Thursday, May 23

Technology

SEC Is Investigating OpenAI Over Its Board’s Actions
Technology

SEC Is Investigating OpenAI Over Its Board’s Actions

The Securities and Exchange Commission began an inquiry into OpenAI soon after the company’s board of directors unexpectedly removed Sam Altman, its chief executive, at the end of last year, three people familiar with the inquiry said.The regulator has sent official requests to OpenAI, the developer of the ChatGPT online chatbot, seeking information about the situation. It is unclear whether the S.E.C. is investigating Mr. Altman’s behavior, the board’s decision to oust him or both.Even as OpenAI has tried to turn the page on the dismissal of Mr. Altman, who was soon reinstated, the controversy continues to hound the company. In addition to the S.E.C. inquiry, the San Francisco artificial intelligence company has hired a law firm to conduct its own investigation into Mr. Altman’s behavior ...
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 will issue 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 will ask 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, “e...
Odysseus Moon Lander Sends Photos Home Before Spacecraft Likely Dies
Technology

Odysseus Moon Lander Sends Photos Home Before Spacecraft Likely Dies

Odysseus, the American robotic spacecraft that landed on the moon last week, is likely to die in the next day or so.Communications with the toppled lander remain limited and will end when sunlight is no longer shining on the solar panels, Intuitive Machines, the Houston-based company that built and operates Odysseus, said on Monday morning.The company also released images that the spacecraft took as it descended, but none yet from the surface.Odysseus is the first American spacecraft to land on the moon since Apollo 17 in 1972, and the first private one ever to successfully set down there in one piece. However, during the landing on Thursday evening, the lander, about 14 feet tall, appears to have been traveling faster than planned and ended up tipped over on its side.As a result, its ante...
A Marketplace of Girl Influencers Managed by Moms and Stalked by Men
Technology

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...
Google DeepMind C.E.O. Demis Hassabis on the Path From Chatbots to A.G.I.
Technology

Google DeepMind C.E.O. Demis Hassabis on the Path From Chatbots to A.G.I.

Listen and follow ‘Hard Fork’Apple | Spotify | Amazon | YouTubeThis week’s episode is a conversation with Demis Hassabis, the head of Google’s artificial intelligence division. We talk about Google’s latest A.I. models, Gemini and Gemma; the existential risks of artificial intelligence; his timelines for artificial general intelligence; and what he thinks the world will look like post-A.G.I.Additional listening and reading:Credits“Hard Fork” is hosted by Kevin Roose and Casey Newton and produced by Davis Land and Rachel Cohn. The show is edited by Jen Poyant. Engineering by Chris Wood and original music by Dan Powell, Marion Lozano and Pat McCusker. Fact-checking by Caitlin Love.Special thanks to Paula Szuchman, Pui-Wing Tam, Nell Gallogly, Kate LoPresti and Jeffrey Miranda. More in...
Let Tesla Expand? Germans Vote No.
Technology

Let Tesla Expand? Germans Vote No.

Why It Matters: A factory that has divided a town.Tesla’s decision to settle in Grünheide, which is in the state of Brandenburg, and the speed with which the factory was built — 861 days — has been a point of pride for local politicians in a country known for its onerous permitting processes.The factory, which opened two years ago, has also become an important driver of growth in the state, long one of the most economically challenged in Germany. Brandenburg recorded economic growth of 6 percent in the first half of 2023, largely driven by the 11,000 jobs at the plant and dozens of suppliers that have sprung up around it.But many local residents contend the plant has disrupted a quality of life that drew them to Grünheide, and say it threatens the air and water quality.Some said that Tesla...
Plans to Expand U.S. Chip Manufacturing Are Running Into Obstacles
Technology

Plans to Expand U.S. Chip Manufacturing Are Running Into Obstacles

In December 2022, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the key maker of the world’s most cutting-edge chips, said it planned to spend $40 billion in Arizona on its first major U.S. hub for semiconductor production.The much ballyhooed project in Phoenix — with two new factories, including one with more advanced technology — became a symbol of President Biden’s quest to spur more domestic production of chips, the slices of silicon that help all manner of devices make calculations and store data.Then last summer, TSMC pushed back initial manufacturing at its first Arizona factory to 2025 from this year, saying local workers lacked expertise in installing some sophisticated equipment. Last month, the company said the second plant wouldn’t produce chips until 2027 or 2028, rather than 20...
Facial Recognition in Airports: Biometrics Technology Is Expanding
Technology

Facial Recognition in Airports: Biometrics Technology Is Expanding

On a recent Thursday morning in Queens, travelers streamed through the exterior doors of La Guardia Airport’s Terminal C. Some were bleary-eyed — most hefted briefcases — as they checked bags and made their way to the security screening lines.It was business as usual, until some approached a line that was almost empty. One by one, they walked to a kiosk with an iPad affixed to it and had their photos taken, as a security officer stood by. Within seconds, each passenger’s image was matched to a photo from a government database, and the traveler was ushered past security into the deeper maze of the airport. No physical ID or boarding pass required.Some travelers, despite previously opting into the program, still proffered identification, only for the officer to wave it away. This passenger s...
In Big Election Year, A.I.’s Architects Move Against Its Misuse
Technology

In Big Election Year, A.I.’s Architects Move Against Its Misuse

Artificial intelligence companies have been at the vanguard of developing the transformative technology. Now they are also racing to set limits on how A.I. is used in a year stacked with major elections around the world.Last month, OpenAI, the maker of the ChatGPT chatbot, said it was working to prevent abuse of its tools in elections, partly by forbidding their use to create chatbots that pretend to be real people or institutions. In recent weeks, Google also said it would limit its A.I. chatbot, Bard, from responding to certain election-related prompts “out of an abundance of caution.” And Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, promised to better label A.I.-generated content on its platforms so voters could more easily discern what material was real and what was fake.On Friday, 20 tech...
SpaceX to Launch Intuitive Machines Nova-C Moon Lander: How to Watch
Technology

SpaceX to Launch Intuitive Machines Nova-C Moon Lander: How to Watch

Another month, another day, another try at the moon.A robotic lunar lander is scheduled to launch in the early morning hours of Thursday, one day after a technical glitch postponed the first launch attempt. If all goes well, it will become the first American spacecraft to set down softly on the moon’s surface since the Apollo 17 moon landing in 1972.It is also the latest private effort to send spacecraft to the moon. Earlier attempts have all ended in failure. But the company in charge of the latest effort, Intuitive Machines of Houston, is optimistic.“I feel fairly confident that we’re going to be successful softly touching down on the moon,” said Stephen Altemus, the president and chief executive of Intuitive Machines. “We’ve done the testing. We’ve tested and tested and tested. As much ...