🌊 It’s a Leak Show

Major classified leak, great iPhone theft in Seattle, and the OpenAI Story, Part 1

Whether you spent it celebrating Easter, Passover, Ramadan, or the acquittal of Gwyneth Paltrow, we hope you had a great weekend. We spent much of ours thinking about the future of news in a world of artificial intelligence. Some believe AI can do our jobs and give you the news each day. Would love to hear your thoughts in response to Today's Question: Do you believe AI can do the job of accurately delivering news?

In today's edition:

  • Major classified leak

  • Great iPhone theft in Seattle

  • The OpenAI Story, Part 1

🔑 Key Stories

US Investigates Leak

The US is investigating the apparent leak of 100+ classified national security documents. If their validity is confirmed, it would be among the worst leaks since those by Edward Snowden in 2013

  • The files were first posted to an online channel in January, before surfacing on a Discord server in early March. Attention came to them last week, when they were posted on Telegram and Twitter

  • They contain intelligence about the numbers and locations of Ukrainian troops, defense systems, and weapons; various countries’ internal politics; and confidential details about aid given to Ukraine

  • The White House, Justice Department, and Defense Department are investigating the leak's origin

Dig Deeper

  • The Defense Department has said the documents appear real, but some have been altered

  • Pro-Russia analysts have warned they may be disinformation planted by Ukraine to deceive Russian intelligence

  • Ukrainian officials have also suggested the leaks are misinformation

Dueling Abortion Pill Rulings

A federal judge overruled national approval for an abortion pill. Hours later, another federal judge ruled the opposite

  • The FDA approved mifepristone in 2000. Most US abortions are conducted by taking mifepristone with another drug. The second drug can be used alone for abortions, although it is slightly less effective

  • In November, a pro-life group filed a lawsuit arguing that the FDA rushed mifepristone’s approval without considering all its risks. On Friday, a federal judge sided with the group. He gave the FDA 7 days to appeal, or comply

  • The same day, a federal judge in Washington state ordered that the FDA do nothing to restrict access to mifepristone. His ruling was a response to a lawsuit filed by 17 Democratic states that sought to expand access to mifepristone

Dig Deeper

  • The Justice Department has already said it will appeal the Texas ruling, which may send the lawsuit to a higher federal court. While that plays out, mifepristone remains available

Biden Proposes Trans Athlete Rules

The Biden admin proposed rules for how trans athletes should be allowed to compete in sports

  • Title IX refers to the federal civil rights law that bans sex-based discrimination in any education program or school that receives federal funding. It does not specifically address policies toward gender identity, which lets the president shape them

  • The proposal would prohibit statewide bans on trans athletes competing in sports with the gender they identify as. It would let schools block trans athletes from competing when it could impact health and fairness, i.e. on a case-by-case basis, though

Dig Deeper

  • Some activist groups said the proposal didn’t go far enough to protect trans athletes. Others said it was a step in the right direction that would help protect trans students. Many, including conservative officials who have implemented such bans, criticized it

Israel/Palestine Violence Grows

Israel exchanged fire with groups in Lebanon and Gaza while 2 terror attacks killed 3 people

  • The Jewish and Muslim holy periods of Passover and Ramadan currently overlap, which has led to tensions over access to holy sites in Jerusalem, which both Israel and Palestinians claim

  • Since last week, Israel has bombed and exchanged fire with militants in Gaza – a Palestinian territory – and Lebanon, who shot rockets at Israel

  • On Friday, a shooting killed 2 Israelis and a man drove a car through a park, killing an Italian tourist. The next day, Israel began calling up reserve troops

🍿 Popcorn

ICYMI

  • Call it a Rahm-com: Spain’s Jon Rahm won the Masters by 4 strokes for his 2nd major, while Phil Mickelson, 52, became the oldest runner-up in Masters history

  • To Jupiter to get more stupider: A $1.7B, 8-year voyage to discover life on Jupiter and its moons begins this week with the launch of a European space probe

