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Favorites November 17th 2023
Initial reporting was simply guessing at what could have gone wrong and speculating that Altman may be hard to work with. But Kara Swisher managed to be the first to get the scoop that Altman was fired because he wants to move forward fast with AI, but OpenAI is still a nonprofit at the core, with the goal of avoiding the existential threat of AI doom. It's presumed that Altman is going to found a new company immediately to pursue the same goal. It really seems like they've destroyed an immense amount of their company's value very quickly. Altman was representing OpenAI at public events just yesterday! The board did not consult with Microsoft, who theoretically sort of owns a 49% stake in OpenAI. The ownership structure is absolutely insane. Anyway, of course Eliezer "bomb the data centers" Yudkowsky is pleased with this outcome.
They could probably get an even better outcome without destroying a highway by using congestion pricing. According to the LA Times metro usage went up even more on Tuesday.
Huge if True had a short video discussing the system with a short demo.
• War Historian Bret Devereaux argues that the US should prioritize our alliances, and should make it clear what that order is. He argues for "NATO -> Taiwan -> Ukraine -> Many Other Priorities -> Israel-and/or-Palestine". Further average Americans need to understand that Israel is screwing us by expanding West Bank settlements. (src)
Flotsam and Jetsam
– Teams videochat can now not only blur your background, but cleans up clutter too. (src)
– It's not like any of the other potential Democratic candidates are polling better against Trump. Further, Biden's approval rating has bumped up a bit recently. (src)
– Biden remembered President Xi's wife's birthday better than Xi? (src)
– GOP considering a carbon tariff, which might not actually be terrible. Since tariffs are just taxes it’s essentially a carbon tax. (src)
– In Xi's statement at the end of APEC, he says they don't want to fight a war with anyone. Hopefully that's true, but they keep doing practice runs for a blockade of Taiwan. (src)
– Fun to evaluate charging speed of EVs (src)
– Facebook's new AI image and video editor EMU, very impressive. (src)
– Taiwan has dropped patient mortality by 25% due to AI/ML based improvements to patient monitoring (src)
– You can now use your IRS information to apply for financial aid for college way faster (src)
– BART manager points out that it doesn't make sense to expect transit to be entirely funded by ticket fares. (src)
– AI tutor system looks a lot like the book from Diamond Age, very impressive. (src)
– Proposed new rule excluding solar/battery/transmission from environmental review (src)
– Palestinian opinion polling via in-person interviews. I think they have a pretty skewed idea of what's going on, but at least everyone agrees that Hamas should not be in charge. (src)
– A Web App that will show you what your street would look like if it were as bike-friendly as the Netherlands is (src)