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Elon Musk’s winning strategy on Twitter: ‘Ready, shoot, aim’

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Elon Musk has a long history of making cheerful product announcements light on the details — a human-like robot, a brain-computer interface, a supersonic transportation system — years before the innovations he’s touting were ready for the market, if at all.

This was the approach he came up with His campaign to buy Twitter, initially announced his $44 billion offer with no funding or plan to run the San Francisco company. Wall Street dismissed it as yet another piece of musk pottery.

But just 11 days after Musk offered to buy Twitter, and three weeks after becoming its largest shareholder, the social media platform announced that it had She agreed to sell herself to the billionaire. The deal is expected to close for $54.20 per cash share this year.

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Although Musk’s tactics this month appeared unconventional or even half-baked, M&A experts say his strategy included sound negotiating principles — with a touch of his signature unpredictable style.

Richard Shell, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and director of the Executive Negotiation Workshop at Wharton: “You’re along on the journey with Elon Musk and it’s not going to be the standard journey for the company.” “Musk is ready, shoot, target. It is not a private equity firm that has a sober, methodical group of CEOs trying to beat the market return.”

Acquisition attempts often result in endeavors that can last for months. In contrast, Musk’s pursuit of Twitter began when he bought a 9.2% stake in the company on April 4, brazenly peppering the news “oh hi loltweet.

The next day, CEO Parag Agrawal announced that Twitter had appointed Musk to its board of directors, a decision that was reversed five days later, after a tweet in which Musk questioned whether Twitter “.the death“Because of low activity among top users like Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber.

Then, on April 14, Musk tweeted: “I made an offer” with a link to SEC . deposit In which he laid out his plan to make the company private. He said the opening show was “the best and the last”.

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“I don’t play a back-and-forth game. I went straight to the end,” he said in the filing. It’s a high price and the shareholders will love it. If the deal doesn’t work out, since I don’t have confidence in management and I don’t think I can drive the necessary change in the public market, I will need To reconsider my position as a shareholder. This is not a threat.”

Musk, a prolific Twitter user, used the platform to garner support for his show as the company adopted a poison pill, a defensive measure to ward off unwanted takeovers.

And Musk wrote on Twitter with A vote It garnered over 2.8 million votes (83.5% of respondents said yes).

“If our Twitter demo succeeds, we’ll defeat the spam bots or die trying!” he is chirp after a week.

“He was negotiating in a way that suited his public persona,” said Danny Ertell, co-founder of Vantage Partners, which helps companies negotiate, whether it’s a sideshow or strategy. “He wants to do something cool and a little bit controversial, and he’s going to make use of the tools he has, which is his personal presence, his 80 million Twitter followers, and his balance sheet.”

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Ultimately, it was the money — Musk offered a 38% premium to Twitter’s April 1 stock closing price — more than just posting a public announcement that mattered. Some analysts also speculated that the company’s quarterly earnings, which are due to be announced on Thursday, are weak and that no other exhibitors are interested.

Offering that much money to buy a company like Twitter is unusual,” said Ed Prudeau, negotiation expert and author of Negotiation Boot Camp. “But Musk has an extraordinary reputation – he’s not your skilled business manager.”

Prudeau said that Musk’s other unconventional moves — such as including an explicit reference to marijuana in his $54.20 share price — were “in keeping with his personality.” “He’s honest, he’s unique – you’d better take him seriously because he’s the richest man in the world.”

Being passive during negotiations can have unintended consequences, said Elizabeth Omfries, professor of management at the University of Washington’s Michael J. Foster School of Business. Since Musk assumes control of Twitter, he may have to deal with disgruntled employees and frictions that would not otherwise exist had he discussed it in a more professional and buttoned-up manner.

Amphris said research has shown that respect in negotiations is more likely to lead to positive outcomes for both parties involved — although Musk’s strength and influence may give him a pass. “People with billions of dollars can sometimes violate these assumptions,” she said.

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“However, we really want to make our negotiations unworthy of television,” she said.

The acquisition schedule and the turbocharger are Musk’s signature, said Shell, the Wharton professor, reflecting his true passion rather than entertainment for the sake of entertainment.

