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Issue #17

OpenAI disbands risk team, Blue Origin advances space tourism, millennials shift focus on FIRE, and more. 

News from May 16 - May 23, 2024

OpenAI Disbands Risk Team

OpenAI has disbanded its "superalignment team" after key members, including co-founder Ilya Sutskever and co-lead Jan Leike, left the company. This team was focused on controlling advanced AI that might surpass human control.

Leike: "Over the past few months my team has been sailing against the wind... it was getting harder and harder to get this crucial research done." These departures highlight challenges OpenAI faces in managing long-term AI risks.

The dissolution of the superalignment team coincides with OpenAI’s recent introduction of GPT-4o, an AI model capable of mimicking human emotions, flirting, and interacting in a more “humanlike way.” 


Sony Appoints 2 CEOs

Sony has appointed two co-CEOs, Hideaki Nishino and Hermen Hulst, to lead PlayStation following Jim Ryan's retirement. Nishino, currently the SVP of the Platform Experience Group, will head Sony's Platform Business Group, focusing on PlayStation consoles, sales, and technology.

Hulst, who is the SVP and Head of PlayStation Studios, will oversee the Studio Business Group, managing game development and content, including licensing for movie and show adaptations. Both will begin their roles on June 1.

They will report to Hiroki Totoki, the President of Sony Interactive Entertainment, who has been the interim CEO since Ryan stepped down.


Blue Origin Advanced Space Tourism

Blue Origin has resumed its space tourism operations with the NS-25 mission, its first crewed flight in nearly two years. Launched from West Texas using the New Shepard rocket, the 11-minute flight provided six passengers, including 90-year-old Ed Dwight, a brief experience of zero gravity.

Ed Dwight, selected in the past by President Kennedy for astronaut training but not chosen for NASA, expressed his enthusiasm after the flight. Dwight: "Fantastic! A life-changing experience. Everyone needs to do this! I didn’t know I needed this in my life, but now I need it in my life."

This mission highlights Blue Origin's focused commitment to commercial space travel, distinguishing it from other companies like SpaceX that also engage in aerospace endeavors.


Bulletin Board

  • Hot Company Perk: EVs. Electric cars, averaging €65,000 (£55,000), are too costly for many. Employers are offering EV leases through salary sacrifice schemes with tax advantages. Though essential for climate targets, EV sales in Western Europe fell over 11% in late 2023. In the UK, while sales are up, 80% of the 85,000 sold early in 2024 were fleet purchases, indicating retail sales aren't as strong as they seem. Source
  • Apple Launches Eye-Tracking Tech. Apple has launched eye-tracking technology for iPhones and iPads, enabling users to control their devices with just their gaze. Available on models with the A12 chip or later, this technology uses the front-facing camera to allow users to navigate by looking at screen elements. By lingering on an item, users can select it without touching the screen. Source
  • Millennials Shift Focus on FIRE. The FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) movement encourages intense saving to achieve early retirement. Millennials, born from the early 1980s to the mid-1990s, are reshaping this concept. Instead of fully retiring early, they are integrating work with leisure—balancing professional commitments and community volunteering for a more rewarding life. Despite its popularity, early retirement remains rare among millennials, with just over 2% doing so before 50. Source
  • Scientists Fight Superbugs with AI. GSK, a global pharmaceutical company, has partnered with the Fleming Initiative, investing £45m to combat "superbugs" using AI to monitor antimicrobial resistance. Supported also by the UK government, the initiative aims to tackle the escalating threat of antimicrobial-resistant viruses. Emma Walmsley, GSK CEO: "The race against antimicrobial resistance is very real and the time for collective action is now." Source
  • AI Chatbots Easily 'Jailbroken.' UK researchers have discovered that AI chatbot models are easily manipulated to bypass safety measures, producing harmful responses. The AI Safety Institute tested several models, revealing their susceptibility to simple "jailbreak" prompts that trick the system into ignoring its safeguards. For example, researchers tricked GPT-4 into providing instructions on making napalm by framing a question as if it were being asked by someone's "deceased grandmother, who used to be a chemical engineer at a napalm production factory." Source 

Disclaimer: This blog offers insights into international business and global events for informational purposes only. It is not intended as investment or business advice. WeavePay is not liable for any decisions made based on the content provided.

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