|This week, OpenAI became a real tech company: It’s being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission. |
According to the Washington Post, regulators are probing whether OpenAI’s chatbot, ChatGPT, harms consumers, particularly by spreading misinformation that damages people’s reputations.
Why now? AI regulation is top of mind in Washington, DC, as AI experts and lawmakers raise concerns that the technology’s rapid growth is outpacing the government’s ability to keep it on a leash.
And reining in tech is the No. 1 goal of FTC Chair Lina Khan, who has been the architect of a (so far unsuccessful) crackdown on tech companies for alleged antitrust violations and consumer abuses:
- The FTC suffered a major setback this week when a federal judge overruled its attempt to block Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
- Earlier this year, the FTC tried and failed to stop Meta’s acquisition of a VR gaming company.
Big picture: Khan appeared before lawmakers yesterday in a hearing that could’ve been directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Republicans criticized her string of antitrust losses as leader of the agency, while Democrats celebrated her for championing small businesses and consumers.—CC
A man dressed up as an American revolutionary holds a cricket bat on the field before the game between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. Carlin Stiehl for The Boston Globe via Getty Images
A new US cricket league backed by tech money hopes Americans will find the sport wicket awesome. The first game of Major League Cricket’s inaugural season was held yesterday between the Texas Super Kings and the LA Knight Riders in a refurbished minor league baseball stadium just outside of Dallas.
Traditional cricket matches, which are wildly popular in countries like India, England, and Australia, can sometimes last days, and the sport has a shockingly long “glossary of terms” on Wikipedia. But the T20 version, which six US teams will play for the next two weeks, is much shorter (each match lasts about three hours) and has simplified rules for our tiny little TikTok brains.
Haven’t we tried to make America care about cricket before? Yes, many times since the early 2000s. But with a growing Indian American population in the US and the surging popularity of international sports like Formula One racing and soccer (welcome, Messi), it could finally be cricket’s time to shine.
And if it fails, it won’t be for lack of funding: Some of the biggest business execs in the US, including Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen and Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, and other investors have pledged at least $120 million to the league to make sure cricket finally sticks.—MM
Stat: For the first time since 2007, Microsoft Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook have a new default font. Yesterday, Microsoft sent Calibri down to the minors and called up Aptos, a new sans-serif font that’s supposed to evoke mid-20th-century Swiss vibes. Before it switched to Calibri in 2007, Office used Times New Roman, and before that, presumably, Webdings.
Quote: “I’m serious about prisoner exchange.”
President Biden gave his biggest update yet on the Russian detention of WSJ journalist Evan Gershkovich, stressing that the US is trying to nail down a prisoner swap with Russia similar to the one that freed Brittney Griner late last year. Gershkovich has been in Russian captivity for more than 100 days on what the US calls bogus espionage charges. Russian officials have said they might be open to a prisoner swap, but national security advisor Jake Sullivan acknowledged talks have not progressed much.
Read: Two pieces taking a big-picture view of all the extreme weather the world has experienced this summer. (Washington Post and New York Times)
The feeling of getting a 5/5 on the Brew’s Weekly News Quiz has been compared to leaving your cocaine at the White House and not getting caught.
It’s that satisfying. Ace the quiz.
- The World Health Organization made its long-expected decision to label aspartame as a possible carcinogen, but it also said the sweetener is safe for consumption under the daily limit (the equivalent of nine-to-14 Diet Cokes a day)
- Alex Mashinsky, the former CEO of bankrupt crypto lending firm Celsius Network, was arrested and charged with fraud.
- Disney CEO Bob Iger said he’s considering selling some of the company’s traditional TV assets, which include ABC and FX, because he thinks traditional TV is dying.
- Job opening at the Fed: St. Louis Fed President Jim Bullard is stepping down to become the dean of Purdue’s business school.
- Tampa…so hot right now.
Jigsaw: Hit the Jersey Shore and snag a saltwater taffy for today’s Jigsaw puzzle. Play it here.
Just a heads up, this one’s a bit gory. But it’s a nice puzzle nonetheless. Here goes…
One hundred people are standing in a circle in order from 1 to 100.
No. 1 has a sword. He smites the next person (No. 2) and passes the sword to the next (No. 3).
All people do the same until only one remains.
Which number is the last remaining person?
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