Technology

The Paradox at the Heart of Elon Musk’s OpenAI Lawsuit
Technology

The Paradox at the Heart of Elon Musk’s OpenAI Lawsuit

It would be easy to dismiss Elon Musk’s lawsuit against OpenAI as a case of sour grapes.Mr. Musk sued OpenAI this week, accusing the company of breaching the terms of its founding agreement and violating its founding principles. In his telling, OpenAI was established as a nonprofit that would build powerful A.I. systems for the good of humanity and give its research away freely to the public. But Mr. Musk argues that OpenAI broke that promise by starting a for-profit subsidiary that took on billions of dollars in investments from Microsoft.An OpenAI spokeswoman declined to comment on the suit. In a memo sent to employees on Friday, Jason Kwon, the company’s chief strategy officer, denied Mr. Musk’s claims and said, “We believe the claims in this suit may stem from Elon’s regrets about not ...
Elon Musk Sues OpenAI and Sam Altman for Violating the Company’s Principles
Technology

Elon Musk Sues OpenAI and Sam Altman for Violating the Company’s Principles

OpenAI, the influential artificial intelligence company that ousted and then reinstated its high-profile chief executive three months ago, faces a new drama: a lawsuit from Elon Musk, one of the richest men in the world and a co-founder of the A.I. lab.Mr. Musk sued OpenAI and its chief executive, Sam Altman, accusing them of breaching a contract by putting profits and commercial interests in developing artificial intelligence ahead of the public good. A multibillion-dollar partnership that OpenAI developed with Microsoft, Mr. Musk said, represented an abandonment of a founding pledge to carefully develop A.I. and make the technology publicly available.“OpenAI has been transformed into a closed-source de facto subsidiary of the largest technology company, Microsoft,” said the lawsuit filed...
A.I. Frenzy Complicates Efforts to Keep Power-Hungry Data Sites Green
Technology

A.I. Frenzy Complicates Efforts to Keep Power-Hungry Data Sites Green

West Texas, from the oil rigs of the Permian Basin to the wind turbines twirling above the High Plains, has long been a magnet for companies seeking fortunes in energy.Now, those arid ranch lands are offering a new moneymaking opportunity: data centers.Lancium, an energy and data center management firm setting up shop in Fort Stockton and Abilene, is one of many companies around the country betting that building data centers close to generating sites will allow them to tap into underused clean power.“It’s a land grab,” said Lancium’s president, Ali Fenn.In the past, companies built data centers close to internet users, to better meet consumer requests, like streaming a show on Netflix or playing a video game hosted in the cloud. But the growth of artificial intelligence requires huge data ...
Apple Kills Its Electric Car Project
Technology

Apple Kills Its Electric Car Project

Apple has canceled its plans to release an electric car with self-driving abilities, a secretive product that had been in the works for nearly a decade.The company told employees in an internal meeting on Tuesday that it had scrapped the project and that members of the group would be shifted to different roles, including in Apple’s artificial intelligence division, according to a person briefed on the discussion, who requested anonymity because the announcement was not public.As part of the restructuring, Kevin Lynch, an executive who had been involved in the car project, will report to John Giannandrea, the company’s head of artificial intelligence strategy, the person said.Apple declined to comment. The news that Apple was ending its car plan was reported earlier by Bloomberg.Though Appl...
Can a Tech Giant Be Woke?
Technology

Can a Tech Giant Be Woke?

