- AI in the Centerfold – World leaders are gathering in the UK for what is billed to be a landmark global summit on AI. Meanwhile, Google makes another big investment in OpenAI competitor.
- A New Era on the Horizon for The Washington Post – Jeff Bezos is set to announce a new chief executive for the publication within the coming weeks as The Post focuses on their digital presence and attracting younger audiences.
- CNN Marks Final Show from CNN Center – The network marked its final show produced from the CNN Center in Atlanta on Friday. The network aired a clip from its very first broadcast 43 years ago to mark the moment.
Jeff Bezos, owner of The Washington Post, is set to announce The Post’s new chief executive within the coming weeks. Declining readership and financial losses have led The Washington Post towards a $100 million dollar loss this year. With that in mind, executives are planning to reduce the workforce by 10% through voluntary buyouts. Executive Editor Sally Buzbee stated that The Post’s main focus moving forward must be centered around their digital presence, as it will improve offerings and attract younger audiences. Reports say Bezos’ pick to lead the new era for the Post will likely come this month.
Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, appeared in court on Monday to testify in the tech giant’s landmark antitrust trial. Pichai is the highest-profile witness to appear to date. In court, the tech leader directly contradicted the Justice Department’s claims that Google’s huge payments to companies like Apple to be the default internet search option on their devices represented its unchecked monopoly power. Pichai said his company has always been on the side of the consumers and has paid billions of dollars to other industry giants to make sure Google’s internet search engine worked as well as it should on those companies’ devices. The 10-week trial reflects increasing efforts in Washington to rein in the power of Big Tech.
World leaders and top tech figures are set to gather in the U.K. today and tomorrow for what is being billed as a landmark global summit on AI. The summit will be attended by key figures including Vice President Kamala Harris, Elon Musk and leading AI scientists and civil society groups who will travel to Bletchley Park, the once-secret home of the World War II code breakers who decrypted Nazi messages. The summit will aim to find some areas of international agreement to manage the rapidly advancing technology. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the U.S. and the U.K. are the world’s foremost democratic AI powers. The U.K.’s technology envoy in the United States said this is a new class of challenge that we collectively as a global society face and said the summit is focused on making sure AI systems don’t get out of control.
Over 1,000 Writers Guild of America East members are calling on digital media companies to “work collaboratively” with their journalists on artificial intelligence guardrails. The members signed a petition and outlined in a statement that digital media companies “publicly commit to never replacing a human worker with an AI tool” and “engage in immediate, good faith negotiations on AI outside for scheduled contract bargaining and guarantee that AI protections will be on the table in future bargaining.” The Writers Guild of America East represents journalists from media outlets such as Fast Company, Hearst Magazines, HuffPost, Vice and Vox Media. The petition went public on Monday.
As the AI race continues, Google has committed to investing up to $2 billion in the artificial intelligence startup Anthropic. Founded in 2021 by ex-OpenAI executives, Anthropic is the developer of Claude 2 — an AI chatbot used by Slack, Notion, and Quora — which can summarize up to 75,000 words as compared to ChatGPT which can only handle 3,000 words. Earlier this year, Anthropic was valued at $4.1 billion with funding from Salesforce and Zoom. The move comes after Google invested $300 million in Anthropic back in April, taking a 10% stake in the company. That same month, Anthropic was one of four companies invited to a meeting at the White House to discuss responsible AI development.
CNN marked its final show produced from the CNN Center in Atlanta on Friday. Anchor Kate Bolduan stated on air that they anchor the show out of New York, but the control rooms and much of the editorial staff has always been in Atlanta at the iconic building, also known as CNN’s World News Headquarters. Bolduan went on to say that starting this week, the team in Atlanta will move to a new home just a couple of miles away from the CNN Center, and which is the place where CNN founder Ted Turner started the network in 1980. CNN then aired a clip of its very first broadcast 43 years ago that showed original CNN anchors Donna Kelly, Brian Nelson, and Reid Collins.
Austin Russell, the 28-year-old CEO of Luminar Technologies, has requested an extension of today’s deadline to finalize his $800 million bid of Forbes. According to Axios, Forbes’ owner granted the request, extending the deadline roughly two weeks. If Russell fails to close the deal with the extension, Axios reports that it is already aware of at least one other buyer preparing a rival bid. Forbes’ owners and its board have an incentive to close the deal as Russell’s bid values the company at $800 million, a considerable premium over previous valuations of the company, including one to take the company public at a $620 million valuation.
As the formal sales process for Telegraph Media Group and The Spectator is underway, several well-known figures have expressed interest in taking part in the auction for the media brands. As Vanity Fair reports, everyone from media mogul Rupert Murdoch to Mathias Döpfner, the CEO of German media group Axel Springer SE, is eyeing the historic broadsheet. Other contenders such as Lord Rothermere, best known for the development of the Daily Mail and the Daily Mirror, have also expressed interest. Lloyds Banking Group seized The Telegraph and The Spectator from the Barclay family, who owed around $1 billion in outstanding debt, in June.
Meta Platforms said it will stop showing ads to teens in Europe. The announcement was made Monday as part of a plan to launch subscription-based versions of its social media products to comply with new EU rules. The move would temporarily suspend showing ads to all users under the age of 18 in the European Union and parts of Europe that follow EU rules. Users over 18 will be offered a choice: agree to let the company use their digital activity to target ads or pay a monthly subscription fee to keep using Meta’s Facebook and Instagram without ads. The pause on ads for users under 18 starts the week of November 6.
- After a 20+ year career at CNN, financial journalist Christine Romans has joined NBC News as a senior business correspondent based in New York. She will cover breaking business news with an emphasis on the U.S. economy across all NBC News platforms, including digital and MSNBC.
- Longstanding New York Times Standards editor, Phil Corbett, has decided to step back to the role of senior editor after leading Standards for the last 14 years. Susan Wessling, an NYT veteran of 19 years, has been named the new lead Standards editor.
- Vox hires Abdallah Fayyad as a correspondent on its policy team. Jorge Just has been hired as editorial director of audio.
- The New York Times promotes Chris Cameron as a reporter for the politics desk and promotes Ethan Hauser to senior staff editor on the culture desk.
President Biden is reinforcing efforts to put guardrails in place around artificial intelligence. President Biden signed a far-reaching executive order on Monday, requiring that companies report to the federal government about the risks their systems pose in aiding countries or terrorist groups to make weapons of mass destruction. The order also seeks to lessen the dangers of “deep fakes” that could swing elections or swindle consumers. The sweeping order is a first step as the Biden administration seeks to put guardrails on AI, which offers great promise but also carries significant dangers. The order is an effort by President Biden to demonstrate that the United States will take the lead in its regulation. Europe is already moving ahead with rules of its own. In a statement, President Biden said that “one thing is clear: to realize the promise of A.I. and avoid the risks, we need to govern this technology. There is no other way around it, in my view.”