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 ...
What Elon Musk and Sam Altman Said About Each Other
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What Elon Musk and Sam Altman Said About Each Other

(Mr. Musk wrote back: “Thanks Sam!”)In the “On With Kara Swisher” podcast, in March 2023:“He’s a jerk, whatever else you want to say about him — he has a style that is not a style that I’d want to have for myself. But I think he does really care, and he is feeling very stressed about what the future’s going to look like for humanity.”In the “In Good Company” podcast, in September:“Elon was definitely a talent magnet and attention magnet, for sure, and also just like has some real superpowers that were super helpful to us in those early days, aside from all of those things.”What Mr. Musk and Mr. Altman said about A.I. in joint appearances:In a conversation at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment, in October 2015:Mr. Altman: “The happy vision of the future is humans and A.I. in a symbiotic relati...
Biden Issues Executive Order to Restrict Personal Data Sales to China and Russia
Technology

Biden Issues Executive Order to Restrict Personal Data Sales to China and Russia

President Biden issued an executive order Wednesday seeking to restrict the sale of sensitive American data to China, Russia and four more countries, a first-of-its-kind attempt to keep personally identifying information from being obtained for blackmail, scams or other harm.The president asked the Justice Department to write rules restricting the sale of information about Americans’ locations, health and genetics to China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela, as well as any entities linked to those countries. The restrictions would also cover financial information, biometric data and other types of information that could identify individuals and sensitive information related to the government.The White House said this kind of sensitive data could be used for blackmail, “especial...
AT&T Offers $5 Credit After Widespread Service Outage
Technology

AT&T Offers $5 Credit After Widespread Service Outage

AT&T will offer a $5 credit to customers affected by a widespread outage on Thursday that was caused by technical issues the company encountered while trying to expand its network, its chief executive said on Sunday.The outage, which started around 3:30 a.m. Eastern time, temporarily cut off connections for users across the United States.Some of the affected cities included Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York, according to Downdetector.com, which tracks user reports of telecommunication and internet disruptions.At its peak, the site had received about 70,000 reports of disrupted service for AT&T. Service was fully restored after about seven hours.“No matter the timing, one thing is clear — we let down many of our customers, including many of you and your families,” the chief executiv...
What to Know About the Supreme Court Case on Free Speech on Social Media
Technology

What to Know About the Supreme Court Case on Free Speech on Social Media

Social media companies are bracing for Supreme Court arguments on Monday that could fundamentally alter the way they police their sites.After Facebook, Twitter and YouTube barred President Donald J. Trump in the wake of the Jan. 6, 2021, riots at the Capitol, Florida made it illegal for technology companies to ban from their sites a candidate for office in the state. Texas later passed its own law prohibiting platforms from taking down political content.Two tech industry groups, NetChoice and the Computer & Communications Industry Association, sued to block the laws from taking effect. They argued that the companies have the right to make decisions about their own platforms under the First Amendment, much as a newspaper gets to decide what runs in its pages.So what’s at stake?The Supre...
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...
Instagram’s Uneasy Rise as a News Site
Technology

Instagram’s Uneasy Rise as a News Site

On a recent Wednesday in Brooklyn’s Dumbo neighborhood, Mosheh Oinounou, a former producer for CBS, Bloomberg News and Fox News, swiped through Instagram. He had started his morning reading major newspapers and more than a dozen newsletters. Then he spent much of the day turning many of the articles into posts on his Instagram account, under the handle Mo News.A Wall Street Journal story on aging Americans was relayed through a picture of a cake declaring, “Record Number of Americans Will Turn 65 This Year: Wealthy, Active, And Single.” At times, Mr. Oinounou, an affable 41-year-old, has also appeared on camera with the co-host of his daily news podcast to explain the significance of how Republican presidential candidates were polling and why President Biden was a write-in candidate in New...
Inside the Funding Frenzy at Anthropic, One of A.I.’s Hottest Start-Ups
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Inside the Funding Frenzy at Anthropic, One of A.I.’s Hottest Start-Ups

Last May, Anthropic, one of the world’s hottest artificial intelligence start-ups, raised $450 million from investors including Google and Salesforce. It was the beginning of an astonishing funding spree.By August, Anthropic had landed $100 million from two Asian telecoms. Then Amazon committed $4 billion to it, followed by $2 billion more from Google.This month, the venture capital firm Menlo Ventures closed a deal to invest $750 million in Anthropic.All told, the A.I. start-up hauled in $7.3 billion in a year. Its five funding deals stood out not just for their speed and size, but for their unusual structures.In one of those deals, Anthropic agreed to use technology such as chips and cloud computing services from the companies that invested in it. That meant, in effect, that some of the ...
‘Most Wanted’ Man Pleads Guilty in Cyberattack That Upended Vermont Hospital
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‘Most Wanted’ Man Pleads Guilty in Cyberattack That Upended Vermont Hospital

A Ukrainian man pleaded guilty in federal court on Thursday to his leadership role in two cyberattack schemes that caused tens of millions of dollars in losses and temporarily crippled a Vermont hospital in 2020, according to the Justice Department.Prosecutors said that Vyacheslav Igorevich Penchukov, 37, was a leader for an organization that in May 2009 began to infect thousands of computers at corporations with malicious software, and that he helped lead a separate malware scheme that began around November 2018.Mr. Penchukov, of Donetsk, pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court in Nebraska to one count of conspiracy to commit an offense that violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He was arrested in Switzerland in...
The Antitrust Enforcers Aimed at Big Tech. Then Came the Backlash.
Technology

The Antitrust Enforcers Aimed at Big Tech. Then Came the Backlash.

The South Korean government unleashed a wave of panic across the internet industry: The country’s antitrust regulator said it would enact the toughest competition law outside Europe, curbing the influence of major technology companies.The Korea Fair Trade Commission, with the backing of President Yoon Suk Yeol, said in December that it planned to make a proposal modeled after the 2022 Digital Markets Act, the European Union’s landmark law to rein in American tech giants. This bill also seemed to target South Korea’s own internet conglomerates just as much as the Alphabets, Apples and Metas of the world.The commission said the law would designate certain companies as dominant platforms and limit their ability to use strongholds in one online business to expand into new areas.Then last week,...