Top of the mornin’ to ya, friends. This is Bite Sized Beta. We’re like the TurboTax of tech news, except free and less annoying. Just out here makin’ it easy to file all the best stuff in your brain.
We got a lot on deck today, so let’s get to the good stuff.
In the oven this week:
🎭 Drama at OpenAI
💸 Crypto’s heaping plate of justice
🍪 Cookie crumbs: 4 bite-sized headlines
🗳️ Poll of the week: are the normies actually using AI?
🍫 Chocolate chips: our 3 favorite finds of the week
😂 Snickerdoodles: memes for the weekend
OPENAI 🥊 ELON
Elon and Sam Altman have been acting like divorced parents lately, and we’re watching like it’s the final tennis match at the US Open.
Let’s start at the beginning.
Elon, Sam, and a gang of other smart guys founded OpenAI as a non-profit back in 2015.
Things seemed to be going well, but in 2018, Elon randomly stepped down and cited a conflict of interest between OpenAI and Tesla, since both would compete for the same talent as Tesla developed AI for autonomous driving.
Sure, makes sense.
But this week, it was reported that Elon actually stepped down after a power struggle at the company.
The short version of what happened:
Elon: OpenAI is way behind Google now. Let me run this joint and be CEO.
Sam and the other founders: um, no.
Elon: Alright, deuces. Me and my money are walkin’ that way 👉🏽
Without Elon’s funding, OpenAI needed cash, and decided to create a for-profit subsidiary of OpenAI in 2019. They also took a ton of money billions from Microsoft.
And Elon was not about it.
@Carnage4Life I’m still confused as to how a non-profit to which I donated ~$100M somehow became a $30B market cap for-profit. If this is legal, why doesn’t everyone do it?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk)
Mar 15, 2023
Sam shot back this week, calling Elon “a jerk” and said, “we’re not controlled by Microsoft. Microsoft doesn’t even have a board seat on us; we are an independent company.”
Uh huh, and just ‘cause my mom buys me clothes and gives me lunch money doesn’t mean she can tell me what to do... 🤔
I’m sure it will be fine https://t.co/JWsq62Qkru
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk)
Mar 24, 2023
He also just signed this open letter, calling on all AI labs to pause the development of AI any more powerful than GPT-4 in order to give everyone time to think about its negative effects on society.
Things are gettin' spicy 👀.
FROM THE COOKIE JAR
Turns out, you don't even need to look at the lunch menu in crypto these days, 'cause all that's being served is justice.
This ain’t a crypto newsletter, but every once in a while, so much happens that it deserves its own crypto corner.
Hey hey, we don’t create the drama, we just follow it.
Here are the 4 quick hits:
1. Do Kwon was finally arrested. After months of saying he hasn’t been in hiding, where do the cops find him? In Montenegro of all places, with a forged Costa Rican passport, fake travel documents, and 0 dignity.
2. SBF got charged with bribing a Chinese official $40M to unfreeze Alameda Research accounts. Him on house arrest counting his 13+ charges:
3. The SEC is coming after so many people these days ya gotta ask who they aren’t after. Let’s review. *cracks knuckles*
First off, they sent a Wells notice to Coinbase this week. What’s a Wells notice? Well, it’s a sign that things ain’t well. It's the SEC telling you that you’ve violated securities laws and it’s comin’ after ya. Apparently though, it was a little light on the details of what the violation actually was.
They also sued a bunch of celebs this week, like Akon, Jake Paul, Austin Mahone, Soulja Boy, Ne-Yo, Lindsay Lohan, etc. for allegedly promoting crypto companies without disclosing that they were paid to do so. Jake Paul got roped in for just re-tweeting Lil Yachty’s promotional tweet LOL.
All this on top of them settling with the crypto trading platform Kraken for $30M and forcing them to shut down their staking product.
Watch out people, crypto is getting a good shakedown.
4. Binance just got sued. This is the world’s largest crypto exchange we’re talkin’ about, no small potatoes here. Why? On claims that Binance failed to register with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) while letting customers trade crypto derivatives.
BITE SIZED TREATS
Microsoft Teams launched customizable 3D avatars this week that you can use in place of being on camera in a meeting. *crickets*
OpenAI launched support for plugins in ChatGPT for paying users. If you install the Opentable plugin for example, you could tell ChatGPT to make you a reservation. With the Instacart plugin, you could add your grocery list to your cart.
The TikTok CEO testified in front of Congress last week, and it didn’t go so well. Embarrassing for the congressional representatives, who at one point started calling TikTok Tic Tac (you know.. like the mints??) and asked if TikTok uses wifi. Sucked for the TikTok CEO, who couldn’t quell Congress’ fears about Chinese spying.
Lyft co-founders, CEO Logan Green and president John Zimmer, are ridesharing into the sunset and stepping down from their roles in April. They’ll serve as chair and vice chair of Lyft’s board. What a run. David Risher, a Lyft board member, gets to take over as the new CEO.
POLL OF THE WEEK
WHO'S ON THE AI HYPE TRAIN?
There's a ton of hype around AI, but other than kids using it to get out of writing their own English papers, we haven't heard much about people getting real use out if it.
So we gotta ask, are normal people actually using ChatGPT/Bard/etc.?
Let us know if we're just outta the loop. 👇🏽
How often are you actually using AI for something useful?
If you're using it all the time, what kinda stuff do you use it for? Reply to this email and let us know. We'll share the top results next week!
OUR FAVORITE FINDS
A great piece from Deb Liu (early product exec/legend at FB): tell people what you want so they can help you achieve it.
A psychologist shares the number 1 exercise successful people use to be happier.
That's all we got for ya this week, folks. See ya next Thursday!
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