The biggest debate in tech – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

The biggest debate in tech

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman.

Getty/Kevin Dietsch

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Almost Friday! The pics are in from Heidi Klum’s annual Halloween bash, and the costumes did not disappoint. From a pumpkin queen to Klum and her husband’s take on a peacock and its egg, check them all out here

In today’s big story, we’re looking at the tech industry’s debate over whether AI poses a real threat to humanity.

What’s on deck: 

Markets: The Fed announced another pause on interest-rate hikesTech: The good, bad, and ugly of owning an electric vehicle, from eight EV owners.Business: A seaside retreat meant to help startup founders overcome loneliness and pain.

But first, whose side you got?

The big story

Big Tech’s big lie

AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson; Arantza Pena Popo/Insider

Want to get someone in tech riled up? Ask them about the existential threat of AI. 

The entire industry is up in arms over the risk, or lack thereof, that artificial intelligence poses to humanity. 

Andrew Ng, a leading AI expert and Google Brain cofounder, kicked off tech’s latest battle. Ng’s argument, laid out in an interview with The Australian Financial Review, is that Big Tech executives are fearmongering by suggesting “AI could make us go extinct.”

Big Tech’s real goal, Ng argued, is for legislation that would keep the power in the hands of the few. 

Ng’s comments raised some eyebrows. Plenty of big names in the space took umbridge with his opinion while others came to his defense.  

The argument over Big Tech’s true intentions behind AI warnings coincides with the UK’s AI safety summit. The private event, which had an exclusive guest list, has been criticized for favoring Big Tech executives over actual AI experts.

BlackRock’s Larry Fink. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Tech leaders have already proven they might have ulterior motives behind AI warnings.

Remember that open letter signed by tech executives back in March calling for a pause on advanced AI development 

Turns out Elon Musk, who signed the letter, was working on his own AI startup behind the scenes. And he wasn’t alone. Several signatories told Wired they didn’t expect AI research to actually stop

“When big tech companies, big startups, and powerful VCs start calling for regulation of their hottest new technology, something is very wrong,” Alistair Barr, Insider’s global tech editor, told me. 

It’s not just about boxing out the competition. Companies weighing in on regulation could allow them to negotiate liability protection, Alistair said. Insider’s Beatrice Nolan has more on how everything you’re hearing about AI wiping out humans is a big con

Existing laws and litigation in the US could be enough to keep big AI companies in line, Alistair added. If a company’s AI product causes harm, they can be sued and investigated by regulators already. Executives can even be put in jail for egregious activity.

The discourse over AI reminds me of Sam Bankman-Fried donating millions of dollars to politicians under the guise of helping them understand the crypto industry. 

But messages from a former FTX executive quoted in a court filing suggested donations were meant “to weed out anti-crypto” politicians.

3 things in markets

Aaron Schwartz/Xinhua via Getty Images

The Fed is holding the line. The Federal Open Market Committee announced a pause in interest-rate hikes following a pause in September. But don’t hold your breath for a rate cut anytime soon. Here’s how it could impact mortgage rates.Billionaire investor Stanley Druckenmiller sounds off on stocks and the economy. Druckenmiller warned his economic outlook is “something’s going to break” and said the stock market is overpriced. Check out 10 of his best quotes from a recent interview. Getting ahead of the stock market correction. It’s been a brutal fall for stocks, but investing chiefs at four large research firms still see opportunities. These are the sectors they’re most bullish on, including energy, communication services, and small caps. 

3 things in tech

Tyler Le/Insider

Leaked messages show Apple paused dedicated internal Slack channels for Muslim and Jewish employees. The pause comes after Apple deleted messages from employees related to the Israel-Hamas war.Amazon just can’t quit the people it laid off. A former Amazon business analyst who was laid off in January has since gotten four inquiries about returning to the company. But the entire experience made the worker lose trust in the tech giant.Inside the EV experience. Eight electric-vehicle owners shared the realities of having a plug-in car. From charging to maintenance to road trips, here’s what life in the electric lane is like.

3 things in business

Christian Northeast for Insider

The wild and whacky world of working for YouTubers. Can you find me a zebra? Let’s crash trains into brick walls. Such is the life of working with YouTube stars on the hunt for the next viral video. More than a dozen current and former staffers of top creators detail what it’s like. SBF lied under oath, prosecutors say. In a scathing closing argument, prosecutors in Sam Bankman-Fried’s criminal trial said the FTX cofounder repeatedly lied on the witness stand. “He approached every question like up was down and down was up,” an assistant US Attorney said.Overcoming loneliness and pain as a tech founder. Leaders In Tech is a four-day, invite-only retreat to help tech founders and CEOs cope with the loneliness that comes from running a prominent company. The retreat is meant to be a space for founders to practice vulnerability.

In other news

America’s biggest cities are vying for a hot, new title: best place to ride out dystopiaBob Knight, the famed Indiana basketball coach, has died at age 83Google lays off employees working on its voice assistantWeWork’s one of the biggest startup failures of all time, and venture capitalists haven’t learned a thingOnce loyal Calibrate patients say they regained weight after the startup struggled to get them weight-loss meds on timeThe wildest deal in tech right now is about to turn 6-month-old LLM startup Mistral into a $2 billion unicorn, sources sayWhy Israel’s push into Gaza is killing so many children7 people who fled California share the culture shocks they’ve experienced and why they have no regretsBill Ackman went on a crusade to out Harvard’s anti-Israel students. He’s having second thoughts.CHART OF THE DAY: The US stock market is almost 5x larger than the next biggest market

What’s happening today

Día de los Muertos! Mexico City hosts its parade for the Day of the Dead, which is a celebration of the deceasedA final encore from The Beatles: The iconic band’s last song — “Now and Then” — will be released five decades after the original demo was recorded.Earnings today: Apple, Starbucks, and other companies.

For your bookmarks

Mediterranean made easy

Wendy Lee

A dietitian shares tips for following the Mediterranean diet. Alba Santaliestra recommends varying your protein sources and snacking on plain nuts.

The Insider Today team: Dan DeFrancesco, senior editor and anchor, in New York City. Diamond Naga Siu, senior reporter, in San Diego. Hallam Bullock, editor, in London. Lisa Ryan, executive editor, in New York.

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