The December day in 2021 that set off a revolution across the videogame industry appeared to start innocuously enough. Managers at a Wisconsin studio called Raven began meeting one by one with quality assurance testers, who vet video games for bugs, to announce that the company was overhauling their department. Going forward, managers said, the lucky testers would be permanent employees, not temps. They would earn an extra $1.50 an hour.It was only later in the morning, a Friday, that the catch became apparent: One-third of the studio’s roughly 35 testers were being let go as part of the overhaul. The workers were stunned. Raven was owned by Activision Blizzard, one of the industry’s largest companies, and there appeared to be plenty of work to go around. Several testers had just worked la...
A Marketplace of Girl Influencers Managed by Moms and Stalked by Men
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A Marketplace of Girl Influencers Managed by Moms and Stalked by Men

The ominous messages began arriving in Elissa’s inbox early last year.“You sell pics of your underage daughter to pedophiles,” read one. “You’re such a naughty sick mom, you’re just as sick as us pedophiles,” read another. “I will make your life hell for you and your daughter.”Elissa has been running her daughter’s Instagram account since 2020, when the girl was 11 and too young to have her own. Photos show a bright, bubbly girl modeling evening dresses, high-end workout gear and dance leotards. She has more than 100,000 followers, some so enthusiastic about her posts that they pay $9.99 a month for more photos.Over the years, Elissa has fielded all kinds of criticism and knows full well that some people think she is exploiting her daughter. She has even gotten used to receiving creepy mes...
Reddit Files to Go Public, in First Social Media I.P.O. in Years
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Reddit Files to Go Public, in First Social Media I.P.O. in Years

Reddit, the community-focused message board site, filed to go public on Thursday, paving the way for it to be the first major social media company to debut on the stock market in years and a test for private companies after a drought in initial public offerings.In an offering prospectus, Reddit disclosed its financial performance in preparation for selling shares to investors. The San Francisco-based company reported that its revenue rose more than 20 percent as its losses narrowed last year. It added that it had 73 million daily users and more than 100,000 active communities.The prospectus kicks off a process to the stock market, with the 18-year-old company set to meet potential investors to whet their appetites for buying its shares. Reddit could go public on the New York Stock Exchange...
Volkswagen Sees Electric Vehicles as a Way to Grow in the U.S.
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Volkswagen Sees Electric Vehicles as a Way to Grow in the U.S.

Probably only Americans of a certain age remember when the Volkswagen Beetle was the best-selling imported car in the United States and the hippest ride to a Grateful Dead concert was a Volkswagen Microbus.Volkswagen is trying to tap some of that nostalgia in its latest push to regain the status and sales it enjoyed in the United States during the Beetle’s and Microbus’s heydays in the 1960s. But this time it hopes its top models will be electric.The German carmaker is second only to Toyota globally but is a niche player in the United States. Part of its plan to revive its fortunes here is to lean on a new electric model that resembles the Microbus, the ID.Buzz, and to revive the Scout brand with a line of electric pickups and sport utility vehicles.Last week, as giant earth movers kicked ...
Plans to Expand U.S. Chip Manufacturing Are Running Into Obstacles
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Plans to Expand U.S. Chip Manufacturing Are Running Into Obstacles

In December 2022, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the key maker of the world’s most cutting-edge chips, said it planned to spend $40 billion in Arizona on its first major U.S. hub for semiconductor production.The much ballyhooed project outside Phoenix — with two new factories, including one with more advanced technology — became a symbol of President Biden’s quest to spur more domestic production of chips, the slices of silicon that help all manner of devices make calculations and store data.Then last summer, TSMC pushed back initial manufacturing at its first Arizona factory to 2025 from this year, saying local workers lacked expertise in installing some sophisticated equipment. Last month, the company said the second plant wouldn’t produce chips until 2027 or 2028, rather th...
OpenAI Completes Deal That Values the Company at $80 Billion
Technology

OpenAI Completes Deal That Values the Company at $80 Billion

OpenAI has completed a deal that values the San Francisco artificial intelligence company at $80 billion or more, nearly tripling its valuation in less than 10 months, according to three people with knowledge of the deal.The company would sell existing shares in a so-called tender offer led by the venture firm Thrive Capital, the people said. The deal lets employees cash out their shares in the company, rather than a traditional funding round that would raise money for business operations.OpenAI, which declined to comment, is now one of the world’s most valuable tech start-ups, behind ByteDance and SpaceX, according to figures from the data tracker CB Insights.The deal is another example of the Silicon Valley deal-making machine pumping money into a handful of companies that specialize in ...