion Series B round — Munster said in a blog post that Deepwater believes there will only be four “primary proprietary foundation models that will effectively power the Western World.” 

  • In his view, these four will be: OpenAI (GPT), Google (Gemini), Meta (Llama) and xAI (Grok).

The reasoning behind this viewpoint comes down to “infrastructure, data and distribution.” But Munster believes that Grok’s access to real-time data through Twitter will give it an edge — both in the quality and quantity of data — over the competition. 

Well, that, plus the “Elon factor,” specifically, his “deep pockets,” which can fund the expensive venture that is generative AI. 

💰AI Jobs Board:

  • ML Engineer: Hacker Pulse · United States · Remote · Full-time · (Apply here)

  • Machine Learning Engineer: CodeMonk · Western Africa · Remote · Full-time · (Apply here)

  • Platform Data Engineer: Nascent · Grand Bassa County, Liberia · Remote · Full-time · (Apply here)

 📊 Funding & New Arrivals

🌎 The Broad View:

  • Most Americans don’t think they will ever be financially successful (Fortune).

  • PwC becomes the first reseller of ChatGPT Enterprise (VentureBeat).

  • When Silicon Valley stopped trying to save the world (The Free Press).

*Indicates a sponsored link

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You’ll have Magical AI installed in your browser in less than a minute to save you time on 10M+ websites. And it doesn’t store your data so it never leaves your computer.

More media companies are bowing to OpenAI

Created with AI by The Deep View.

OpenAI on Wednesday announced two more content licensing partnerships with prominent media brands: Vox Media (the company behind the fantastic The Verge) and The Atlantic

Like most of the previous partnerships OpenAI has announced, the fiscal details remain under lock and key, but the general rules of the road here are pretty much the same; both companies are entering into a “partnership” with OpenAI, where they will get to use OpenAI’s tech & OpenAI will get to legally train its models on their content. 

The dominoes are falling: These two media heavyweights are only the latest to agree to a content-licensing agreement with OpenAI. News Corp (the company behind Wall Street Journal) agreed to a deal — reportedly worth $250 million over five years — last week. Dotdash Meredith, Axel Springer and the Financial Times have also signed similar agreements. 

  • The broader view: A line is being drawn between legacy media players: Those who want to take OpenAI’s VC money because the content scraping is happening anyway (see above) and those who don’t want to legitimize the practice at all. This group — fronted by the New York Times — has filed a number of massive lawsuits against OpenAI. 

At the same time, OpenAI announced a partnership with the World Association of News Publishers to launch an AI accelerator program for newsrooms around the world. 

My thoughts: In a world where the business of journalism is already crumbling, legitimizing the content woodchippers that are AI companies will certainly not help. Perhaps I’m a little old-school, but these partnerships also feel wrong; at the Washington Post, for example, “democracy dies in darkness.” OpenAI just wants free reign to build AGI & reel in all the cash they can in the process. These do not feel compatible.

As Jessica Lessin, the incredible founder of The Information, wrote in an essay featured in The Atlantic (how’s that for irony) just a few days ago: Media publishers “are trading their own hard-earned credibility for a little cash from the companies that are simultaneously undervaluing them and building products quite clearly intended to replace them.”

  • Whatever their faults — and there are many — news organizations are important, and the people who work at them do important work. If these companies play by OpenAI’s rules, they will lose. 

These agreements are pushing the industry out onto an even narrower ledge. Only for some reason, the folks running these companies have been enticed into looking up at the hyped technological possibilities (or maybe it’s the millions in sorely needed cash) being offered by OpenAI & its peers instead of looking down at the rug being pulled out beneath their feet.

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-Ian Krietzberg, Editor-in-Chief, The Deep View