Presidential Debate Reaction, Biden Hot Swap?, Tech unemployment, OpenAI considers for-profit & more

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Presidential Debate Reaction, Biden Hot Swap?, Tech unemployment, OpenAI considers for-profit & more

Bestie intros! (00:00:00)

  • The hosts introduce the 185th episode of their podcast.
  • They discuss the upcoming presidential debate and the guest they have to discuss it.
  • The hosts react to the presidential debate between Biden and Trump.
  • They discuss the key moments of the debate and their thoughts on the candidates' performances.
  • The hosts speculate on the possibility of Biden being replaced as the Democratic nominee.
  • They discuss the reasons why this might happen and the potential consequences.
  • The hosts discuss the potential impact of technology on employment.
  • They talk about the jobs that are most at risk and the skills that will be needed in the future.
  • The hosts discuss OpenAI's decision to consider becoming a for-profit company.
  • They talk about the potential benefits and drawbacks of this decision.

Debate recap and analysis: Hot swap incoming? (00:01:54)

  • Biden's performance in the first presidential debate against Trump was disastrous, leading to widespread panic within the Democratic party.
  • Some Democrats are considering asking Biden to step aside or publicly calling for his replacement due to concerns about his mental fitness and ability to continue as president.
  • Biden's debate performance caused a significant drop in his poll numbers and raised questions about his cognitive decline.
  • The White House's lack of response to interview requests is seen as a strategy to control the narrative and prevent Biden from facing challenging questions.
  • Despite Biden's poor performance, some commentators believe the media's reaction is exaggerated and that there is no need to replace him as the Democratic candidate.
  • The author criticizes the Democratic party for their lack of loyalty to Biden and accuses the party leadership of lying to America about his fitness for office.
  • The author suggests that the media and the Democratic party leadership are controlling the narrative and preventing democracy from working effectively.

Subverting democracy, power grab, Democratic party shakeup (00:16:53)

  • Concerns have been raised about President Biden's cognitive decline and fitness to serve, with some suggesting he may not be able to complete his term.
  • Biden's family and those around him are accused of keeping him in power for their own interests, leading to speculation of a "hot swap" or replacement of Biden within the next 30 days.
  • The situation is considered to be in 25th Amendment territory, suggesting Biden may not be fit to serve.
  • The Democratic Party is seen as a collection of interests that want to remain in power and allocate money and power from the government to themselves, with Biden viewed as a puppet for these interests.
  • There is no clear consensus on who would replace Biden if he were to step down, with Kamala Harris, who is next in line, having even lower poll numbers than Biden.
  • A "hot swap" is considered unlikely due to the lack of a mechanism and a suitable replacement.

Why tech job postings are down significantly from pre-COVID levels (00:36:43)

  • Software developer job postings on Indeed have declined since early 2020, falling below pre-COVID levels due to layoffs in big tech companies and a decrease in new SAS startups.
  • Companies like Penske and Dell are requiring employees to return to the office, raising concerns about the future of high-paying tech jobs.
  • AI tools are seen as productivity boosters but are not yet advanced enough to replace human workers on a large scale.
  • The primary reason for the reduction in job postings is the economic weakness caused by rapid interest rate hikes, not the emergence of AI.
  • Hiring trends have shifted, with companies receiving more job applications compared to the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, making it easier to hire software developers.
  • The decrease in competing offers from Big Tech companies has made it easier for startups to hire talented developers.
  • Startups can now offer equity, while mid-market companies offer $300K, and Big Tech companies offer $500K.
  • The current market conditions present an excellent opportunity for startups to hire exceptional talent.

OpenAI considering for-profit conversion (00:42:43)

  • OpenAI, currently valued at $86 billion, is considering converting into a for-profit benefit corporation, like Anthropic or XAI, to potentially go public through an IPO.
  • Experts suggest that OpenAI should monetize and secure its success quickly due to the unpredictable tech industry and potential disruptions.
  • OpenAI's complex corporate structure, with a for-profit entity reporting to a nonprofit board, poses challenges and should be simplified before pursuing an IPO.
  • Converting to a standard C Corp and resolving compensation issues with Elon Musk and Sam Altman would be beneficial.
  • Making OpenAI public would allow the public to invest in the AI wave, similar to the dot-com boom.
  • OpenAI's high employee turnover rate, with many cashing out stock options, raises questions about employees' personal decisions regarding share sales.
  • OpenAI's strategic moves to become part of the tech establishment include adding the former NSA head to its board, potentially increasing influence and protection from regulation.
  • OpenAI is building an international apparatus to support its corporate objectives by gaining support from powerful entities and individuals.
  • OpenAI's strategy involves creating an ally base that makes it difficult to investigate or criticize the company, ensuring protection and wealth growth.
  • Big tech companies, including OpenAI, have formed alliances with the intelligence community and the "Deep State," exchanging access and protection for their interests.
  • Former CIA, FBI, and Justice Department personnel are being recruited by big tech companies with significant salary increases and attractive job opportunities.

The problem with safety-focused AI startups (00:54:11)

  • Ilya Sutskever, former OpenAI co-founder and Chief Scientist, has launched a new startup called Safe Superintelligence Inc. (SSI) with the aim of developing a safe superintelligence that prioritizes safety over speed in AI development.
  • Sutskever's departure from OpenAI was due to disagreements over resource allocation and differing views on AI development speed and safety concerns.
  • Concerns have been raised that prioritizing safety may hinder SSI's progress and competitiveness compared to companies like OpenAI and Google, sparking discussions about the potential drawbacks of emphasizing safety over speed in AI development.
  • Foundational AI models are becoming a consumer surplus with diminishing returns on investment, and the cost of a good functional AI model is projected to reach hundreds of billions of dollars by 2027, making it unsustainable for most companies.
  • Recent advancements in AI models have resulted in highly functional, application-specific models that can be run locally on the edge, enabling practical applications in areas like machine vision and control systems, but also raising concerns about their potential military applications and the need for responsible development.

EU charges Microsoft with antitrust violations for bundling Teams into Office (01:03:20)

  • Microsoft's bundling of products like Teams with Office gives it an unfair advantage over competitors and has been challenged by the EU for antitrust violations.
  • This bundling strategy allows Microsoft to dominate new markets by offering a "free" version of a product that is actually part of a more expensive bundle, limiting consumer choices and raising prices in the long run.
  • The recent acquisition of Slack by Salesforce raises questions about whether Slack could have competed effectively against Microsoft Teams if not for the bundling practice.
  • The author argues that the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) should revisit the old consent decree to address Microsoft's renewed bundling practices.
  • The current approach of blocking mergers and acquisitions (M&A) is detrimental to the ecosystem as it discourages risk capital reward and hinders innovation, causing investors to shift their focus from venture capital to corporate credit and private equity deals.
  • Microsoft's bundling strategy raises concerns about potential anti-competitive practices by offering discounts for bundled products, making it difficult for competitors to compete on price.
  • The bundling of products can stifle competition and limit consumer choice, as seen in the case of Microsoft's Internet Explorer, which dominated the market due to its inclusion in Windows.
  • Venture capitalists are hesitant to fund potential competitors due to the market power of large companies, hindering the emergence of innovative alternatives.
  • Microsoft's acquisition of Skype demonstrates the potential for unchecked dominance in a market, emphasizing the need for regulations to prevent abuse of market power.

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