  • iPhones Eleven? Seattle burglars robbed an Apple Store of $500,000 worth of iPhones by cutting a hole through the wall of the neighboring coffee shop's bathroom

Wildcard

  • Whole latte love: The “bikini baristas” in Washington state won a $500k court settlement over their town’s order for them to dress up. The court ruled it a free speech violation

  • Not lovin' it: A Big Mac combo meal costs a whopping $16.89 at one Connecticut McDonald's location, per a TikTok series documenting McD's meal prices

  • Operation ⛷ slope: 9 skiers were airlifted to safety after an avalanche buried them in the Swiss Alps. They sustained minor injuries from the snow slide

👇 What do you think?

Today's Poll

Do you have a mentor?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Today's Question:

Do you believe AI can replace our jobs delivering the news?

Reply to this email with your answers!

See yesterday's results below the Wrap! 

🌯 Roca Wrap

In 2015, a group of tech entrepreneurs pooled their resources to create a non-profit to ensure artificial intelligence (AI) would benefit the whole of mankind.

8 years later, that project – OpenAI – is the world’s most valuable AI language company.

In the mid-2010s, some tech entrepreneurs and venture capitalists became concerned that AI was advancing too quickly and with too few guardrails.

Much concern centered around Google, which in 2014 had bought AI startup DeepMind and was rapidly developing AI in secret.

Fears about AI ranged from the foreseeable – job displacement, privacy concerns – to the dystopian – automated machines taking over the world, overdependence on AI leaving humanity vulnerable to disasters.

In 2015, some concerned tech moguls – including Elon Musk, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, and Sam Altman, a venture capitalist – invested $1B to create OpenAI.

OpenAI’s mission was to develop AI safely and in a way that would help humanity broadly, rather than limiting its benefit to the companies that developed it first. OpenAI was specifically concerned about artificial general intelligence (AGI), which it defined as “highly autonomous systems that outperform humans at most economically valuable work.”

Within 2 years of its founding, OpenAI’s AI could beat the best human players of video games – not just board games like chess or Go, which are simpler – and learn behaviors from watching humans perform them in virtual reality.

Around 2017, OpenAI’s team concluded that its best bet to make rapid, major AGI breakthroughs was by developing large language models, which analyze massive amounts of text and data to mimic the way humans communicate. Pursuing that vision would be expensive, though, and as a nonprofit, OpenAI lacked the cash.

OpenAI decided to create a company – OpenAI LP – that would report to the non-profit but offer opportunities for investors to profit and thus attract large investments.

Musk left the board in February 2018, between that decision, conflicts of interest, and other complaints, including that he reportedly thought OpenAI was moving too slowly and wanted more control.

In 2019, OpenAI wanted to bring on its first outside investors, and Altman said there was one company that understood the technology, the concerns around it, and had the necessary resources: Microsoft.

That year, Microsoft invested $1B, kicking off a long partnership between the companies. But many people – both within and outside the company – were critical, said the deal invalidated OpenAI’s mission. Was the company entering the AI arms race it had been created to prevent?

Read tomorrow’s Wrap for Part 2 to find out.

Have thoughts? Let us know at [email protected]!

🌊 Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

Does it feel like Spring where you are?

Yes: 68%No: 32%

Yesterday's Question:

Every Friday, we ask our readers 20 Questions and feature the answers here throughout the week. Last week was "Candy Edition": We gave you 20 options, and you told us if you would take them or leave them.

  1. Push Pop: 35% Take, 65% Leave

  2. Juicy Fruit gum: 38% Take, 62% Leave

  3. Kit Kat: 80% Take, 20% Leave

  4. Peeps: 23% Take, 77% Leave

  5. Cadbury Creme Eggs: Take 46%, Leave 54%

🧠 Final Thoughts

If you celebrated Easter, Ramadan, Passover, something else, or absolutely nothing this weekend, we hope it was a good one. Stay tuned for part 2 of the OpenAI story tomorrow. We’ll see you then!

–Max and Max