☕ The soul of AI

What the OpenAI drama is really about...
November 21, 2023 View Online | Sign Up | Shop

Morning Brew


Good morning. Think we just found the first real-life example of something happening in Vegas that's staying in Vegas. London's mayor Sadiq Khan has reportedly rejected a proposal that would have brought a Sphere to east London's Stratford district because of the harmful effects of light pollution on local residents.

Eventually, they'll come around.

—Sam Klebanov, Cassandra Cassidy, Dave Lozo, Abby Rubenstein, Neal Freyman














*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 3:00am ET. Here's what these numbers mean.

  • Markets: Stocks got into the holiday spirit early, starting the short trading week by ticking upward yesterday. Microsoft climbed to its highest in a year after appearing to be the winner in OpenAI's Sam Altman drama.


Sam Altman's firing was a battle for AI's soul

Sam Altman Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

This probably wasn't the kind of AI revolution OpenAI's board hoped to bring about: After CEO Sam Altman was forced out on Friday, over 700 of OpenAI's 770 employees signed a letter yesterday threatening to follow him out the door.

Meanwhile, The Verge reported that Altman's move to Microsoft wasn't a done deal—and with the company's chief scientist saying he regretted his role in the firing, only two more board members would need to change their minds (or resign) to bring him back.

All this drama underscores that this isn't some minor dispute about in-office Taco Tuesdays. While the board has kept mum on the specific reasons behind Altman's ouster, it was reportedly rooted in a deep philosophical rift over how to safely develop AI.

Slow down, Altman

As OpenAI's CEO, Altman attracted $13 billion from Microsoft and cash from other investors to build advanced AI and profit from it. But the ChatGPT developer is actually controlled by a nonprofit with a stated mission of developing AI for the benefit of humanity.

Its board consists of prominent AI researchers and entrepreneurs who thought Altman needed to slow down before it was too late…

  • Many of them are so-called "doomers," members of a loose intellectual community that believes super sophisticated AI brings highly concerning existential risks.
  • Their philosophy sprang out of the effective altruism movement, which advocates a rational approach to minimizing current and future human suffering.

Board members were unnerved by Altman's ambition to rapidly commercialize OpenAI's tech. The board's pick to replace Altman, ex-Twitch CEO Emmett Shear, is a known AI-skeptic. He recently said that the risk of "doom" from AI is so scary you should "s–t your pants."

Not so fast, doomers: Many of OpenAI's investors, including tech optimist VCs like Marc Andreessen and Vinod Khosla (who have less power than usual thanks to OpenAI's unusual structure), view Altman's firing as a futile attempt to stifle innovation. Some investors are reportedly mulling writing down their investments to $0 to pressure the board to bring Altman back. And even Microsoft's CEO signaled that he was open to Altman returning to OpeAI rather than joining up. —SK



Paging Dr. Robot


When it comes to investing, it's always great to see companies that try to push the boundaries of what's possible.

Monogram (Nasdaq: MGRM) aims to launch the first active-cutting robotic surgical assistant on the market to install their personalized, 3D-printed joint implants. We think that's perfect timing, since 50% of joint replacement surgeries will involve robotics by 2030.

They even showed off their robot's potential with a live surgery on a cadaver for a 5,000-person digital audience earlier this year.

Now Monogram has an even bigger plan to try to shake up the $19.4b orthopedic industry. Be the first to know by signing up for updates here.


Tour de headlines

Elon Musk Chesnot/Getty Images

Elon Musk sues Media Matters after X advertiser exodus. Elon Musk slapped Media Matters with a lawsuit yesterday over the group's report showing advertisers' content appearing next to antisemitic and Neo-Nazi content on X, which precipitated a wave of companies, including Apple and Disney, pulling their ads from the platform. The suit claims the group maliciously manufactured the images using a methodology that doesn't mimic real user behavior to drive advertisers away, a similar claim to the one Musk himself made on X over the weekend while saying he'd file a "thermonuclear lawsuit." In response to that threat, Media Matters said, "If he does sue us, we will win."

