Musk and Meta enter the AI ring
The rivalry between Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk won’t be limited to social media posts or cage fights. The tech giants are taking on different approaches to the software industry’s busiest sector, taking on Microsoft-backed OpenAI and Google in the world of artificial intelligence.
Meta is even ahead of Mr Musk in developing commercial AI ventures. The social media giant is set to release an open-source version of its AI language model that will allow start-ups and developers to build their own tools and software using the technology. Financial Times report,
This approach runs contrary to the proprietary systems developed by OpenAI and Google; It could also be the fastest way for the meta to compete with its rivals. so said the company encourage industry-wide collaboration Some of the biggest fears about technology can be addressed.
Meta has spent billions of dollars on AI over the decades. Just before Meta arrived in the Metaverse, the firm’s programmers developed LLAMA, an AI technology that could power chatbots. but butMeta’s chief AI scientist is considered one of the three “godfathers” of AI, but unlike his peers who have recently warned of the existential threat posed by the technology, he is adamant that these fears ” Ridiculous”.
Enter Mr. Musk’s xAI. The Tesla/SpaceX/Twitter boss will lead the new company and its team of a dozen AI experts who used to work at Google, Microsoft and OpenAI. Mr Musk, who co-founded OpenAI but left after clashing with management, has often warned about the technology’s potential dangers. He also bitterly complained that AI companies were destroying Twitter, slowing down its servers.
There was no such complaint on Wednesday. The goal, according to the XAI website, is “to understand the true nature of the universe.” tune in friday night Twitter space for clarification.
What’s going on over here
Bob Iger will stay on as CEO of Disney for the next two years. The mogul was initially set to step down next year, but will postpone his second retirement until 2026 to give him time to find a new successor. In his second stint as CEO, Mr. Iger has had to deal with widespread layoffs, a rethink of the company’s streaming strategy, a stagnant stock price and major box office failures.
Global stocks jumped on rosy inflation data. A better-than-expected consumer price index report on Wednesday showed inflation eased in June, sending stocks to year’s highest on Thursday morning, and the dollar fell to a 15-month low, traders are now pricing in more likely That the Fed will raise interest rates this month and then stop tightening.
Chinese hackers have gained access to the commerce secretary’s email. US officials say accounts infiltrated by hackers ahead of Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to Beijing last month included an account belonging to Gina Raimondo, believed to be linked to the Chinese military or intelligence services . Ms Raimondo is one of the most vocal Chinese supporters in the Biden administration, which has tightened limits on exports to Chinese companies.
Another front of war has opened in Hollywood
A day after the entertainment industry celebrated the latest Emmy Award nominations, it faced one of its worst crises in decades: After contract talks between the studio and the main union representing actors broke down overnight, completely likely to close.
Hollywood was already grappling with a writers’ strike that had halted most scripted film and TV production. Adding powerful actors could be a major blow to the beleaguered studio.
The actors are set to approve the strike this morning. The SAG-AFTRA union board unanimously called for a work stoppage after weeks of bitter negotiations with the group representing the studios. sticking points included high salaries and pay by streaming and limits on the use of AI tools – these issues have also been raised by the Writers Guild of America.
Tough negotiations upset studios, According to The Times. Although many in the industry prepared for a writers’ strike – some suggested that Hollywood executives wanted to do so. financial hardship to writers What they didn’t expect was that the actors’ union would come up with a 48-page list of proposals – to get over that impasse.
Writers and actors have not gone on strike together since the 1960s. The consequences are huge: All US productions with union artists will likely have to be suspended, while other projects in pre-production will likely be pushed back. Stars may also join the writers’ strike line, giving those demonstrations more prominence.
The studios had already responded to the writers’ strike by greenlighting more unreleased projects—such as those in reality TV—during the fall. But longer delays for fresh scripted content could hurt these companies, which are already grappling with box-office bombs, higher streaming costs and declining viewership.
Khan has survived his big Microsoft fight
The FTC is not backing down in its effort to block Microsoft’s $70 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard after suffering a major court defeat this week. The agency said Wednesday it would appeal a federal judge’s decision to let the deal go forward.
