Sam Altman’s ties to Helion under scrutiny amid report of energy deal talks

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Helion Energy’s connection to OpenAI CEO Sam Altman (above) is coming under new scrutiny. The companies are in talks for a deal in which the AI company “would buy vast quantities of electricity to provide power for data centers” from the Seattle-area fusion energy company, the Wall Street Journal reports. Altman has invested $375 million in Helion and is the company’s board chair. He has reportedly recused himself from the talks. Read more.

Enterprise AI company Xembly abruptly discontinued its service, an AI assistant that handled tasks such as meeting notes and scheduling, but told users that it's working on a “new chapter” for the company. The Seattle-based startup, founded in 2020, has raised $20 million. CEO Pete Christothoulou tells GeekWire the company is still operational. Read more.

Disrupting deepfakes is a new startup opportunity. Several new companies in Seattle are taking on one of the most pressing issues in tech: the growing problem of deepfakes and likeness issues driven by the rapid adoption of generative AI technology. Read more.

Tech Moves: New CEO succeeds SheerID co-founder; Pinecone adds COO; legal vet joins Docusign as general counsel; and more personnel changes.

 Hot Links:

  • Generative AI use among teens and young adults is not yet a daily habit, according to new data looking at how the new tech is being received. (Axios)

  • Amazon is using an AI model called “Project P.I.” (private investigator) in fulfillment centers to scan items for defects or other problems before they’re shipped to customers. (Amazon)

  • A former tech exec pleaded guilty to securities fraud in a bogus $4 billion bid to take over Seattle-based Getty Images. (Reuters)

  • Prime Video released a trailer for “Federer: Twelve Final Days,” a new documentary movie about the end of tennis great Roger Federer’s career. (Amazon)

  • In a big shakeup at the Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post, executive editor Sally Buzbee stepped down and is being replaced by a former Wall Street Journal editor. (The Washington Post)

  • Portland State University received a $1 million grant to power a high-performance computing cluster across Oregon for research projects at universities and colleges. (PSU)
Thanks for subscribing to the GeekWire newsletter, and have a great week. — GeekWire co-founder Todd Bishop, todd@geekwire.com, and GeekWire reporter Kurt Schlosser, kurt@geekwire.com.
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