2024-05-29: Memorial Day Shenanigans

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Here’s today at a glance:

🎖️ Memorial Day Shenanigans

On Sunday, the news broke of Elon Musk’s x.ai securing a $6 billion series B funding round.

xAI is pleased to announce...

Our Series B funding round of $6 billion with participation from key investors including Valor Equity Partners, Vy Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital, Fidelity Management & Research Company, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal and Kingdom Holding, amongst others.

X is likely the last firm to make the window of opportunity for AGI. In order to have anywhere near a chance of hitting the target first, you need:

  • A strong core of talent (your 1 in a million mathematician/engineer)

  • Billions of dollars of GPUs and data center capacity

Buying a ticket for this group next year will likely require a fee in the tens of billions of dollars.. amounts that would strain even Elon’s sizable pockets.

So we have OpenAI, Google, Anthropic, Meta, and X in the first tier.

In the second tier, we have Carmack’s Keen, dependent on algorithmic advances (ironic that Rich Sutton of the Bitter Lesson ended up with the outfit with the least compute).

There is a third tier of non-AGI-aiming research labs: Mistral, Sakana, and a host of others.

(Yes, I have missed a few)

And that’s basically it. The intensity of the AI boom means we will print more talent in the next 5 years, but if we’re looking at Kurzweil’s 2029 timeline, this is basically it.

Anyway, Elon’s announcement of the funding on Twitter had its own comedy:

🚀 Elon Musk: Join xAI if you believe in our mission of understanding the universe, which requires maximally rigorous pursuit of the truth, without regard to popularity or political correctness

🤖 Yann LeCun: Join xAI if you can stand a boss who: - claims that what you are working on will be solved next year (no pressure). - claims that what you are working on will kill everyone and must be stopped or paused (yay, vacation for 6 months!). - claims to want a "maximally rigorous pursuit of the truth" but spews crazy-ass conspiracy theories on his own social platform.

🏨 Dave Hayes: Not a good look... Maybe explain what you have against Elon?

🤖 Yann LeCun: I like his cars, his rockets, his solar panels, and his satellite network. I very much dislike his vengeful politics, his conspiracy theories, and his hype.

🌐 Julien Boutelop: Yann, with all the respect I have for your work, and as one of the few who convinced me to learn about machine learning more than 15 years ago, why don’t you start your own AI company and try to do good? Staying at Meta and telling others they are wrong is a bit odd, no? 🙏

 🤖 Yann LeCun: I'm a scientist, not a business or product person.

 🚀 Elon Musk: Yann is “just following orders”

🤖 Yann LeCun: You don't seem to understand how research works.

 🤖 Yann LeCun: And there is absolutely nothing wrong with working at Meta

 🚀 Elon Musk: 🤣🤣🤣🤣

 🚀 Elon Musk: What “science” have you done in the past 5 years?

 🤖 Yann LeCun: Over 80 technical papers published since January 2022., What about you? Google Scholar

 🚀 Elon Musk: That’s nothing, you’re going soft. Try harder!

🤖 Yann LeCun: Now you're acting as if you were my boss 😂😂😂

💙 Jeremy Stamper: Were there beakers or Petri dishes involved? No? Then it’s not science.

🤖 Yann LeCun: Well, if it's not published, it's definitely not science.

🚀 Elon Musk: This is one of the dumbest things anyone has ever said 🤣🤣

📘Erik Brynjofsson: I can't believe this site is (mostly) free.

🤖 Yann LeCun: Holiday fun.

🎙️ Robert Scoble: In the old days I would have something to say about Yann Le Cun and Elon Musk and what they are writing to each other. The new me? Going to Santa Cruz in my autonomous vehicle to shoot pictures of surfers 🏄 instead. If I did have something to say, I would say only one of these men makes an autonomous vehicle that can drive me to Santa Cruz.

🤖 Yann LeCun: Yes, but the other man invented a key technique that made autonomous driving possible: convolutional neural networks. Convolutional nets are used in just about every real-time vision system today. For driving assistance, they have been used by MobilEye since 2014, by Tesla since 2016 (when MobilEye stopped selling them their vision system), by Nvidia around the same time, and by just about everyone else.

🚀 Elon Musk: We don’t use CNNs much these days, tbh

🤖 Yann LeCun: Curious to know how you could possibly do real-time camera image understanding in FSD without ConvNets, TBH.

♟️Madhatt3r: Vision Transformers?

🤖 Yann LeCun: Way too slow for real-time processing of high-res images.

No one can believe Twitter is free. No one.

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🖼️ AI Artwork Of The Day

TAINTED 🪼 - Ai_Art_Account from midjourney

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