It signals that FTC Chairwoman Leena Khan, who is set to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, intends to continue with her aggressive antitrust enforcement strategy despite several legal setbacks. But for Ms. Khan to achieve her goal of blocking the transaction, several things have to go her way.
FTC seeks to extend temporary restraining order on deal, which is set to end Friday at 11:59 PM Pacific. It’s not clear on what grounds the regulator will appeal, but a law professor known to have spoken to the FTC previously told DealBook that he believes the judge applied the wrong standard that the deal is anti-competitive. How will it affect
Meanwhile, Microsoft will have to reach a settlement with Britain’s antitrust watchdog. The Competition and Markets Authority unexpectedly said after the US decision was published that it was open to hearing settlement proposals after blocking the deal in May.
Investors initially wondered whether a settlement could be reached quickly, but the CMA suggested on Wednesday that it would need to do so. New Review.
It is not clear which concessions would be acceptable, or how soon a new review could be done.
Time is running out for Microsoft and Activision. His deal agreement is set to expire on July 18, though he could extend that deadline.
How bad was the last quarter?
Earnings season kicked off on Thursday with PepsiCo and Delta Air Lines down, and big banks will begin reporting on Friday, raising questions about corporate profits and the financial health of consumers.
Companies got into trouble in the last quarter. According to FactSet, S&P 500 firms estimate that their worst drop in profits From the second quarter of 2020, when the Covid pandemic was at its peak.
BlackRock, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup were among the top gainers on Friday. Investors will be eager to see how the lender is moving forward from the tumultuous collapse of Silicon Valley Bank in March and preparing for tighter capital requirements and regulatory scrutiny. Also in news: Bank exposure commercial real estate market. Consulting firm McKinsey predicts post-pandemic shift towards remote work Reduction in the value of office buildings From $800 billion.
On July 19, all eyes will be on Goldman Sachs. In a rare case, Goldman is giving updates ahead of its earnings report — none of them particularly enthralling. Wells Fargo analyst Mike Mayo said, “This is probably the worst quarter since David Solomon took over as CEO.” told Bloomberg, “There are probably half a dozen items in this quarter that fall into the weak, bad, or ugly category.”
Continual decline in deals and slow trading continues That would hurt its investor clients Goldman and its rival Morgan Stanley, analysts say. The reports have been furious To overcome the recession, both companies will reduce the number of employees.
“I am confident that with today’s actions, Kisan Bima is on its way to becoming the Bud Light of insurance.”
, Jimmy PetronisFlorida CFO This week, Farmers became the latest insurer to say it would reduce its risk exposure in Florida, where climate change is making storms more severe.
ESG in the House
Republican lawmakers launched “ESG Month” on Wednesday, a series of hearings that mark the latest step in their fight against so-called wake capitalism, which has already attack on investors, Patrick McHenry, a Republican from North Carolina and chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, made his goal clear: “It’s time to take politics out of corporate boardrooms and make financial regulation a weapon to drive far-left environmental and social policy.” be discouraged from making.
The law he has proposed may not go far. slate of 18 bills The bills have mainly focused on changing the rules regarding the proxy process and curbing the SEC, but it looks like Republicans don’t have the votes to pass them. “It’s all about signaling and politics,” Joshua Lichtenstein, partner at law firm Ropes & Gray, who tracks ESG policies, told DealBook. But, he added, “red states can take up lines of inquiry from Congress” for new investigations and enforcement actions.
Large asset managers escaped the bullet. Firms like BlackRock, State Street and Vanguard that face state boycotts or have been hit by pension funds taking their money out have not been targeted by House Republicans, and even by an expert witness He has also been protected.
“I urge this committee to focus on legislative reforms oriented toward proxy advisors and regulatory agencies,” testified Benjamin Zeichner of the American Enterprise Institute think tank. Companies have to answer to shareholders interested in higher returns, Mr. Zeicher said, but influential proxy advisory firms such as ISS and Glass Lewis can “incorporate their political preferences” without much stake in management decisions.
The businessman accused of orchestrating a $590 million fraud involving nickel trading said the scheme was prepared by its victim, commodity trader Trafigura. (ft)
The Carlyle Group and Trustor are reportedly trying to sell some of their stake in McDonald’s China and Hong Kong Operations for $4 billion. (Bloomberg)
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