All posts tagged: Silicon Valley’s biggest companies

The Money Always Wins – The Atlantic

The Money Always Wins – The Atlantic

[ad_1] It’s been four full days since Sam Altman’s shocking dismissal from OpenAI, and we still have no idea where he’s going to land. There are suggestions that Altman, one of the most powerful figures in AI, could return to the company if the board changes significantly—talks are reportedly under way. But there is also an offer on the table from Microsoft to start a new AI research group there, which would be a cruelly ironic outcome for OpenAI, which was founded as a nonprofit with the goal of drawing talent away from Silicon Valley’s biggest companies and developing AI safely. How Altman got to this moment is telling. In the days after his firing, he managed to prove that he is far more than a figurehead, winning over a majority of OpenAI employees (including Ilya Sutskever, the company’s chief scientist and the reported architect of his dismissal—it’s, uh, complicated) and some of the tech industry’s biggest luminaries. A number of OpenAI’s most powerful investors rallied around him. Altman may no longer run his own …

We Finally Have Proof That the Internet Is Worse

We Finally Have Proof That the Internet Is Worse

[ad_1] Living online means never quite understanding what’s happening to you at a given moment. Why these search results? Why this product recommendation? There is a feeling—often warranted, sometimes conspiracy-minded—that we are constantly manipulated by platforms and websites. So-called dark patterns, deceptive bits of web design that can trick people into certain choices online, make it harder to unsubscribe from a scammy or unwanted newsletter; they nudge us into purchases. Algorithms optimized for engagement shape what we see on social media and can goad us into participation by showing us things that are likely to provoke strong emotional responses. But although we know that all of this is happening in aggregate, it’s hard to know specifically how large technology companies exert their influence over our lives. This week, Wired published a story by the former FTC attorney Megan Gray that illustrates the dynamic in a nutshell. The op-ed argued that Google alters user searches to include more lucrative keywords. For example, Google is said to surreptitiously replace a query for “children’s clothing” with “NIKOLAI-brand kidswear” …