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


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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