Author: News Room

Big Oil’s big climate showdown Months of tensions between oil majors and activist investors could reach a boiling point at the annual meetings of Exxon Mobil and Chevron Wednesday, as the U.S. giants pump record levels of crude and sit on bumper profits.Facing another defeat, the climate groups that bought shares to try to influence corporate behavior are now rethinking their strategies, Vivienne Walt reports for DealBook.Activists’ efforts to pressure Big Oil to clean up its polluting ways are faltering. Last week, climate change protests rocked Shell’s annual meeting in London. But the company easily saw off a measure filed…

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OpenAI said on Tuesday that it has begun training a new flagship artificial intelligence model that would succeed the GPT-4 technology that drives its popular online chatbot, ChatGPT.The San Francisco start-up, which is one of the world’s leading A.I. companies, said in a blog post that it expects the new model to bring “the next level of capabilities” as it strives to build “artificial general intelligence,” or A.G.I., a machine that can do anything the human brain can do. The new model would be an engine for A.I. products including chatbots, digital assistants akin to Apple’s Siri, search engines and…

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The idea is simple: Artists upload high-resolution images of their work. A fulfillment center prints and ships editions direct to consumers, at different sizes, on materials that range from wall-mounted canvas and acrylic panels to yoga mats and tank tops. A.I.-powered statistical analysis tracks your potential buyers; a marketing calendar maps your social media strategy. The bespectacled sales representative showed me a summary of one artist’s yearly take: over $80,000. If I signed up in the next few hours, he said — at $1,699 upfront for the basic Bronze membership tier, plus $50 a month for the web store —…

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As artificial intelligence programs shake up the office, potentially making millions of jobs obsolete, one group of perpetually stressed workers seems especially vulnerable.These employees analyze new markets and discern trends, both tasks a computer could do more efficiently. They spend much of their time communicating with colleagues, a laborious activity that is being automated with voice and image generators. Sometimes they must make difficult decisions — and who is better at being dispassionate than a machine?Finally, these jobs are very well paid, which means the cost savings of eliminating them is considerable.The chief executive is increasingly imperiled by A.I., just…

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Doing business in Hong Kong increasingly comes with a new risk: the political cost of upsetting Beijing.Chinese clients recently dropped one big Chicago law firm after it recused itself from a politically sensitive case. A former Wall Street banker was muzzled for writing a “Hong Kong is dead” column. And Google was effectively cornered into enforcing a ban on a popular protest anthem.In all areas of life, Hong Kong is hewing closer to mainland China, blurring distinctions that once cemented the city’s status as mostly free from the politics of Beijing. Legal rulings echo the courts in mainland China. City…

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Shein, the online retail giant founded in China, had grand ambitions to go public in New York. But as relations between Washington and Beijing soured, the ultrafast fashion company began taking a closer look at a backup plan across the Atlantic.The company is now focusing more on the London Stock Exchange for its initial public offering, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. That may not have been the company’s initial choice — but it would be a big win for Britain, which has been wary of its capital city losing its status as a global financial hub.Jeremy…

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Stanley P. Goldstein, who in the early 1960s helped start a retail chain named Consumer Value Stores, which, after shortening its name to CVS — because, he said, fewer letters meant cheaper signs — grew into the largest drugstore chain in the United States, died on Tuesday at his home in Providence, R.I. He was 89.The company, which is headquartered in Rhode Island, announced his death. Family members told The Providence Journal that the cause was cancer, diagnosed about a month ago.Mr. Goldstein was frequently described as informal and no-nonsense — much like the airy, brightly lit outlets that he,…

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Last year, two unions representing workers at three large automakers and UPS negotiated new labor contracts that included big raises and other gains. Leaders of the unions — the United Automobile Workers and the Teamsters — hoped the wins would help them organize workers across their industry.The U.A.W. won one vote to unionize a Volkswagen factory in Tennessee last month and lost one this month at two Mercedes-Benz plants in Alabama. The Teamsters have made even less progress at UPS’s big nonunion rivals in the delivery business, Amazon and FedEx.Polling shows that public support for unions is the highest it…

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President Biden wants more of America’s cars and trucks to run on electricity, not gas. His administration has pushed that goal on multiple fronts, including strict new regulations of auto emissions and lavish new subsidies to help American consumers take as much as $7,500 off the cost of a new electric vehicle.Mr. Biden’s aides agree that electric vehicles — which retail for more than $53,000 on average in the United States — would sell even faster here if they were less expensive. As it happens, there is a wave of new electric vehicles that are significantly cheaper than the ones…

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Elon Musk’s artificial intelligence company, xAI, said on Sunday that it has raised $6 billion, helping to close the funding gap with OpenAI, Anthropic and other rivals in the red-hot industry.The funds would be used “to take xAI’s first products to market, build advanced infrastructure, and accelerate the research and development of future technologies,” the company said in a statement.Mr. Musk, who founded xAI in July, said in a social media post the funding round valued the company at $18 billion, not including the new money. Investors included the Silicon Valley heavyweights Andreessen Horowitz and Sequoia Capital, along with Saudi…

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