Appeals court severely restricts voting discrimination lawsuits. Diverging from years of rulings by other federal courts, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled yesterday that only the US Attorney General—and not citizens or civil rights groups—can sue under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. The ruling will most likely be reviewed by the Supreme Court, but, if it is upheld, it will remove a significant tool that rights groups have used to challenge discriminatory election rules.

The weather may not cooperate with your travel plans. The TSA estimates that 30 million people will fly around Thanksgiving, 49.1 million are expected to drive to their celebrations, and 750,000 will hop on Amtrak, according to the New York Times. But some of those plans may get washed out or delayed by big storms brewing in the eastern US. Severe thunderstorms are developing in the South, and heavy rains are expected to hit the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. New England may even see snow on Wednesday.


Argentina's president-elect is thirsty for greenbacks

Fake 100 dollar bill with Javier Milei's face Tomas Cuesta/Getty Images

You could soon be able to hop a flight to Buenos Aires without needing to stop at a currency exchange.

Argentina's newly elected president and chainsaw enthusiast Javier Milei ran on a platform that prioritized dollarization—or switching out the local currency for the US dollar. With the election in the rearview, Milei is eager to ditch pesos and make it rain Benjamins.

What does dollarization look like? Argentina's central bank would purchase all pesos in circulation and exchange them for dollars. In theory, this would 1) reduce the country's historic inflation and 2) eliminate the power of the central bank and prevent it from printing more money—a main cause of Argentina's inflation crisis. In addition to dollarizing, Milei wants to open up the country's largely closed economy and cut spending.

Could it work? Pulling off dollarization requires Argentina's central bank to have enough dollars to buy all the pesos in circulation…and, like anyone under 30 trying to buy a house right now, experts estimate that it's roughly $50 billion short. And that's just the start: The country's courts and divided congress could add additional obstacles.

But…Emilio Ocampo, the economist appointed by Milei to oversee the dollarization process, is bullish. He argues that Argentinians could have over $200 billion in circulation that the central bank doesn't include in its count of dollars. He also considers the economy "de-facto dollarized."

Zoom out: Dollarization is the economic equivalent of a Hail Mary pass. There's no guarantee it'll work, but with 143% inflation, Argentina has to try something. Other countries that have dollarized, like Ecuador and Panama, have seen mixed results.—CC




Invest in innovation. Research shows innovative companies have greater future earnings potential, and long term, they often outperform.* And now OPTO has mapped out the world's most innovative public companies…and the themes they offer exposure to. We're talkin' AI, uranium, and blockchain. Download OPTO.


Wallace & Gromit studio not achin' for clay after all

A still from a Wallace and Gromit movie Wallace and Gromit: a Matter of Loaf and Death/Aardman Animations

The studio behind the beloved Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep characters reassured fans yesterday that, despite mudslinging reports, it has plenty of clay to continue its stop-animation franchises indefinitely.

The Telegraph reported on Friday that due to the shuttering of Newclay Products, the only company that produces the clay used in its productions, Aardman Animations only had enough to make one more movie. But yesterday, Aardman posted a statement within an image—likely staying on-brand by building it in Adobe Photoshop—to alleviate the fears of fans: "We have high levels of existing stocks of modelling clay to service current and future productions."

Aardman wants this clay as much as Wallace wants Wensleydale cheese. The clay, known as Lewis Newplast, is unique because it's malleable enough to mold and firm enough to maintain its shape under the heat of studio lights.

It was a close shave, but…Aardman already purchased almost 900 pounds of Newclay's remaining supplies, and it sounds like it's been preparing for this outcome, saying, "We have been tinkering away behind the scenes for quite some time with plans in place to ensure a smooth transition to new stocks."—DL



Key performance indicators

Charlotte saying Sex and the City/HBO

Stat: The word on every CEO's lips during this year's earnings calls is "choiceful." Well, not every CEO, but the chief executives at Walmart, McDonald's, and Starbucks were among the 15 who have used it so far—up from nine last year and only two in 2021, per a CNBC analysis. If you don't know how to define it, it doesn't mean you lack leadership potential: According to the Oxford English Dictionary, it's been used since the 16th century but usually appears .002 times per million words, placing it outside of normal discourse. But execs are now embracing the adjective—which means having many choices—to describe consumers and the economy.

