Microsoft Goes Microhard
Hundreds of OpenAI employees are threatening to jump ship.
Let's chat about it.
Yesterday, over 90% of the company — more than 700 employees — signed a letter calling on the board to bring back former CEO Sam Altman and former president Greg Brockman. If that doesn’t happen, OpenAI could be ClosedAI. That's because employees said they'd join Altman and Brockman at Microsoft — OpenAI’s largest shareholder. Two executives — including one board member who’s admitting regret over Altman’s ouster — signed the letter. Still, Altman says he wouldn't return to OpenAI unless there are some major changes.
The company’s board structure. Right now, it runs as a nonprofit tasked with prioritizing AI research that benefits the public, not investors’ pockets. The board has always called the shots — even after Altman opened the company's doors to investors in 2019. For now, OpenAI hasn't commented on the employees' letter. But the company's interim CEO, Emmett Shear, says he'll hire an independent investigator to look into what led up to Altman's firing. As for Altman, he says his and Microsoft's top priority is “to ensure OpenAI continues to thrive.”
Microsoft — which has invested billions of dollars into OpenAI — saw its stocks soar after Altman switched over to its side. With Altman and Brockman’s exit, many are wondering if this could be the end of OpenAI, owner of the all-time fastest-growing app.
Gaza: Yesterday, a strike at the Indonesian Hospital in northern Gaza killed at least 12 people, with thousands of people taking shelter there. Gaza's health ministry says Israel is responsible for the attack. Israel says it responded to enemy fire coming from inside the hospital, but that it didn't hit the facility.
Hostages: Yesterday, President Biden said he believes a hostage deal is near to release some of the more than 200 hostages being held by Hamas. A Hamas leader echoed similar sentiments, saying that they’re “close to reaching a truce agreement” with Israel. Israel has yet to comment.
What people are talking about…
The Voting Rights Act. Yesterday, an appeals court said only the federal government can sue under a key provision of the landmark law. Section 2 of the act bans election and voting practices that discriminate based on race. In 2021, two civil rights groups sued Arkansas over its new state House map, saying it's illegal under Section 2 because it underrepresents Black voters. Now, the appeals court has sided with a 2022 decision that said the Justice Dept should’ve filed the suit against Arkansas — not private citizens or civil rights groups. The ruling’s raising concerns among civil rights advocates, especially since private citizens file the majority of suits under the act. The case is expected to make its way to the Supreme Court.
What’s in the hot seat…
Media Matters for America. Yesterday, Elon Musk’s X (formerly known as Twitter) sued the media watchdog group for defamation. Last week, Media Matters published a report showing ads from companies like Disney and Apple appearing next to antisemitic content on X. The report was released around the same time Musk came under fire for backing an antisemitic conspiracy theory online. Now, X's suit says the report drove advertisers away from the platform with its “maliciously manufactured side-by-side images” and reportedly wants the report taken down. Media Matters said it “stands behind its reporting.” The X lawsuit came the same day Texas Republican AG Ken Paxton said he’s investigating Media Matters for “potential fraudulent activity.”
Whose case is going to trial…
A$AP Rocky's. Yesterday, a Los Angeles judge ruled the 35-year-old rapper will stand trial for allegedly shooting at a former friend in 2021. A$AP Relli (aka Terell Ephron) allegedly suffered minor injuries and is now seeking at least $25,000 in damages. Rocky pleaded not guilty to two felony assault charges. He faces up to nine years in prison if found guilty.
What might make your holiday travel worse…
Bad weather. This week, a major storm is expected to affect eastern parts of the US. Rain, snow, and severe storms are predicted to arrive during one of the busiest travel days of the year. Watch out for delays and cancellations.
What scientists might have solved...
Who was blowing smoke, it turns out…
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