OpenAI’s CEO is heading to Congress to discuss AI rules

As CEO of OpenAI, Sam Altman has become one of the leading heralds of the next generation of AI offerings. ChatGPT, his company’s most popular product, has captured the public’s imagination like no tech product has in years, inspiring hopes and fears about its transformative power.

As Mr. Altman prepares to testify before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee today, his first appearance before Congress expects plenty of questions about how his company and its competitors rush to create a new generation of technologies — and how they should be regulated.

Washington is racing to discover artificial intelligence:

  • Lawmakers in both parties have stressed the importance of reining in the rapidly growing technology, which can now produce photorealistic text, images, and computer code. Sen. Charles Schumer, Democrat of New York and majority leader, said he is working on legislation that addresses the risks posed by artificial intelligence while allowing innovation to flourish.

  • Vice President Kamala Harris met this month with top Amnesty executives, including Mr. Altman, as the Biden administration said it supports legislative efforts to create new rules and government investment.

  • Enforcement agencies are staying vigil, too: Lina Khan, chair of the Federal Trade Commission, recently warned of potential anticompetitive practices by tech giants pursuing AI, as well as potential fraud enabled by new products.

Mr. Altmann has been outspoken about the potential dangers of AI “It would be crazy not to be afraid a little,” he said in March, “and I sympathize with people who are afraid a lot.” “The current concerns that I have are that there will be disinformation problems or economic shocks, or something else on a level far beyond anything we are prepared for.” He is expected to say in his testimony that “AI regulation is essential.”

It’s an acknowledgment that AI is growing by leaps and bounds — Microsoft researchers recently published a paper asserting that its technology showed signs of human thinking — and that it has alarmed some pioneers in the field.

It’s also a politically wise approach, potentially winning over nervous lawmakers — whose concerns include job losses and falling behind in China — and helping steer upcoming legislation away from cracking down on the fast-growing industry.

The stakes are high. Lawmakers have acknowledged the need to strike a delicate balance of constraining tech companies while allowing them to innovate.

Gary Marcus, professor emeritus of psychology and neurosciences at NYU who is also testifying today, put it this way to DealBook: “My concern is that we will miss this moment and let the AI ​​landscape be shaped by the set of short-term interests that we later regret.” “.

Home Depot reports disappointing sales. Shares in the retail giant fell in pre-market trading today after it severely missed analyst expectations and cut its full-year revenue forecast. the case? Consumers delay large projects and buy fewer expensive items such as outdoor furniture.

The former CEO of Silicon Valley Bank speaks. Greg Baker is expected to testify at a Senate hearing today lamenting the lender’s collapse — blaming federal regulators and “rumors and misconceptions” circulating online that he says have ruined the banks. Lawmakers will likely pressure him over his close ties to the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank.

The European Union has approved Microsoft’s $69 billion bid for Activision Blizzard. Antitrust officials in Brussels said pledges to make Activision’s best titles available on rival video game platforms will preserve competition. The decision runs counter to efforts by US and British regulators seeking to block the deal.

Warren Buffett’s big group is betting on Capital One. Berkshire Hathaway revealed yesterday that it acquired $954 million from the credit card issuer last quarter. But Mr. Buffett’s investment vehicle was a net seller of shares, reducing its stake in Chevron and selling all of its shares in Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company.

Wells Fargo settles class action lawsuit for $1 billion. The payment is the latest to stem from a massive, years-long scam in which representatives opened fake customer accounts to further their sales goals. In this case, plaintiffs argued that Wells Fargo had overestimated its progress in reforming illegal practices.

Jeffrey Epstein’s expanding legal case has ensnared another prominent titan: Elon Musk.

The US Virgin Islands revealed in court documents yesterday that it had sought to subpoena the head of Tesla and Twitter over his ties to JPMorgan Chase, the bank it accused of helping facilitate Mr Epstein’s trafficking of young women for sex purposes.

U.S. Virgin Islands prosecutors said Epstein may have referred Musk to JPMorgan. Musk isn’t alone: ​​Prosecutors have also sought to question Google co-founder Sergey Brin, Hollywood mogul Michael Ovitz, and real estate billionaire Mort Zuckerman.

But Mr. Musk dismissed the Virgin Islands claim, saying:Dumb on so many levels, tweeting that he had never looked to Cretin, Mr. Epstein, for financial advice. The billionaire also had harsh words for JPMorgan, asserting that the bank “let down Tesla ten years ago, despite having Tesla’s global commercial banking business, which we then pulled out of.” “I never forgave them,” he added, for good measure.

