🛑 OpenAI dissolves safety team

📢 Slack’s secret AI scandal

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Welcome to AI Tool Report!

Monday’s top story: OpenAI’s AI safety team has been dissolved after two of its key leaders left, last week, over the company’s deprioritization of AI safety.

🌤️ This Morning on AI Tool Report

  1. 🛑 OpenAI dissolves safety team

  2. 💰 Microsoft gets $2B EU fine?

  3. 📢 Slack’s secret AI scandal

  4. 🌟 Snapchat’s $1.5B AI transformation

Read Time: 5 minutes

Thursday’s newsletter is in partnership with Artisan AI

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SAFETY

OpenAI dissolves safety team

Our Report: Last week, OpenAI lost key members of their “Superalignment team”—which was dedicated to addressing long-term AI safety risks—including Ilya Sutskever (OpenAI co-founder and chief scientist) and Jan Leike (Lead OpenAI researcher), and now the team has been dissolved, with Leike publicly expressing his frustration over OpenAI’s deprioritization of safety.

🔑 Key Points:

  • According to sources, the Superalignment team, co-led by Leike, was denied resources, preventing the team from being able to adequately control its superintelligent AI systems.

  • This pushed Leike (and others) to “breaking point”, with Leike expressing disappointment that “safety culture and processes” are taking “a backseat to shiny products.

  • In response, OpenAI CEO, Sam Altman, and co-founder, Greg Brockman, have admitted that OpenAI has "a lot more to do" and is committed to building a “harmony of safety and capabilities.”

🤔 Why you should care: While OpenAI has tried to provide reassurance, Leike’s insight into the company’s deprioritization of AI safety and the disablement of the Superalignment team, has sparked concerns that OpenAI’s AI developments have not and will not be as safety-focused as they should be.

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REGULATIONS

 Microsoft gets $2B EU fine?

Our Report: The European Union (EU) has stepped up “its enforcement against Microsoft” after they failed to respond to a request for information (RFI) about its AI tools, ahead of the European Parliament elections, next month.

🔑 Key Points:

  • The EU originally asked Microsoft for information relating to electoral risks posed by its search engine Bing’s AI features (its AI chatbot, Copilot, and image generator), in March.

  • After Microsoft failed to respond, the EU set a new deadline of May 27 and will then assess the information provided to establish if further scrutiny is needed.

  • If Microsoft fails to meet this new deadline or provides the EU with incomplete or misleading information, it could be fined up to 6% of its global annual revenue (last reported as $211B).

🤔 Why you should care: In response, Microsoft says it’s been “fully cooperating with the European Commission” and is “deeply committed to creating safe experiences online and working with regulators on this important topic.

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DATA USAGE

📢 Slack’s secret AI scandal

Our Report: Slack has been outed for using messages, data, files, and other content to train machine learning models, without explicit permission from users.

🔑 Key Points:

  • A post on X revealed that Slack is using its customer data to train “global models,” which it uses to power channel and emoji recommendations and search results.

  • According to its (confusing) privacy principles (quietly updated in September), users will contribute their data for training AI models, by default, but can opt out of the program by email.

  • In response to the backlash, Slack has revised its policy wording and reassured users that its machine-learning models are not trained “to learn, memorize or reproduce customer data.

🤔 Why you should care: This seems like a surprising u-turn for Slack, a company that’s always stated that “you control your data” and comes as concerns around how big tech companies are using customer data, without consent, to train and monetize their AI models are mounting.

FUNDING

🌟 Snapchat’s $1.5B AI transformation

Our Report: Evan Spiegel—the CEO of the social media platform, Snapchat—has announced that they will spend up to $1.5B a year on Machine Learning (ML), AI, and Augmented Reality (AR) to stay competitive.

🔑 Key Points:

  • Spiegel recognized that Snapchat had “fallen behind the curve” with AI, which was “reflected in the business performance,” after previously pouring capital into its advertising model.

  • Spiegel’s previous ad model enabled advertisers to creatively tell brand stories to incite emotions from users, rather than pushing them into an immediate sale.

  • Now, it plans to build ML, AI, and AR features to enhance its recommendation algorithms and short-form video feature—Spotlight—which competes with TikTok.

🤔 Why you should care: Snapchat is collaborating with Amazon and Google to build its new AI tools (rather than bringing it in-house), which while it will allow them to focus on product innovations and new experiences, will also cost them over $1.5B a year.

🍔 Quick hits

  • The UK will use this week’s AI summit in South Korea to push firms to develop AI responsibly.

  • BlackRock AI Labs is in talks with various governments over ways to increase the power supply for AI developments.

  • Musk is pushing ahead with plans to use data from China to power Tesla’s AI ambitions.

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Until next time, Martin & Liam.

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