Insider Lite May 2024

by Dave Michels

Conspiracy Theory of the Month: “Do not ever trust OpenAI or its products,” said Edward Snowden on X after OpenAI appointed a former director of the National Security Agency (NSA) to its board of directors. “There’s only one reason for appointing [an NSA director] to your board. This is a willful, calculated betrayal of the rights of every person on earth,” posted Snowden.

LLM vendors need more data. The internet was only an appetizer; now, all the LLM vendors are scrambling to secure magnitudes more of training content. Nakasone, known for his cybersecurity expertise, also has extensive experience with mass surveillance and data collection. In 2013, Snowden exposed NSA practices of unconstitutional surveillance on US citizens. 

Snowden’s concern echoes others who doubt OpenAI’s trustworthiness. The recent firing and rehiring of Sam Altman as CEO of OpenAI and other publicized security concerns have sparked widespread angst over OpenAI. In response, the company announced a “superalignment team” to assure the public that its AI research is aligned with human interests. As outlined in the May Insider Report, that team has quit (and expressed within OpenAI, “safety culture and processes have taken a backseat to shiny products.”) Recent reports suggest a prioritization of products over safety protocols. 

With Nakasone advising them, Snowden fears that OpenAI will expand data collection by intercepting emails, messaging apps, or even tapping phones. While potentially illegal, OpenAI and Nakasone’s thirst for data is unrelenting. Their upcoming models will demand hundreds of terabytes to achieve significant advancements, and Nakasone has the expertise to procure this data by any means necessary. 

Here’s some of the content that was included in the May Insider Report:

The New iPads: A Mixed Bag of Innovation and Confusion Apple’s latest iPad, introduced in May, is the thinnest and most powerful yet, featuring the new M4 chip—a first for iPads. Despite its impressive specs, including compatibility with an Apple keyboard and stylus that makes it as pricey as a MacBook Pro, Apple’s iPad lineup has become somewhat perplexing. The distinction between iPad Pro, iPad Air, and regular iPads is blurred, all running iOS but sharing the iPhone App Store. As Apple’s WWDC approaches, the tech world eagerly anticipates clarity on its strategy.

With advanced AI, Amazon is giving Alexa a facelift, aiming for a more conversational and intuitive user experience. This overhaul includes a new subscription model, enhancing Alexa’s utility despite its current limitations.

The surge in AI development is straining the US power grid, with data centers consuming increasing amounts of energy. The options, including mini nuclear power plants, are messy and unlikely to meet demand on time.

The end of an Era: ICQ, a pioneer in instant messaging, is shutting down, marking the end of an era. Similarly, Meta is closing Workplace and directing customers to Zoom Workvivo.

Microsoft Teams is set to introduce Team Copilot, which facilitates meeting management and note-taking. The company will also introduce several new features and device certifications aimed at improving user experience and security.

Google has partnered with HP to commercialize Project Starline, a high-resolution video booth. Meanwhile.

Synergy SKY‘s integration with Cisco Webex Control Hub enhances video meeting management across multiple platforms, including Microsoft Teams and Zoom.

MORE: Sector financial updates from Dmitry Netis at BenchMark, the end of MaX UC, new sales and marketing AI Agents, the long overdue MeetUp 2 arrived, Video Window’s persistent portal not so persistent. Subscribe to the Insider Report at