“It’s easy to think of him as an eccentric when he’s actually a genius,” he said. “As the deals went on, it was fast, and it was furious. That speed and that change of direction and the kind of speed it all unfolded: very unusual. Turn left, turn right, go straight, it was over.”

What’s less clear is what Musk will do with the company once he becomes its official owner.

“When Warren Buffett buys a company, we rate it on ‘Did Warren Buffett make another good deal?’” Shell said. “With Elon Musk, we have a different set of metrics for judging success for him: is he transformative in some way? Does it change the way we think about something? Does it open our imagination to a new way of conducting business or innovation? “

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Meet the trio of artists suing AI image generators

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The lawsuit claims that Stable Diffusion was trained on billions of images removed from the Internet without consent, including those owned by this trio of artists. If products and services supported by generative AI products are allowed to run, a press release from Savari SaysThe expected result is that they will replace the same artists whose plagiarized works are supported by these AI products with whom they compete.

Ortiz, a concept illustrator who has worked on video games such as World of Warcraft And Hollywood movies like jurassic world And Dr. StrangeShe told BuzzFeed News that art is her “happy place”. She added that she is obsessed with technology.

In early 2021, Ortiz stumbled upon DiscoDiffusion, a former text-to-image AI creator, and discovered that the tool was capable of creating images in her style and those of other artists she knew. “It felt invasive in a way I’d never experienced before,” she said.

Concerned, she began organizing town halls around the topic with the Concept Artists Association, an organization for artists in the entertainment industry on whose board she sits. She also reached out to machine learning experts to better understand the technology and connect with other artists. In November, she saw newsletter of the co-pilot suit and contacted Savery about filing a suit of her own. The company agreed.

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In December, Ortiz saw McKiernan’s tweet spread about generative AI, and an opinion piece by Andersen books in the New York Times about how alt-right members of 4chan used generative AI tools to create pro-Nazi-style comic strips. I reached out to the two of them immediately, and they both agreed to be a part of the lawsuit with her.

“Artists have a right to say what happens to their hard-earned work,” Andersen told BuzzFeed News via email. “It is clear from the way the AI ​​generators were deployed that there was no regard for the artists, our wishes or our rights, and that it was our only option to listen to them.”

Concept Artists Association offline Fundraising To hire a lobbyist to protect creators from the march of generative AI.

“It’s gross to me,” Ortiz said of AI-powered apps and services that stream art instantly based on a text message. They trained these models through our work. They have taken away our right to decide whether or not we want to be a part of this.”

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Hiltzik: Rodney Brooks is fighting the tech hype machine

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Rodney Brooks knows the difference between true technological advances and unfounded hype.

One of the world’s most accomplished experts in robotics and artificial intelligence, Brooks is the co-founder of IRobot, maker of the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner. the co-founder and chief technology officer of RobustAI, which makes robots for factories and warehouses; He is the former director of the Computer and Artificial Intelligence Laboratories at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

So when, in 2018, Australian-born Brooks encountered a wave of unwarranted optimism about self-driving cars — “People were saying outrageous things, like, Oh, my teenage son will never have to learn to drive” — he took it as a personal challenge. In response, he compiled List of predictions On self-driving vehicles, artificial intelligence, robotics and space travel, he promised to review them every year until January 1, 2050, when he would have turned 95 if he was still alive.

I don’t think we’re limited in our ability to build humanoid robots, after all. But whether we have any idea how to do it now or if all the methods we think will work are remotely correct is entirely up for grabs.

Robotics and artificial intelligence expert Rodney Brooks

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His goal was to “inject some reality into what I saw as an irrational exuberance.”

Each prediction carries a time frame – maybe something happened on a certain date, not before a certain date, or “not in my life”.

Brooks published his book Fifth Annual scorecard On New Year’s Day. The majority of his predictions were spot on, though this time he admitted he thought he, too, had allowed the hype to make him overly optimistic about some developments.

“My current belief,” he wrote this year, “is that things will go, on the whole, more slowly than I thought five years ago.”

As a veteran technologist, Brooks has insights into what makes ordinary people, or even experts, overly optimistic about new technologies.

People have been “trained by Moore’s Law,” Brooks told me, to expect that technologies will continue to improve at ever faster rates.

His reference is to an observation made in 1965 by semiconductor engineer Gordon Moore that the number of transistors that could be fitted on a microchip doubled approximately every two years. Moore’s observation became a proxy for the idea that computing power will improve exponentially over time.

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This tempts people, even experts, to underestimate the difficulty of reaching a chosen goal, whether it be self-driving cars, self-aware robots, or living on Mars.

He told me, “They don’t understand how hard it is to get there, so they assume it’s just going to keep getting better.”

One such example is self-driving cars, a technology with limitations that ordinary people rarely recognize.

Books about brooks experience with Cruza service that uses self-driving taxis (with no one ever in the front seat) in parts of San Francisco, Phoenix, and Austin, Texas.

In San Francisco, Cruise only operates between 10pm and 5:30am—that is, when traffic is lighter—and only in limited parts of the city and in good weather.

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On his three cruises, Brooks found that vehicles avoided left turns, preferring to make three right turns around a block instead, driving very slowly and once trying to carry him in front of a construction site that would have exposed him to oncoming traffic.

“The result is that it was two times slower than any human-operated transportation service,” Brooks wrote. “It may work in specific geographic areas, but it won’t compete with human-run systems for a long time.” He also said that it is “decades away from profitability”. In his annual scorecard this year, he predicted that “there will be human drivers on our roads for decades to come.”

The annual scorecard is one of several outlets Brooks relies on to mitigate the “irrational exuberance” around technology in general and artificial intelligence in particular. He has been a frequent contributor to IEEE Spectrum, the home member of the leading professional society for electronics engineers.

In an article entitled An inconvenient truth about artificial intelligence In September 2021, for example, he noted that each wave of new developments in AI was accompanied by “breathless predictions about the end of human dominance in intelligence” amid “a tsunami of promise, hype, and lucrative applications.”

In fact, Brooks writes, nearly every successful deployment of AI in the real world has either had a human “somewhere in the loop” or a very low cost of failure. He wrote that the Roomba operates autonomously, but that its more serious failure would involve “losing a piece of land and failing to catch a dust ball”.

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When IRobots were deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq to disable improvised explosive devices, “a failure there could kill someone, so there was always a human in the loop giving supervisory orders.”

Robots are common today in industry and even around the home, but their capabilities are very limited. Robotic hands with human-like dexterity haven’t advanced much in 40 years, Brooks says. This also applies to independent movement around any home with clutter, furniture and moving objects. “What is easy for humans is still very, very difficult for robots,” he writes.

Rodney Brooks

(Christopher B Michelle)

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For ChatGPT, the creator of AI prose that has garnered a lot of attention from high-tech enthusiasts, along with warnings that it could usher in a new era of machine-driven plagiarism and academic forgery, Brooks argues for caution.

“People are making the same mistake they’ve been making over and over,” he wrote on his scorecard, completely mistaking some new AI demo as a sign that everything in the world has changed. did not happen “.

He writes that ChatGPT repeats patterns in a human prompt, rather than showing any new level of intelligence.

This is not to say that Brooks doubts the eventual creation of “truly artificial intelligence, with cognition and consciousness distinctly similar to our own.” Written in 2008.

He predicts that “the robots that will roam our homes and workplaces…will emerge gradually and symmetrically with our society” even as “a wide range of advanced sensory devices and prosthetics” emerge to enhance and strengthen our bodies: “As our devices become more like us, we will become more like them.” And I am optimistic. I think we’ll all get along.”

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This brings us back to Brooks’ scorecard for 2023. This year, 14 of his original predictions were deemed accurate, whether because they occurred in the time frame he predicted, or because they failed to happen before his deadline.

Among them are driverless package delivery services in a major US city, which he predicted won’t happen before 2023; It hasn’t happened yet. In terms of space travel and space tourism, expect a suborbital launch for humans by a private company to happen by 2018; Virgin Atlantic beat the deadline with such a flight on December 13, 2018.

He predicted that spaceflight with a handful of paying customers wouldn’t happen before 2020; regular flights no more than once a week no earlier than 2022 (possibly by 2026); and fly two paying customers around the moon no later than 2020.

All those deadlines have passed, which makes predictions accurate. Only three flights took place with paying customers in 2022, which indicates that there is “a long way to go to get to the sub-weekly flights,” notes Brooks.

Brooks constantly questions the predictions of the most-cited tech entrepreneur, Elon Musk, who Brooks notes “has a pattern of overly optimistic time-frame projections”.

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Brooks notes that lunar orbit for customers pushing in Musk’s SpaceX Falcon Heavy capsule doesn’t seem possible before 2024. Landing the payload on Mars for later use by humans, which Musk predicted would happen by 2022, doesn’t seem to happen before 2026, and even This date is “overly optimistic”.

Musk has yet to deliver on his promise for 2019 That Tesla will put a million automated taxis on the road by 2020 — that is, a fleet of self-driving cars called through an Uber-like Tesla app. “I think the actual number is still firmly zero,” Brooks wrote.

As for Musk’s dream of regular service between two cities on his Hyperloop underground transit system, Brooks puts that in the “not in my life” hole.

Many of Brooks’ predictions remain open, including some relating to the electric vehicle market. In his original forecast, he predicted that electric vehicles would not reach 30% of US auto sales before 2027 or 100% before 2038.

Growth in electric vehicle sales becomes turbocharged in 2022 – increasing 68% in the third quarter over the same quarter a year earlier. If this growth rate continues, electric vehicles will account for 28% of new car sales in 2025.

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This assumes that the driving forces for EV adoption continue. Head wind, however, should not be underestimated. Electric vehicle sales may have spiked due to the massive hike in gasoline prices in 2021 and last year, but that inflationary trend has now disappeared. Battery plants may take longer to come online than expected, which could lead to shortages of these critical components and drive up electric vehicle prices.

“There is clearly something going on,” Brooks wrote, though “the jury is still out” on whether the US will see 30% market share for electric vehicles by 2027.

Brooks does not wish to stifle human aspirations to build robots, artificial intelligence systems, or space exploration.

He told me “I’m a technician”. “I build robots — that’s what I’ve done with my life — and I’ve been a space fan forever. But I don’t think it helps people to be so overly optimistic off the charts” that they ignore difficult problems that stand in the way of progress.

“I don’t think we’re limited in our ability to build humanoid robots, eventually,” he says. “But whether we have any idea how to do it at the moment or whether all of the methods we think will work are just right is entirely up to you.”

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The dream is compared to the dream of medieval alchemists searching for how to turn lead into gold. “You can do that now with a particle accelerator to change atomic structures, but at the time they didn’t even know atomic structure existed. We might as well be at the level of human intelligence, but we have no idea how it works at all.”

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Thousands of fake Twitter accounts have been created in support of Andrew Tate

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His username has long been TateCobratate, while Neo is a reference to the Matrix movie character. Both have long been part of his ideology and he advocates for men to “escape the Matrix”, and he has always promised his followers to teach them how to become a “Top G”.

“If Elon Musk is serious about dealing with fake accounts, bots, and inauthentic behavior, then Twitter must act on Andrew Tate’s network of fake accounts manipulating the Twitter algorithm,” CCDH CEO Imran Ahmed said in a press release.

In the past year, much of Tate’s online presence has come from an affiliate marketing scheme involving Hustlers University, Tate’s discord server. The University offered business classes where students were tasked with editing seditious videos featuring Tate in an effort to get more Heliopolis University buys. This was later closed when the social media platforms started deplatforming Tate.

BuzzFeed News investigation The Hustlers University 2.0 server was found to have more than 200,000 members. At a fee of $49.99 per month, this meant that at least $11 million in membership payments were taken in October 2022 alone.

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Now, Tate has created “The Real World,” a similar set of chat rooms and classes, and there’s a new affiliate marketing bootcamp that’s getting more users on Twitter. CCDH’s graph shows the flow that joined Twitter after enrollment in the new marketing bootcamp began.

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