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f.t.c. seeks ‘blanket’ ban on meta’s use of young users’ data

By lucidcapitalism | May 3, 2023

(NYT) The Federal Trade Commission escalated its fight with the tech industry’s biggest companies on Wednesday as it moved to impose what it called a “blanket prohibition” on the collection of young people’s personal data by Meta, Facebook’s parent company. The commission wants to significantly expand a record $5 billion consent order with the company from 2020…

an investor wake-up call on artificial intelligence

By lucidcapitalism | May 3, 2023

(Financial Times) Could anxiety about generative AI prompt a broader rethink of whether technology companies really count as ethical investments? Shares of educational tech company Chegg nearly halved after it admitted earlier this week that some students had been turning towards artificial intelligence chatbot ChatGPT rather than its human tutors. Read more here.

us lawmakers push sec to order audit of shein ipo over uyghur forced labor fears

By lucidcapitalism | May 1, 2023

(Reuters)  A bipartisan group of two dozen U.S. representatives was calling for the Securities and Exchange Commission to halt the initial public offering of Chinese-founded fast-fashion giant Shein until it verifies it does not use forced labor, according to a letter seen by Reuters. The U.S. lawmakers want the SEC to mandate Shein to independently audit and…

executive bonuses in crosshairs in new co2 rule: esg regulation

By lucidcapitalism | April 27, 2023

(Bloomberg) Executives will face bonus cuts if the companies they run fail to hit climate transition targets, under a new European Union proposal that greatly expands the range of levers regulators can draw on to meet terms of the Paris Agreement. C-suite managers at companies with more than 1,000 employees will be held personally responsible…

23 vc firms, including tiger global, commit to a net-zero portfolio by 2050

By lucidcapitalism | April 24, 2023

(PitchBook) Twenty-three venture capital firms, including Tiger Global, have committed to reducing carbon emissions to net-zero by 2030 and achieving portfolio-wide net-zero emissions by 2050. This Venture Climate Alliance is among the most significant efforts to reduce emissions among early-stage companies. Still, some investors felt the bar should have been set higher. Read more here.

google’s rush to win in ai led to ethical lapses, employees say

By lucidcapitalism | April 19, 2023

(Bloomberg) Shortly before Google introduced Bard, its AI chatbot, to the public in March, it asked employees to test the tool.  One worker’s conclusion: Bard was “a pathological liar,” according to screenshots of the internal discussion. Another called it “cringe-worthy.” One employee wrote that when they asked Bard suggestions for how to land a plane, it…

the pressure is on for vc firms to take diversity seriously

By lucidcapitalism | April 18, 2023

(Institutional Investor) Venture capital firms are facing increasing scrutiny from limited partners for their limited progress on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Forty-seven percent of VC firms surveyed by Deloitte said LPs had requested DEI information in the last 12 months, up from 41 percent in 2020 and 36 percent in 2018. The survey included responses…

the end of faking it in silicon valley

By lucidcapitalism | April 15, 2023

(New York Times) Faking it is over. That’s the feeling in Silicon Valley, along with some schadenfreude and a pinch of paranoia. Not only has funding dried up for cash-burning start-ups over the last year, but now, fraud is also in the air, as investors scrutinize start-up claims more closely and a tech downturn reveals…

amazon claims to champion clean energy. so why did it just help kill an emissions bill in oregon?

By lucidcapitalism | April 11, 2023

(Fast Company) In rural Oregon, a small electric utility called Umatilla Electric Cooperative used to rely mainly on clean hydropower. It had a small carbon footprint. But when large data centers came to the area—built by companies like Amazon—demand for power soared, and the utility had to find sources other than hydro. Over the past…

timnit gebru’s anti-‘ai pause’

By lucidcapitalism | April 11, 2023

(Politico) Last Thursday POLITICO’s Mark Scott, author of the Digital Bridge newsletter, interviewed the computer scientist and activist Timnit Gebru about a recent open letter from her Distributed AI Research Institute that argued — contra the Future of Life Institute’s high-profile letter calling for an “AI pause” — that the major harms caused by AI are already here, and therefore “Regulatory efforts…