Sergey Brin tries to fight Sam Altman at AI hackathon*

This is a tech headline prediction newsletter again because it clearly gets more clicks

*Subject lines potentially satirical sometimes to keep you on your toes.

Sergey Brin codes. We know that much. Does Sam? I don’t want to escalate this too much, but… should they dual? We never got the Elon v. Zuck cage-match we all deserved and I would settle for some sort of battle between Sergey and Altman. Ultimately, these types of contests are important in order to understand who deserves control of our new AGI overlords.

This Week’s Agenda:

News Review: Google Gemini | Startups Shutdown
Polls on Polls: New questions for you + Results from last week

Hold tight! Big announcements coming next week :)

Google has been an ‘AI-first company’ for nearly a decade. Now, a year into the AI era brought on by ChatGPT, it’s finally making a big move.

Gemini is Google’s latest large language model, which Pichai first teased at the I/O developer conference in June and is now launching to the public. To hear Pichai and Google DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis describe it, it’s a huge leap forward in an AI model that will ultimately affect practically all of Google’s products. “One of the powerful things about this moment,” Pichai says, “is you can work on one underlying technology and make it better and it immediately flows across our products.”

- David Pierce for The Verge

Also, apparently Sergey Brin (Google Co-founder worth $100Billy) did some of the coding… The internet wants to know how much exactly.

How good do you think Sergey is at coding after all these years on the sidelines?

Will share results next week :)

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

After staving off collapse by cutting costs, many young tech companies are out of options, fueling a cash bonfire. 

WeWork raised more than $11 billion in funding as a private company. Olive AI, a health care start-up, gathered $852 million. Convoy, a freight start-up, raised $900 million. And Veev, a home construction start-up, amassed $647 million. In the last six weeks, they all filed for bankruptcy or shut down. They are the most recent failures in a tech start-up collapse that investors say is only beginning.

Approximately 3,200 private venture-backed U.S. companies have gone out of business this year, according to data compiled for The New York Times by PitchBook, which tracks start-ups. Those companies had raised $27.2 billion in venture funding.

- Erin Griffith for The New York Times

How is the market feeling for you?

Will share results next week :)

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Biggest takeaway here was that we’re not really sure how we feel. Was happy to see that it generally tilted positive, but was surprised there wasn’t more consensus overall. I think that’s actually healthy as far as a community goes and I’m excited to keep running these.

Personally, I’m a bit weary of Sam Altman and the OpenAI governance structure. The whole thing is messy and I don’t really buy Sam’s whole “I don’t have any equity” bit. I’m not sure I’d call him a slippery snake quite yet, but I’m definitely not an Altman cult member.

On the Elon side - if you’ve read this newsletter for a while you probably know I’m a fan. Again, not a full on cult member, but I do think he has added a lot to the world and I buy his “pro-humanity” stance.

Enough from me though. Here are some of your responses from the polls:

“Nothing is clear about the reasons [Sam] was kicked out in the first place. OpenAI, a yes maybe. Threat to society, definitely a NO. When and HOW to get real answers to this issue?”

“Seems rather hypocritical - allowing commercial interest to overcome proper governance that would promote responsible AI.” (regarding Sam)

“I'm a former fanboy. I have leased 13 Teslas over the years. No more. Done. This person is a man-child narcissist.”

“I’m a big fan of what he’s done for electric vehicles, space travel/exploration and even the announced Neuralink trials for its potential, but he’s made a BIG misstep with Twitter and it’s slow impending death. He’s proven like most geniuses, there’s a fine line between that and insanity. ”

Thank you for reading and don’t go away! Some big announcements coming next week with plans for 2024 that you’ll want to stick around for.

Talk soon,

Vote on what you want: