Good morning. In today’s newsletter: Severe heat highlights need for another kind of climate investment; AI puts shadow libraries in the spotlight; And Ali Wagner, co-founder of the new women’s soccer team, talks about money in women’s sports. (Has this newsletter been sent to you? Register here.)
As heatwaves ravaged three continents this week, venture outside for a few minutes in Phoenix, Rome or A town in northwest China Sometimes it means risking heatstroke or worse. This weekend, about 80 million Americans are expected to experience a heat index — what a body temperature feels like — of at least 105 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.
The intense heat caused violent tornadoes in Asia and flash floods in the United States. It taxes power grids, It leads to higher health care costs and manipulating tourists holidays. And it will eventually affect everything – and the functioning of everything.
“Most of our cities are not equipped to handle these types of summers,” said Karl Friedrich Schleusner, head of climate sciences at Climate Analytics, a policy institute in Berlin.
“We’re going to have to develop coping strategies,” he told DealBook – and fast.
The good news: Investors are spending a lot on climate projects. Scientists say global warming is helping to make periods of extreme heat more frequent, longer and more intense, and they will continue to get worse unless humans fundamentally stop adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. venture Investment in climate technology has boomed since the post-Covid recovery began (though He falls, along with project financing in general, in the first half of the year). Global public and private investment in climate finance, in projects ranging from decarbonizing architecture and transportation to developing renewable energy initiatives, more than doubled from 2011 to 2021, to an estimated $850 billion, According to the Climate Policy Initiative, a nonprofit climate advocacy group. (It will surpass $1 trillion with the passage of the Biden administration’s sweeping climate bills, the EU’s Green Deal and China’s Low Carbon Development Initiatives announced in its last five-year plan.)
“There has been tremendous, tremendous progress” in developing green technologies and lowering their costs, said Bella Tonkonoji, director of the US Climate Policy Initiative whose funders include the Bloomberg Foundation and the German government.
The bad news: Addressing the source of the problem is no longer enough. The effects have arrived, and the sweltering heat has become it The leading weather-related killer in many parts of the world. Some cities, homeowners, and businesses are investing in low-cost hacks that can help make cities, which tend to absorb and re-emit heat more than landscapes, more bearable in the summer. Painting roofs white or another reflective color can cool structures, making air conditioning units 15 percent more energy efficient, said Jane Gilbert, chief heating officer in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Homes and businesses must be retrofitted to stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, and Miami-Dade has secured millions in federal funding for that plan. Tree planting also adds vital shade to lower temperatures on city streets.
Only about 7 percent of climate finance is focused on adaptation effortsAccording to the Climate Policy Initiative. Tonkonoji said more investors are becoming interested. Last year, the organization In association with LightSmith GroupInc., a private equity firm, has secured a $186 million climate fund designed to fund climate resilience projects that can help communities adapt and resist the kinds of extreme weather events that have become more frequent this summer.
“The reason people are investing more in climate adaptation is because they are already seeing the effects of climate change,” Ms Tonkonogy said. – Bernard Warner
In case you missed it yourself
Microsoft is close to closing a $69 billion deal for Activision Blizzard. Federal Trade Commission Pull out its inner case against takeover, and Britain’s antitrust regulator She reconsiders her decision to block the deal. Microsoft has also signed a A truce with Sonyone of the biggest opponents of the deal, by agreeing to keep Call of Duty on the Japanese company’s PlayStation console for a decade after the acquisition closed.
Blackrock U-bend? The investment firm has appointed Amin Nasser, CEO of Aramco, the Saudi oil giant, to its board of directors. Some criticized the decision as hypocritical, given the public commitments made by Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, to ESG principles and advocacy for decarbonization. But the US company said Nasser understands “the global energy industry and the drivers for the transition to a low-carbon economy.”
The venture capital giant emerges. Michael Moretz is set to leave Sequoia Capital, the venture capital firm, after a career as one of the most successful investors in Silicon Valley. The former Welsh-American journalist has supported companies including Google, Yahoo, YouTube and PayPal, which has earned him a reputation for spotting companies that have become global giants and are hugely profitable.
“Barpenheimer” shakes the box office. The movie industry is preparing for what is expected to be one of its best weekends in years. the reason? Two completely different films that many people plan to see back-to-back: “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer”. Consumers have purchased more than 200,000 tickets to see the double show, according to the National Theater Owners Association, an industry lobby group.
AI highlights shadow libraries
Large Language Models, or AI systems powered by tools like ChatGPT, are developed using huge script libraries. Books are particularly useful training material, as they are long and (hopefully) well written. But authors are beginning to resist using their work in this way.
this week, More than 9,000 authorsincluding Margaret Atwood and James Patterson, called on tech executives to stop training their gadgets on writers’ businesses without compensation.
That campaign brought to light a shadowy part of the internet: so-called shadow libraries, such as Library Genesis, Z-Library or Bibliotik, shadowy repositories that store millions of titles, in many cases without permission — often used as training data for artificial intelligence.
AI companies have acknowledged in research papers that they rely on shadow libraries. OpenAI’s GPT-1 It’s run on BookCorpus, which has over 7,000 unpublished titles ripped from self-publishing platform Smashwords.
to GPT-3 trainingOpenAI said about 16 percent of the data it uses came from an “online collection of books” called “Books1” and “Books2.” according to Lawsuit from comedian Sarah Silverman and two other authors against OpenAI, Books2 is most likely a “flagrantly illegal” shadow library.
These sites have been under scrutiny for some time. The Authors Guild, which organized the authors’ open speech for tech executives, Cited studies In 2016 and 2017, it notes that text piracy decreased sales of legitimate books by up to 14 percent.
Efforts to close these sites stumbled. Last year, the FBI, with help from the Authors Guild, charged two people Accused of running Z-Library With copyright infringement, fraud and money laundering. But then, some of these sites were Go to the dark web and torrent sites, which makes it even more difficult to track them down. And because many of these sites are operated outside of the US and anonymously, penalizing the operators is actually a daunting task.
Technology companies are becoming more and more strict about the data used to train their systems. This week, researchers from Meta A leaf on llama 2Ltd., the company’s LLM, which described using only a “new combination of data from publicly available sources”. in Research paper on GPT-4 Published by OpenAI in March, it explicitly indicated that it did not disclose anything about how it would train its LLM, citing the “competitive landscape” and “safety considerations”.
Soccer star and co-founder about money in women’s sports
The Women’s World Cup kicked off in New Zealand this week on the back of booming investor interest in women’s sports. Women’s tournaments are also drawn Crowd recordingand the larger (if not equal) patronage, investors are pouring money into an industry they say is under-commercialized and invested in — betting on growth as social media and streaming make prime-time lights singularly less powerful.
Ali Wagner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, has helped raise a record $53 million in funds, led by Sixth Street, for Bay FC, New football team in the Bay Area, this year. DealBook spoke with her from New Zealand, where she was the lead analyst for the Women’s World Cup at Fox, about the business case behind these investments. The conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Bail dollars Still not equal. why is that?
There are a lot more assets and a lot more teams to play with on the men’s side than you can on the women’s side.
But the other part of it is that women’s sports have been an undervalued asset for far too long. It’s a huge opportunity for a lot of these brands to now get a great view of their target markets probably at a discount than what you would get on the men’s side.
Two previous attempts to launch new women’s teams in the Bay Area collapsed when fans didn’t show up. Why does Bay FC, which you co-founded, succeed?
Because while it was incredible what some of the previous iterations of women’s professional soccer had done in the Bay Area, it wasn’t really a business proposition. It wasn’t considered that there would be a return on investment and that this was something of value and worth holding as a long-term asset. This was seen as a moral reason.
However, media rights still lag behind. Apple recently signed a 10-year, $2.5 billion deal with Major League Soccer. The NFL’s deal with CBS, signed in 2020, is worth $4.5 million over three years. How important is parity to ROI?
The media is huge. It is one of the biggest lifts you can make in terms of revenue for different clubs. But what’s interesting about our timing is that the media game itself is changing. Do you want to be even from day one? certainly. But what is equal? MLS has been around for how many years? How many eyeballs do they put into their sport? They went behind a paywall. Was that a challenge? probably.
As the media game changes, I think we can get really creative, and because we’re a new league, we can be smart about it.
Alex Ohanian has called for a lack of investment in women’s sports A legacy of gross business inefficiency. Is it just sexism, or something more subtle?
Culturally, we are all brought up with certain narratives—some conscious, some unconscious. I think the biggest hurdle we’ve had to overcome is that a lot of the world believes in seeing things before they believe them. Men were playing sports long before women reached a competitive level, right? And before long it became an investment opportunity. Thus, we were lagging behind in this development.
Thanks for reading! We’ll see you on Monday.
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