Mask and Meta enter the AI ring
The rivalry between Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk isn’t limited to social media posts and cage fights. Tech heavyweights are accelerating their forays into the world of artificial intelligence to compete with Microsoft-backed OpenAI and Google, taking a different approach in one of the software industry’s most dynamic areas.
Meta is ahead of Musk in developing commercial AI ventures. The social media giant plans to release an open-source version of its AI language model, allowing startups and developers to use the technology to build their own tools and software. Financial Times report.
This approach goes against the proprietary system developed by OpenAI and Google. It may be the fastest way for meta to catch up to its walled rivals.The company says Facilitate industry-wide collaboration It may help alleviate some of the great anxiety surrounding this technology.
Meta has spent billions of dollars on AI over the decades. Long before Meta entered the Metaverse, its programmers developed LLaMA, an AI technology that could power chatbots. Yan LeCunMeta’s chief AI scientist is considered one of AI’s three “godfathers,” but unlike his colleagues who have recently warned about the existential threats posed by the technology, he does so. He is adamant that such concerns are “absurd”.
Enter Mr. Musk’s xAI. The Tesla/SpaceX/Twitter boss will lead a new company and team of 12 AI experts who have worked at Google, Microsoft and OpenAI. Musk, who co-founded OpenAI but left the company after clashing with management, has repeatedly warned about the potential dangers of the technology. He also vehemently complains that AI companies are scraping Twitter and slowing down its servers.
There were no such complaints on Wednesday. According to the xAI website, its goal is to “understand the true nature of the universe.” watch it friday night See Twitter Spaces for instructions.
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Bob Iger will remain CEO of Disney for two more years. He was originally scheduled to retire next year, but has postponed his second retirement until 2026, partly to give him time to find a new successor. In his second appointment as CEO, Mr. Iger has had to contend with massive layoffs, a rethinking of the company’s streaming strategy, a slump in its stock price and a flagrant box office failure.
Rosy inflation data boosts global stocks. Wednesday’s better-than-expected consumer price index, which showed inflation slowed in June, sent stocks near year-to-date highs on Thursday morning and the dollar stronger. fell to a 15-month low. Traders are now Pricing at higher odds The Fed is expected to raise interest rates this month and then stop tightening.
Chinese hackers have accessed the Commerce Secretary’s emails. Gina Raimondo’s account was among those compromised by hackers believed to have ties to the Chinese military and intelligence services ahead of Secretary of State Anthony Brinken’s visit to Beijing last month, U.S. officials said. It is said that Raimondo is one of the most vocal Chinese hawks in the Biden administration and has tightened export restrictions to Chinese companies.
Second Front Opens in War in Hollywood
A day after celebrating the latest Emmy nominations, the entertainment industry is facing one of the worst crises in decades. Contract negotiations between the studio and the major unions representing the actors broke down overnight, leaving the studio on the verge of a complete shutdown.
Hollywood was already suffering from writers’ strikes that halted most film and television productions of screenwriters. The addition of an impressive actor could be a big blow to a struggling studio.
The actors are set to approve a strike this morning. After weeks of tough negotiations with groups representing the studios, the SAG-AFTRA trade union board unanimously called for a halt to work. The problem is rising wages, pay from streaming Restrictions on the use of AI tools is also an issue raised by the Writers Guild of America.
The hard-line negotiations caught the studio off guard, According to The Times.While much of the industry was preparing for a writers’ strike, some suggested that Hollywood executives might be planning a strike. inflict financial pain on the writer To end that suspension—they didn’t expect the Actors Guild to submit a 48-page list of suggestions.
Writers and actors haven’t gone on strike together since 1960. The impact is so great that all US productions with trade union performers will probably have to be cancelled, while other pre-production projects are likely to be postponed. Star may also join the writer’s picket line to make the demo more visible.
The studio had already given the green light to do more unscripted projects, including reality shows, over the fall in response to the writers’ strike. But longer delays in new scripted content could hurt the companies, which are already struggling with explosive box office returns, high streaming costs and declining viewership.
Khan Continues Massive Battle With Microsoft
After suffering heavy losses in court this week, the FTC is not backing down in its efforts to block Microsoft’s $70 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The agency said Wednesday it will appeal the federal judge’s ruling allowing the transaction to proceed.
