Blogs about technologies: hardware, software, wetware or others.

Sam Altman in 2019

In less than a week, a showdown took place within the top management of OpenAI, an organization that began as a non-profit before creating a for-profit subsidiary. On Friday, November 17, the Board of Directors removed Sam Altman from his position as CEO and Greg Brockman from the Board. After frantic days of announcements, threats of mass resignations from the employees, further changes at the top, and the announcement of the move of Altman and Brockman to Microsoft, there was instead a restoration with the return of the two of them to their roles and the announcement of radical changes in the Board.

Baidu logo

The leaked news regarding the intentions of Baidu, the most important Chinese search engine, to adopt a system similar to ChatGPT is only the latest concerning the world of search engines after the OpenAI machine learning system was launched. Earlier this month, Microsoft revealed it invested $10 billion in OpenAI and plans to add ChatGPT to its Bing search engine. Google answered with Google Sparrow, another machine learning system. The launch of ChatGPT immediately rekindled discussions about the nature of this alleged artificial intelligence, its possibilities, and its limits, and the competitors’ new systems will further increase them.

The target chamber of NIF (Photo courtesy LLNL. All rights reserved)

The US Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) have announced a success in a nuclear fusion experiment at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL) National Ignition Facility (NIF). A system of 192 lasers emitted 2.05 megajoules of energy by focusing it on a tiny gold cylinder containing a pellet of deuterium and tritium. The energy from the lasers created conditions similar to those in a stellar core by triggering nuclear fusion and generating about 3.15 megajoules of energy. Obtaining more energy than emitted is an important step in using nuclear fusion as an energy source but a lot remains to be done to build fusion nuclear power plants.

Scheme of the IBM Osprey quantum processor (Image courtesy IBM. All rights reserved)

At the IBM Quantum Summit 2022, IBM unveiled its new quantum processor. Called the IBM Osprey, it features 433 qubits, more than triple the IBM Eagle processor unveiled just last year. This great step forward in the field of quantum computers aims to make computers capable of performing complex calculations that are far beyond the capabilities of any classical computer. Software is as critical as hardware to performance, and IBM is working on the Qiskit Runtime, a service and programming model that aims to optimize workloads and run them efficiently on quantum computers.

Elon Musk with the sink (Image courtesy Elon Musk)

In the end, Elon Musk managed to buy Twitter! After what had become a clash with the social network’s executives that led Musk to blow the deal last July, the deal was completed. The first act as owner was to fire several executives, starting with CEO Parag Agrawal. Last Wednesday, Musk walked into the San Francisco office with a sink joking about the pun between the English word sink and his statement “Let that sink in!”.