Tech Headlines of the Week: Surprise OpenAI Reshuffle, Microsoft’s AI Revolution


Microsoft's Generative AI push, major healthcare data breaches, and Apple's move to integrate RCS in iPhones mark some significant shifts this week. Delve in to our picks of this week's headlines.

Dive into this week’s essential tech headlines, where we cover a range of topics, from groundbreaking shifts in communication technology to landmark anniversaries in the tech world.

We also tackle pressing issues like cybersecurity and the evolving influence of cloud computing, and offer our insights into the current and future state of our digital lives.

Sam Altman Ousted From OpenAI

In a surprise turn of events on Friday, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman was removed from the flagship artificial intelligence company — the home of ChatGPT — after the board ‘lost confidence in his ability to continue leading OpenAI’.

The board stated: “Mr Altman’s departure follows a deliberative review process by the board, which concluded that he was not consistently candid in his communications with the board, hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities. The board no longer has confidence in his ability to continue leading OpenAI.”

Speculation centered on social media that the company’s fast-paced move to commercialize ChatGPT via the incoming GPTs store and its associated revenue sharing was at odds with the company’s original non-profit motive of safely bringing AI to humanity.

However, it’s a developing story, and right now, the best source of truth is the statement from the board.


OpenAI announces leadership transition (OpenAI)

Microsoft Goes All-In on Gen AI

Despite trying my best not to lead with two AI-related articles this week, news from Microsoft’s annual Ignite conference that the tech giant was going all in on Generative AI was impossible to ignore. From innovative database mirroring solutions to cutting-edge AI chips like Maia and Cobalt and a strategic collaboration with Nvidia, Microsoft appears to be on a mission to redefine the landscape of enterprise AI

Microsoft’s enhanced AI data security measures and the expansion of Copilot capabilities suggest how technology will reshape our world again.

Microsoft Goes All-In on Gen AI: Everything it Announced at Ignite (VentureBeat)

READ MORE: Top Crypto Headlines of the Week

The Rising Wave of Healthcare Cyberattacks

In a staggering escalation of cybersecurity threats, 2023 has seen 87 million Americans accounting for a quarter of the population — fall victim to healthcare data breaches, marking a twofold increase from the previous year. An additional 9 million patients were added to that list last week.

TechCrunch offered a critical analysis of the cyberattack on Perry Johnson & Associates, a US medical transcription service, which resulted in the theft of nearly nine million patients’ susceptible personal and health information. 

Learn how the breach unfolded, impacting major healthcare providers like Northwell Health and Cook County Health and exposing Social Security numbers and detailed medical records. The breach shows a worrying trend of increasing cyberattacks on healthcare data, including recent incidents involving McLaren and Truepill. This is essential for understanding the growing cybersecurity challenges facing the healthcare sector.

9 Million Patients Had Data Stolen After a US Medical Transcription Firm Hacked (TechCrunch)

David Attenborough’s AI Voice Clone: Technical Marvel or Ethical Quandary?

This week, developer Charlie Holtz went viral when he brought together GPT-4 Vision (GPT-4V) and ElevenLabs voice cloning technology to simulate the iconic voice of David Attenborough. Thanks to a Python script combined with GPT-4V’s image processing and ElevenLabs’ voice cloning, a seemingly authentic Attenborough popped into existence.

While showcasing the limitless potential of AI in entertainment and media, the technology also raises crucial ethical questions about voice cloning and the fine line between innovation and infringement.

Unauthorized “David Attenborough” AI Clone Narrates Developer’s Life, Goes Viral (ArsTechnica)

BlackCat’s Bold Strategy: Reporting Ransomware Victims to the SEC

A ransomware group known as BlackCat/ALPHV recently took a novel approach to coerce payment from its victim, MeridianLink. In a bold move, the group reported the digital lending solutions provider to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), exploiting new disclosure rules to intensify pressure.

This tactic, a blend of cybercrime and regulatory manipulation, signals a worrying trend for publicly listed companies, especially as regulatory bodies tighten breach reporting requirements. 

An interesting tale of an unprecedented strategy, the implications for digital security protocols, and expert insights on how companies can better navigate the treacherous waters of cybersecurity and legal compliance. 

BlackCat Ransomware Group Reports Victim to SEC (Infosecurity Magazine)

Ending the Messaging Divide: Apple Embraces RCS in 2024

Say goodbye to the blue bubble versus green bubble saga: Apple is set to revolutionize messaging by integrating RCS support into iPhones starting in 2024. This shift toward RCS will address longstanding issues like feature limitations in iMessage and introduce benefits such as improved group chats and high-resolution media sharing.

The broader implications of this development for messaging standards, interoperability, and the future dynamics of smartphone competition are all at stake here. On the lighter side, Google’ responded with a cheeky response.

Apple to Bring RCS to iPhones Next Year. Google’s Response Will Make You Chuckle. (ZDNET)

Celebrating 50 Years of Ethernet

Before we get too obsessed with looking into the future, let’s take a moment to celebrate the anniversary of Ethernet. Born from the innovative minds at PARC, Ethernet transformed how computers communicate, laying the foundation for the modern wired local area network.

From its initial design to facilitate communication between Alto computers and laser printers to becoming a global standard for high-speed data transmission, Ethernet’s journey is a testament to human ingenuity and collaborative spirit.

This milestone not only honors visionaries like Metcalfe, Boggs, Thacker, and Lampson but also underscores the significance of Ethernet in shaping the connected world we live in today. 

Ethernet is Still Going Strong After 50 Years (IEEE Spectrum)

A Personal Journey Through Identity Theft

Discover invaluable lessons in digital safety with this personal account from Deborah Hamilton-Lynne, who fell victim to identity theft in an airport. It serves as a crucial wake-up call for all. From the dangers of public Wi-Fi and USB-charging stations to the efficacy of multi-factor authentication and portable chargers, the article sheds light on the rising incidences of identity theft and practical measures to safeguard your digital life. 

What I Learned About Identity Theft Protection After My Identity Was Stolen at the Airport. (USA Today)

Key Takeaways from the 2023 Global Cloud Ecosystem Report

The 2023 Global Cloud Ecosystem offers a deep dive into how cloud computing reshapes businesses and economies worldwide. From cost reduction to driving positive business value, the report reveals how companies are rapidly advancing in their cloud maturity, with critical insights from a survey of executives.

Key findings highlight the significant impact of cloud investments on both the top and bottom lines, the urgent need for robust data governance in the face of varying national privacy frameworks, and the widespread adoption of zero-trust architecture in cybersecurity.

The report also sheds light on the role of cloud computing in enhancing compliance with ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) standards and promoting DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) initiatives. 

2023 Global Cloud Ecosystem Report (MIT Technology)

Resignation that Highlighted a Contentious Issue

Ed Newton-Rex’s recent departure from Stability AI underscores a contentious debate within the AI industry over using copyrighted content in training AI models., and the legal and moral dilemmas faced by generative AI companies.

This argument, claiming transformative and socially beneficial use of copyrighted material, is at the heart of a pivotal legal battle and has sparked controversy regarding the rights of creators and the economic implications for the creative arts. 

Newton-Rex’s stance, rooted in legal and ethical considerations, raises critical questions about the future direction of generative AI and the treatment of artists and creators. An essential read for anyone interested in the intersection of technology, law, and ethics in the rapidly evolving world of AI

VP of UK’s Top Generative AI firm Resigns Over ‘Fair Use’ Controversy (TNW)

Gearing Up for Black Friday

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales on the horizon, it’s once again the time of year when we search for gadgets promising to solve problems we didn’t know we had. But if you are looking for a simple solution to the first-world problem of charging your devices without getting tangled in a mess of cables, the Anker 647 Charging Station might be what you are looking for.

Wired magazine’s recent review highlights how its retractable USB-C cables finally provide clutter-free charging. But if you want to add another wearable to your collection, you should check out a new smart ring that claims to be the lightest and the first with haptic navigation. 

This Anker Charging Stand Is My Living Room’s New Best Friend (Wired)

The Bottom Line

This week’s tech headlines were dominated by Microsoft’s full-scale commitment to generative AI, unveiled at their Ignite conference. From pioneering database mirroring solutions to developing advanced AI chips like Maia and Cobalt, Microsoft is reshaping the future of enterprise AI. 

However, the week also highlighted significant cybersecurity challenges. The alarming increase in healthcare data breaches, including the attack on Perry Johnson & Associates and the BlackCat ransomware group’s bold tactics against MeridianLink, underline the growing complexity of cyber threats and the need for more robust security measures.

In consumer technology, Apple’s decision to integrate RCS in iPhones signals a shift in communication standards, while the viral replication of David Attenborough’s voice using AI raises ethical questions in media and entertainment. Simultaneously, the 50th anniversary of Ethernet reminds us of the long-lasting impact of technological innovations. 

The week also saw a significant development in the AI sector, with Ed Newton-Rex’s resignation from Stability AI over copyright issues, stirring up a critical debate on the ethical use of AI in creative fields. These stories and insights on identity theft protection and cloud computing from the 2023 Global Cloud Ecosystem report underscore the multifaceted nature of our evolving digital landscape.


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Neil C. Hughes

Neil is a freelance tech journalist with over two decades of IT experience. Celebrated as one of LinkedIn's Top Voices in technology and recognized by CIO Magazine and ZDNet for his influential insights, Neil has contributed to publications like INC, TNW, TechHQ, and Cybernews while also hosting the popular Tech Talks Daily Podcast.