07 June 2024

Another Episode in a Long History of Self-Dealing

I've noted before that OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has a long history of failing up.

What I haven't focused as much on is that he has a long history of self dealing as well.

He was fired as CEO of Y Combinator largely because of concerns that he was using his position to self deal. "Altman had developed a reputation for favoring personal priorities over official duties and for an absenteeism."

It looks like he's doing it again, setting up a sweetheart deal with his nuclear fusion startup, Helion.

But don't worry, Altman pinky swears that he recused himself on this.

Right, and I look better in a tight leather cat suit than Scarlett Johansson:

OpenAI is reportedly in talks with Helion to get access to the startup's not-yet-possible nuclear fusion-driven electricity generators.

The negotiations were revealed by a Wall Street Journal report, which claims any deal would provide "vast quantities" of power to OpenAI for operating datacenters of machine-learning work.

Altman, CEO of OpenAI, separately serves as the chairman of Helion's board of directors with a $375 million stake in the nuclear firm. He has recused himself from the negotiations, it's stated.

Getting OpenAI as a customer would be a win for Helion, which aims to build practical useful fusion power plants using technology that's still under development. Whatever deal the two parties agree to, it could mean more R&D for Helion so it can pursue possibly-not-workable nuclear fusion tech.

When I was a young lad, this sort of behavior was actually criminal, and people were arrested for doing this.


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