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How the Collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried's Crypto Empire Has Disrupted A.I.


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Cconcerns in the AI world are an unexpected fallout from FTX’s disintegration, showing how far the ripple effects of the crypto exchange’s collapse and Mr. Bankman-Fried’s vaporizing fortune have traveled.

Credit: John Devolle

In April, a San Francisco artificial intelligence lab called Anthropic raised $580 million for research involving "A.I. safety."

Few in Silicon Valley had heard of the one-year-old lab, which is building A.I. systems that generate language. But the amount of money promised to the tiny company dwarfed what venture capitalists were investing in other A.I. start-ups, including those stocked with some of the most experienced researchers in the field.

The funding round was led by Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and chief executive of FTX, the cryptocurrency exchange that filed for bankruptcy last month. After FTX's sudden collapse, a leaked balance sheet showed that Mr. Bankman-Fried and his colleagues had fed at least $500 million into Anthropic.

Their investment was part of a quiet and quixotic effort to explore and mitigate the dangers of artificial intelligence, which many in Mr. Bankman-Fried's circle believed could eventually destroy the world and damage humanity. Over the past two years, the 30-year-old entrepreneur and his FTX colleagues funneled more than $530 million — through either grants or investments — into more than 70 A.I.-related companies, academic labs, think tanks, independent projects and individual researchers to address concerns over the technology, according to a tally by The New York Times.

From The New York Times
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