Yesterday, Mr. Musk suffered a separate legal setback. The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit denied his bid to end a US Securities and Exchange Commission consent decree requiring Tesla’s lawyers to review any of his tweets related to the company. That barrier was put in place in 2018 after Mr. Musk tweeted that he had been paid to take the automaker private, a move that prompted SEC action and shareholder lawsuits.

Neither the agency’s demand nor yesterday’s ruling prevented Musk from posting inflammatory tweets on other matters, including his comments yesterday likening him to George Soros. to Magnetoa longtime comic book villain (who is actually less of a villain these days, but we digress).

  • Mr. Musk is probably having an easier time today at Tesla’s annual shareholder meeting: Only one shareholder proposal, on succession planning, is up for a vote. But investors protested the decision to delay the event by three months, saying it gave them less time to present any opposing proposals to shareholders.

  • Mr. Musk joined other business leaders in France yesterday for the Business Investment Summit. The country’s president, Emmanuel Macron, later chirp The two discussed the electric vehicle market, the energy sector and digital regulation.

Brian Armstrong co-founded Coinbase as a way to disrupt traditional finance systems by making cryptocurrency trading easier. But he’s also been busy helping create NewLimit, a startup focused on pushing the traditional limits of human longevity.

Now that company is taking a big step toward advancing its goals: It has raised $40 million in Series A funding, DealBook is first reporting, to help fund its research.

NewLimit is looking at reprogramming cells to be young again. By fundamentally reversing aging through a combination of genetic manipulation and machine learning, we hope, scientists will be able to eliminate the underlying causes of many major diseases. “If it works, it will change the arc of humanity,” Mr. Armstrong told DealBook.

Mr. Armstrong, who with venture capitalist Blake Byers founded NewLimit in 2021 with $100 million of their own money, is the latest tech mogul fascinated by his longevity. Peter Thiel, OpenAI’s Sam Altman, and Oracle’s Larry Ellison are among those who have poured millions into companies looking into this area.

NewLimit’s approach has had notable supporters. Investors in the new funding round include venture capital firms Dimension, Kleiner Perkins, and Thiel’s Founders Fund, as well as Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Google, and Fred Ersame, the co-founder of Coinbase.

The question is whether the science will spread. Epigenetic programming is still in its infancy, and it is unclear how long it will take to develop applications that actually reverse aging. But Mr. Armstrong asserted that the promise was worth betting millions on: “There is smoke,” he said.

An important measure of the financial health of the US consumer is scheduled to be released today, namely retail sales data. Forecasters expect recent statistics to show that despite higher prices, consumers — the engine of the American economy — continue to spend.

But information released yesterday shows that while consumers are keeping their wallets open, it comes at a significant cost.

Total US household debt hit a record $17.05 trillion in the most recent quarter. According to data released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York yesterday. Inflated mortgage payments, student loan obligations, and autos are the main culprits. One silver lining: Credit card debt levels have remained fairly stable, Nomura economists wrote in a report for investors yesterday.

Consumer debt levels have begun to rise during the coronavirus pandemic, after rising steadily over the past decade. According to the Federal Reserve, total household debt has jumped about $2.8 trillion since the first quarter of 2020, an increase of nearly 20 percent.

With interest rates near a 16-year high, that could put more pressure on heavily indebted consumers to cut back on spending, which could increase the likelihood of a recession.


  • The Federal Trade Commission reportedly plans to file a lawsuit to block Amgen’s $27.8 billion bid to acquire Horizon Therapeutics. (bloomberg)

  • Investors are increasingly concerned that the wave of corporate buybacks is not benefiting shareholders. (foot)

  • Tennis star Serena Williams and veteran M.&A. banker Mark Shaffer join Cancelo, the financial advisory firm founded by Declan Kelly. (Wall Street Journal)


  • The Silicon Valley bank quietly omitted a measure of how rising interest rates would affect its business from its most recent annual report, published just weeks before its collapse. (Bloomberg tax)

  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis reportedly plans to gather major donors next week, before he formally files to run for president. (Politico)

The best of the rest

  • 3M said it fired its chairman, Michael Fall, citing “improper personal conduct and a violation of company policy.” (Wall Street Journal)

  • Right-wing television network Newsmax beat CNN in primetime for the first time on Friday. (media)

  • “Flexible Work Feminist” (Fortune)

  • A startup is betting that Americans want free 55-inch TVs – supported by ads. (Hollywood Reporter)

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