Quote: "We all realized that for this to work, it had to be Snoop Dogg."

Turns out reports that Snoop Dogg—a man who owns a cannabis company and employs a full-time personal blunt roller—was giving up marijuana were just part of a marketing stunt. The rapper ignited a frenzy in the usually chill world of ganja last week with social media posts saying he was "giving up smoke." However, he followed up yesterday with posts saying he was going "smokeless" with a Solo stove smokeless fire pit, and the company announced him as its new "smokesman." As one copywriter at the agency behind the ad campaign put it to Ad Age, "He is the only person on the planet who has that level of charisma, brand ambassadorship and, most importantly, a smoke-related public persona."

Read: Recommendations on books, classes, and music from Bill Gates. (GatesNotes)


What else is brewing

  • The CEO of Cruise, GM's self-driving car unit, resigned. Cruise has struggled since California pulled its permits to drive on the state's streets in the wake of a fatal accident.
  • Wells Fargo employees at two branches have kicked off a unionization campaign.
  • Bayer's stock had its worst day ever, dropping the company's value by ~$8 billion, after a US jury ordered it to pay $1.56 billion over claims its Roundup weedkiller caused cancer and the company had to stop the trial for its top drug candidate because it wasn't working.
  • Shakira settled her Spanish tax evasion suit, agreeing to pay back taxes and interest the day the trial was supposed to begin.


Tuesday To Do List

Get cooking: These are the Morning Brew staff's favorite holiday recipes.

Shop: Here's which stores will be open and closed on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

Watch: Get inspired by a man who ran 365 marathons in 365 days.

Spice it up: A look at why people in hotter climates eat spicier food.

Level up for free: Our hit partnership with entrepreneur and co-host of Bossy, Tara Reed, is back. Her free class about building an app with no coding skills returns December 12. Register today.

93% off a lifetime of flight deals: For the next 12 hours, get Dollar Flight Club's lifetime membership for $129 (usually $1,690). Save up to $2k on flights for life, like Hawaii from $161. Start traveling.*

Just your style: Find out what your investing style is in our financial personality quiz. Based on your results, you'll get matched with a curated episode playlist from Fresh Invest, our investing podcast with Fidelity.*

*A message from our sponsor.


The puzzle section

Brew Mini: Today's crossword is a 5x5 grid in the truest sense—there are no black squares. See if you can decode all the five-letter words here.

Money trivia

News that a record number of $50 bills were printed last year had us thinking about the total number of US dollars in circulation.

Your task: Rank the following notes in circulation by volume (the total number of notes, not their value): $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100.


Share Morning Brew with your friends, acquire free Brew swag, and then acquire more friends as a result of your fresh Brew swag.

We're saying we'll give you free stuff and more friends if you share a link. One link.

Your referral count: 1

Click to Share

Or copy & paste your referral link to others:


  1. $100 (18.5 billion)
  2. $1 (14.3 billion)
  3. $20 (11.5 billion)
  4. $5 (3.5 billion)
  5. $50 (2.5 billion)
  6. $10 (2.3 billion)
  7. $2 (1.5 billion)


Word of the Day

Today's Word of the Day is: malleable, meaning "capable of being shaped, pliable." Thanks to Tom Bennett from Portage, Michigan, for the workable suggestion. Submit another Word of the Day here.

✢ A Note From Monogram

This is a paid advertisement for Monogram Orthopedics. Learn more at https://www.monogramorthopedics.com/.

✳︎ A Note From OPTO

*GlobalData Disruptor Intelligence Centre, GlobalData Patent Analytics, Refinitiv Eikon

✤ A Note From Fidelity

Investing involves risk, including risk of loss.

Fidelity and Morning Brew are independent entities and are not legally affiliated.

Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Member NYSE, SIPC, 900 Salem Street, Smithfield, RI 02917


Update your email preferences or unsubscribe here.
View our privacy policy here.

Copyright © 2023 Morning Brew. All rights reserved.
22 W 19th St, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10011


Posts les plus consultés de ce blog

'Game of Thrones' gave fans of Missandei and Grey Worm something to love tonight

This Is What Fish Oil Supplements Actually Do