This shows FTC Chairman Rina Khan, who is set to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, intends to continue her aggressive antitrust enforcement strategy despite numerous legal setbacks. But much will have to get in her way if Khan is to achieve her goal of blocking her deal.
The FTC wants to extend the temporary injunction on the deal. This expiration is set for Friday at 11:59 PM Pacific Time. It’s not clear on what grounds the regulator will appeal, but a law professor known to have spoken with the FTC previously told DealBook that judges applied the wrong standard for how a deal would affect competition. said he believed.
Meanwhile, Microsoft has to reach an agreement with the UK’s antitrust watchdog. The Competition and Markets Authority unexpectedly announced that it would be open to hearing a settlement proposal after blocking the deal in May following the announcement of the US ruling.
Investors initially wondered if a compromise could be reached soon, but the CMA suggested Wednesday that talks would need to be held. new review.
It is unclear what concessions will be accepted or how quickly a new review will occur.
Time is ticking for Microsoft and Activision. Both contracts expire on July 18, but may be extended.
How bad was the last quarter?
Earnings season kicks off for PepsiCo and Delta Air Lines on Thursday, and big banks report earnings on Friday, raising questions about corporate profits and the financial health of consumers.
The company faced a problem last quarter. According to FactSet, the S&P 500 companies: worst loss Since the second quarter of 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earnings at BlackRock, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup rise on Friday. Investors will be watching how financiers navigate through March’s Silicon Valley bank turmoil and prepare for tighter capital requirements and regulatory scrutiny.Also in the spotlight: bank exposure commercial real estate market. Consulting firm McKinsey says post-pandemic shift to remote work significantly reduce the value of office buildings $800 billion increase.
All eyes will be on Goldman Sachs on July 19th. Unusually, Goldman has released updates ahead of its earnings call, none of which are particularly encouraging. “This is likely to be the worst quarter since David Solomon took over as CEO,” said Wells Fargo analyst Mike Mayo. told Bloomberg. “This quarter, he probably has about six products that fall into the weak, bad, or ugly category.”
Persistent trading slump and trading slump Analysts said the attacks by client investors would hurt Goldman Sachs and rival Morgan Stanley. reports are flying Both companies plan to cut headcount to weather the recession, he said.
“I truly believe that with today’s actions, Farmers Insurance is well on its way to an insurance boom.”
— Jimmy PatronisFlorida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) This week, Farmers became the latest insurer to reduce its risk exposure in Florida as climate change storms intensify.
ESG within the company
Republican lawmakers kicked off “ESG Month” on Wednesday. This is a series of hearings that mark the latest step in the fight against so-called “awakened capitalism,” a capitalist movement that has already begun. blow to investors. Patrick McHenry, a North Carolina Republican and chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said: “We want to keep politics out of corporate boards and prevent financial regulation from being weaponized to promote far-left environmental and social policies. It’s time to stop it,” he clarified his goal.
The bill they proposed may not be far off. of A slate of 18 bills focuses primarily on rule changes and SEC restraints on proxy procedures, but it seems that Republicans don’t have the votes to pass them. “This is all about signaling and politics,” Joshua Lichtenstein, a partner at law firm Ropes & Gray who tracks ESG policy, told Dealbook. But he added that “red states could be investigated by Congress” regarding new investigations and enforcement actions.
Big money managers dodged bullets. Companies facing state boycotts or being hit by pension fund defunds, including BlackRock, State Street and Vanguard, have not been targeted by House Republicans, according to expert witnesses. is also defended.
Benjamin Seicher of the American Enterprise Institute, a think tank, testified, “I urge this committee to focus on legislative change for proxy advisors and regulators.” Seicher said companies have to cater to shareholders seeking high returns, but influential proxy advisory firms like ISS and Glass Lewis are less involved in management decisions and more “political.” “You can indulge in your preferences,” he said.
Information of sale
A businessman accused of masterminding a $590 million fraud case involving nickel trading said the plan: devised by the victim, Commodity Trader Trafigura. (FT)
Carlyle Group and Truster reportedly looking to sell part of McDonald’s stake Business in China and Hong Kong at $4 billion. (Bloomberg)
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