Tuesday Briefing: OpenAI’s Future in Doubt

Sam Altman, left, with Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s chief executive, this month.Credit…Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

OpenAI staff threatened to leave

The future of OpenAI is in jeopardy after more than 700 of its 770 employees signed a letter yesterday saying they may leave the company for Microsoft if the ousted chief executive, Sam Altman, is not reinstalled at the high-profile artificial intelligence start-up.

OpenAI’s four-person board shocked the tech industry Friday afternoon when it removed Altman, saying it could no longer trust him. The decision by the board set off a frantic weekend that ended with Altman joining Microsoft to start a new A.I. project with Greg Brockman, OpenAI’s president and a company co-founder. Yesterday, OpenAI announced it was in talks to have Altman rejoin the company, only to say the same evening that he would not be returning.

The upheaval leaves the future of one of the fastest-growing companies in Silicon Valley history in doubt.

Winners and losers: My colleague Kevin Roose, wrote that the situation was an overall loss for OpenAI, leaving its leadership and morale in shambles. It was a win for Microsoft, which has invested $13 billion in OpenAI and will be able to continue using the start-up’s models to power its own products, while also giving a new, Altman-led team the money it needs to build new Microsoft-owned models.

It was also a victory for researchers and activists who have warned that A.I. systems were becoming too powerful. Some people on the board who ousted Altman were partially motivated by similar concerns.

A hospital in southern Gaza yesterday.Credit…Yousef Masoud for The New York Times

Another hospital in Gaza comes under fire

At least 12 people were killed and dozens wounded in an attack on the Indonesian Hospital in the northern Gaza Strip early yesterday morning, according to hospital staff members and the Gazan health ministry. At least 500 patients and thousands of displaced people were sheltering inside, a hospital official said. The health ministry blamed Israel.

The hospital was hit after Israeli tanks neared the compound amid constant shelling and gunfire, the staff members said. The precise source of the attack could not be independently verified. The Israeli military said that its forces had come under fire from inside the hospital and that it had targeted the source. “No shells were fired toward the hospital,” the military said. Here’s the latest.

Tunnels: Israel’s military released video of what it said was a fortified tunnel beneath Al-Shifa Hospital. The Times verified that the video was shot at the hospital, but conclusive proof of an extensive Hamas military presence there has not materialized.

Javier Milei greeted supporters on Sunday.Credit…Juan Ignacio Roncoroni/EPA, via Shutterstock

Argentina’s Donald Trump moment

Argentines on Sunday elected Javier Milei, a far-right libertarian who has drawn comparisons to Donald Trump, as their next president. It was a lurch to the right for the nation, which is struggling under an economic crisis, and a sign of the enduring strength of the global far right.

Milei, 53, an economist and a former television personality, burst onto the political scene with a brash style, an embrace of conspiracy theories and a series of extreme proposals. He has pledged to cut spending and taxes, close the central bank and replace the national currency with the U.S. dollar. He has also proposed banning abortion, loosening gun regulations and considering only countries that want to “fight against socialism” as allies, frequently citing the U.S. and Israel as examples.

Analysis: Some political analysts say that Milei’s ascent reflects voters’ desperation for change rather than support for his ideology.


Around the World

Judges reading the sentences of hundreds of mobsters from southern Italy yesterday.Credit…Valeria Ferraro/Associated Press
  • Hundreds of defendants were sentenced to prison in southern Italy in a case that prosecutors and experts said dealt a crucial blow to the Mafia.

  • The British police questioned Russell Brand about allegations that he had committed sexual offenses, according to British news reports.

  • Russia added a popular Ukrainian singer who won the Eurovision song contest to its wanted list of cultural figures who have been critical of its invasion of Ukraine.

  • The U.S. defense secretary visited Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, at a time when progress in the war against Russia as well as U.S. military aid have both stalled.

  • Shakira reached a deal with Spanish prosecutors to settle a multimillion-euro tax evasion case.

Other Big Stories

  • Nations are still very far from making the sweeping changes needed to keep global temperatures at safe levels, the U.N. said.

  • A bicorn hat belonging to Napoleon Bonaparte sold for 1.9 million euros at an auction in France.

  • Stray Kids, the K-pop group that was formed on a South Korean reality TV show, has scored its fourth No. 1 hit in two years.

A Morning Read

A cat furoshiki gift wrapping.Credit…Andrew Faulk for The New York Times

A gift without wrapping is like a cake without frosting, yet the inherent wastefulness involved in the use of wrapping paper has prompted many to look to reusable alternatives. Enter Japan.

Centuries ago, the Japanese elevated the practice of wrapping gifts using beautifully printed pieces of fabric, known as furoshiki, into an art form. When the gift has been unveiled, the fabric is used for other gifts, wrapping cushions or is even framed for display. We asked experts for tips on how to do it right.

Lives lived: Rosalynn Carter, former president Jimmy Carter’s wife, who became the most politically active first lady since Eleanor Roosevelt, died on Sunday at 96.


India has won the World Cup only twice in the tournament’s 48-year history.Credit…Atul Loke for The New York Times

India’s big year ends in cricket heartbreak

India entered the men’s Cricket World Cup final riding high. Not only was its team heavily favored to claim the championship, after having won all 10 of its matches in the tournament, the country had also had a big year on the global stage, both diplomatically and economically.

The night of the final, on Sunday, began in Ahmedabad, in western India, with fireworks, acrobatic air shows and an appearance by the prime minister, Narendra Modi. But in the end, India lost to Australia, silencing the crowd of 100,000 and bringing heartache to more than a billion Indians.

It was a bitter pill for India. The nation is the cricket world’s undisputed economic powerhouse — at least 80 percent of global ticket revenues come from India — but its checkbook domination hasn’t translated to the field. Sunday’s loss seemed to symbolize how far India has come, on and off the field, and how far it still has to go.


Credit…David Malosh for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Barrett Washburne.

Thanksgiving: for those celebrating abroad, these sides might be the best part of the holiday meal.

Drink: Here’s what science has to say about the dreaded red wine headache.

Shop: A stressful world drives the return of zodiac jewelry.

Travel: Concierges at luxury hotels describe the experiences they think make the best gifts.

Play Spelling Bee, the Mini Crossword, Wordle and Sudoku. Find all our games here.

That’s it for today’s briefing. See you tomorrow. — Justin

P.S. This is how The Times reviews audiobooks.

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