Always Be Curious #190: Ctrl-Altman-Del, rise of High Bandwidth Memory, and blazing supercomputers
This week in ABC: The pioneering CEO of OpenAI Sam Altman is ousted by his board, High Bandwidth Memory is changing the game, and AMD leads the Top 500 supercomputers.
This week, completely out of the blue, OpenAI co-founder and CEO Sam Altman was ousted by his board of management because “he was not consistently candid in his communications with the board, hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities.” 😳 While we wait for reporters around the world to tap into their sources and get the story together of what the heck happened here, I have some immediate thoughts:
OpenAI just dented its shiny reputation. 🤕 Ousting a trailblazing and super visible CEO on the heels of a hot new product launch while being the top dog in a super competitive AI market…it’s not a good look for OpenAI any way you spin it. So this leading AI company will take a serious reputational hit, opening the door of opportunity to competitors like Anthropic to show how they are doing better.
There’s a brain drain coming and OpenAI’s pace of innovation will suffer. 🧠 When a pioneer and co-founder leaves like this, you betcha that lots of talent will follow in his wake. I’ve seen some folks say that this is like if Apple had ousted Steve Jobs. But remember folks: Apple actually did that. In 1985. And Jobs ultimately came back with a vengeance. 💪 So all this, it certainly won’t be the end of Altman. But with Altman being the current personification of the AI generation, Altman-less OpenAI will simply have a harder time tapping into global AI talent moving forward. And in turn, that means keeping up their pace of innovation will be tough.
Have a good week, stay safe and sound,
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👨💻The round-up in sci-tech💡
The face of the AI boom has been fired from OpenAI. What comes next is anyone’s guess.
Chief technology officer Mira Murati appointed interim CEO to lead OpenAI; Sam Altman departs the company. Search process underway to identify permanent successor.
Absolutely worth your money, TNY dives into AI in this special issue: Joshua Rothman on the godfather of A.I., Eyal Press on facial-recognition technology, Anna Wiener on Holly Herndon, and more.
Much of the current conversation around the rise of artificial intelligence can be categorized in one of two ways: uncritical optimism or dystopian fear. The truth tends to land somewhere in the middle—and the truth is much more interesting. So, alongside Google, The Atlantic assembled a cast of journalists, technologists, artists, scientists, academics, and more to help pose several big questions about AI: Can it help us understand our physical selves? How can we maximize the possibilities of AI, while mitigating its risks? How might it empower creativity? How should it be regulated? And why can’t it consistently beat us at poker?
The age of autonomous A.I. assistants could have huge implications.
Multimaterial 3D-printing approach produces functional devices in a single shot.
An astronaut’s tool bag that accidentally floated away during a routine spacewalk is the newest object for skywatchers to find in the night sky.
🎵 ‘It was a way to share your musical experiences’: why cassette tapes flourished, and still endure (The Guardian)
Two new books explore the history of the tape and how it helped spread hip-hop, thrash metal and experimental music around the world one mixtape at a time.
🤓This week in chips⚠
🔥 AMD-powered Frontier remains fastest supercomputer in the world, Intel-powered Aurora takes second with half-scale result (Tom’s Hardware)
AMD is rocking it while Intel's oft-delayed Aurora remains a work in progress.
High Bandwidth Memory's future looks... bright.
Nvidia, the world’s most valuable chipmaker, is updating its H100 artificial intelligence processor, adding more capabilities to a product that has fueled its dominance in the AI computing market.
A technical paper titled “ChipNeMo: Domain-Adapted LLMs for Chip Design” was published by researchers at NVIDIA, exploring the applications of large language models (LLMs) for industrial chip design.
💪 With a systems approach to chips, Microsoft aims to tailor everything ‘from silicon to service’ to meet AI demand (Microsoft)
Microsoft unveils two custom chips, new industry partnerships and a systems approach to Azure hardware optimized for internal and customer workloads
The semiconductor equipment maker is being probed for potentially evading export restrictions.
Japanese maker seeks to stage comeback in country despite trade resrictions
📈By the numbers📉
“Applied Materials delivered record revenue, earnings and cash flow in fiscal 2023 and is outgrowing the wafer fabrication equipment market for the fifth year in a row,” said Gary Dickerson, President and CEO. “Applied’s broad product portfolio, strong customer relationships and leadership at major technology inflections put us in a great position to profitably grow the company as powerful trends fuel the semiconductor industry’s expansion in the years ahead.”
Japan's Kioxia on Tuesday reported a 100.8 billion yen ($664.5 million) operating loss in the second quarter as earnings were hit by a slump in demand for memory chips used in smartphones and personal computers (PCs).
❤️For the love of tech❤️
The New Yorker always nails those covers. 😎🤖
Always Be Curious is the personal newsletter of Sander Hofman, Senior Creative Content Strategist at ASML. Opinions expressed in this curated newsletter are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer.