Today’s Cache | Microsoft ditches OpenAI board seat; South Korean Samsung union to strike indefinitely; China leads globally at GenAI adoption

Today’s Cache | Microsoft ditches OpenAI board seat; South Korean Samsung union to strike indefinitely; China leads globally at GenAI adoption

FILE PHOTO: Microsoft has ditched their board observer seat in OpenAI due to intense regulatory pressure.
| Photo Credit: Reuters

(This article is part of Today’s Cache, The Hindu’s newsletter on emerging themes at the intersection of technology, innovation and policy. To get it in your inbox, subscribe here.)

Microsoft ditches OpenAI board seat

Microsoft has ditched their board observer seat at the AI firm OpenAI due to intense regulatory pressure in the EU and the US. The Satya Nadella-led company said that governance within OpenAI had become much better in the past eight months. Last month, it was reported that Apple will take an observer board role in OpenAI. Microsoft had a non-voting, observer position in the OpenAI board. It gave Microsoft access to OpenAI’s board meetings and confidential information but no voting rights on important decisions. 

Since CEO Sam Altman was fired and reinstated, the company has refreshed their board members. A spokesperson for OpenAI said they will introduce a new engagement approach by hosting regular stakeholder meetings with strategic partners like Microsoft, Apple and investors like Thrive Capital and Khosla Ventures. 

Samsung South Korean union to strike indefinitely

A workers’ union at South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics said that they will extend their strike indefinitely as they push for better pay and benefits. The three-day strike began with workers demanding better pay on the first day and now wants to amp up as the company doesn’t accommodate them. The National Samsung Electronics Union or NSEU which has almost 30,000 members is almost a quarter of the firm’s workforce in South Korea, has also demanded for an extra day of annual leave for unionised workers and changes to the employee bonus system. 

Experts however have said that the strike is not expected to have a massive impact on the company because of automated manufacturing and fewer workers participating in it. Last month, the union performed a mass walkout but Samsung said that it made no impact on the business.

China leads globally at GenAI adoption

China is leading globally in adoption of generative AI; a survey that included 1,500 decision-makers from across the world. Recent reports have demonstrated China’s advancement when it comes to building and using GenAI. According to this survey, 83% of Chinese respondents said that they used GenAI. In comparison, the U.S. said that 65% of respondents said they had adopted GenAI while the global average was 54%. 

The industries included were banking, insurance, healthcare, telecom, manufacturing, retail and energy. Experts say that the adoption of GenAI in China will push the prices of AI technologies even lower due to a price war.

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