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November 23, 2023
Here are this week's most popular stories on AI Business:
Sam Altman was fired last week. He’s now back as CEO of OpenAI.
But earlier this week, the boardroom coup that led to Altman’s firing threatened the existence of the world’s most valuable AI startup.
Allegedly influenced by OpenAI Chief Scientist Ilya Sutskever, the coup saw Altman depart and President Greg Brockman resign in sympathy – with 738 of 770 employees signing an open letter to the board threatening to quit. The signatories included Sutskever, who tweeted, “I deeply regret” his role in the firing.
CTO Mira Murati was brought in as interim CEO but she too was fired and replaced by new-hire Emmett Shear, the co-founder of Twitch. Murti’s short reign came to an end as the board accused her of being “against the best interests of the company.”
Amid the OpenAI turmoil, there was even talk of the company joining forces with rival Anthropic.
Anthropic is led by Dario Amodei, who famously left OpenAI to form the startup over concerns about commercializing AI.
Amodei waved away the merger idea - as well as an approach to take over from Altman at OpenAI.
Other people who said no to the CEO job include former GitHub CEO Nat Friedman and Scale AI CEO Alex Wang. Twitch co-founder Emmett Shear took the job but is now out in the wake of Altman's return.
Away from OpenAI, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang said the chipmaker is “ramping up” plans to improve inferencing performance through its new hardware lines, fresh on the heels of unveiling new H200 chips.
Speaking at the recent ai-PULSE tech conference in Paris, Huang said the new H200 chips can double the performance of inferencing “without changing anything" - the system or the software stack.
The H200 chips were unveiled recently as the successor to Nvidia’s flagship H100s. The company CEO said the improved performance would reduce costs for users by half.
Nvidia is also stepping up its plans for the Grace Hopper 200 Superchip, with the new hardware able to expand chip interconnections from eight GPUs to 32.
First showcased at the Meta Connect event in September, Emu's technology underpins many of the generative AI experiences on its social media platforms, including AI image editing tools on Instagram that lets users change a photo's visual style or background. The model is built directly into Meta AI, the company’s new assistant platform akin to OpenAI’s ChatGPT.
The new Emu Video model can generate videos based on either natural language text or images, or both. Unlike Meta’s other video generation model, Make-a-Video, Emu Video uses two diffusion models to create content rather than five models
According to Meta, this simpler process allows for video generation models to be trained more efficiently. Researchers also said that Emu Video generations were preferred by 96% of users over Make-A-Video when it comes to quality and 85% of users when it comes to adherence to the text prompt. Emu Video can also animate images users upload based on text prompts.
You can try the model out for yourself on the Emu Video demo page. The demo showcases Emu Video’s capabilities from present text and image inputs.
Every week, AI Business brings you the latest startup news.
This week’s Startup Roundup looked at Forward, a health care startup founded by a former Google executive. The company raised $100 million to build CarePods − AI-powered, self-serve health care units.
Adrian Aoun, formerly director of special projects for Google co-founder Larry Page and was part of its AI team, is building pods where users walk in and get a diagnosis. CarePods would be installed in public places like malls to provide on-demand care, including disease detection, biometric body scans and blood testing.
His backers include former Google CEO and chair Eric Schmidt, DeepMind co-founder Demis Hassabis, John Giannandrea, Apple’s senior vice president for machine learning and AI strategy and Mustafa Suleyman, cofounder of DeepMind and Inflection AI.
Peter Thiel's Founders Fund, Samsung Next and Softbank also invested in the startup, which is being advised by Regina Benjamin, the 18th U.S. Surgeon General and Bob Wachter, chair of the Department of Medicine at UCSF.
Also featured this week are the new responsible AI VC group and funding raises for EyeTell and Radiant Security.
Ben Wodecki is the Jr. Editor of AI Business, covering a wide range of AI content. Ben joined the team in March 2021 as assistant editor and was promoted to Jr. Editor. He has written for The New Statesman, Intellectual Property Magazine, and The Telegraph India, among others. He holds an MSc in Digital Journalism from Middlesex University.
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