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Quora CEO’s role in firing of Sam Altman

College essays read by AI, Microsoft winner or loser in OpenAI chaos, @sama might return, and more

Welcome to Daily Zaps — Here’s what we got for you today: 🙌

  • 😭 Quora CEO’s role in firing of Sam Altman

  • ☮️ @sama might return as CEO

  • 🏆 MSFT winner or loser from OpenAI chaos?

  • 🔖 Should AI read college essays?

  • 🔗 Other tech news

Let’s get right into it!

Quora CEO’s role in firing of Sam Altman

D’Angelo has been seeking to raise new money for the venture from tech investors in recent months, people familiar with the matter said. “Most of Quora’s energy is going toward Poe,” he said at a recent developer talk.

Following Altman's removal, Adam D'Angelo actively recruited tech leaders to fill the role and exerted significant influence in board discussions. He faces immense pressure from industry peers and employees to reverse Altman's termination, with employees threatening to leave for Microsoft and investors considering legal action.

@sama might return as CEO

OpenAI's board of directors is reportedly in discussions with Sam Altman about his potential return as CEO this week. The talks involve Quora CEO Adam D'Angelo, a current board member, and possibly others. Various scenarios are being considered, including Altman returning as a director on a transitional board or as part of a new board, potentially alongside Bret Taylor, former Salesforce Inc. co-CEO.

Investors like Thrive Capital, Khosla Ventures, Tiger Global Management, and Sequoia Capital are pushing for Altman's return, aiming to resolve the management crisis before Thanksgiving to reduce uncertainty among OpenAI employees.

Sam Altman's potential return to OpenAI would likely involve demands for significant managerial and governance changes, a condition shared by many OpenAI supporters, including Microsoft. OpenAI's management has been engaged in discussions with Altman, the board, and interim CEO Emmett Shear to reunify the company.

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MSFT winner or loser from OpenAI chaos?

Cloudflare CEO, Matthew Prince, believes the recent events surrounding OpenAI have not been favorable for Microsoft. Before the upheaval, Microsoft had invested approximately $11 billion in OpenAI, reaping most of its benefits while maintaining distance for regulatory purposes and avoiding accountability for any issues with OpenAI's technology. However, after these events, Microsoft's position has deteriorated significantly. They faced the risk of losing their substantial investment, making them appear imprudent without effective governance controls.

Although they may hire some of OpenAI's talent, this move doesn't provide substantial additional value and exposes them to reputational and execution risks. The likelihood of senior OpenAI members remaining at Microsoft in the long term is diminishing, as the company's bureaucratic machinery may stifle their independence and motivation. This situation has been detrimental to both Microsoft and OpenAI, with no clear winners in sight, and it may not improve for Microsoft in the foreseeable future, turning what was once a call option on an asset into ownership of a fraction of the asset itself.

Should AI read college essays?

In a recent study led by researchers from CU Boulder and the University of Pennsylvania, artificial intelligence tools were developed to analyze college application essays and identify key personal traits, such as leadership and perseverance, without exhibiting algorithmic bias based on race or gender. The research aimed to demonstrate that AI could be utilized in the admissions process without perpetuating biases.

The study emphasized that these AI tools should complement, rather than replace, experienced admissions officers. While they are not currently in use at any college, they have the potential to assist admissions officers in identifying promising students who might otherwise go unnoticed among a large pool of applicants. The researchers advocate for transparency in AI decision-making, allowing individuals to assess the AI's reliability and make informed judgments.

In case you’re interested — we’ve got a bunch of cool AI tools listed over at Daily Zaps AI hub. If you have any cool tools to share, feel free to submit them or get in touch with us by replying to this email.

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