Tech News Now: Reddit IPO, Sam Altman stands to make millions, and more

Good morning, happy Friday and welcome to Tech News Now, TheStreet’s daily tech rundown. 

In today’s edition, we’re covering Reddit’s initial public stock offering, Nvidia’s record stock surge, Cruise’s return to the streets and Google’s struggles with AI guardrails. 

Tickers we’re watching today:  (NVDA) and  (GOOG)

Let’s get into it. 

Related: What the Apple Vision Pro is actually like — a test run of the biggest features

Reddit files IPO prospectus 

Reddit filed its IPO prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Commission Thursday. The social media platform plans to trade under the ticker “RDDT” and is expected to debut on the market in March. 

The filing details Reddit’s $804 million in revenue for 2023, a 20% year-over-year increase that came alongside a net loss of $90.8 million for the year, a narrower loss than the $158.6 million loss reported the year before. 

Reddit said it had an average of 73.1 million daily active users in the last quarter of 2023, adding that the platform has more than 100,000 active communities. 

The filing came the same day that Reddit announced a deal, worth about $60 million a year, with Google that, among other things, will allow Google to train its AI models using Reddit’s content. 

Reddit did not respond to TheSteet’s request for comment regarding the platform’s approach to the licensing of user content or copyright-infringing content in the training of Google’s models. 

The company has not made clear if users will be able to opt out. 

Related: Human creativity persists in the era of generative AI

Sam Altman’s stake

One of the more interesting things that Reddit’s filing highlights is that Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, is the third-largest Reddit stakeholder, with an 8.7% stake in the company. 

Though the filing did not list the price at which Reddit intends to sell its shares, Bloomberg reported that the company has been advised to seek a valuation of at least $5 billion. 

That would make Altman’s stake — which consists of 789,456 Class A shares and 11,369,103 million Class B shares — valued at about $435 million. 

Altman first invested in Reddit in 2014 and sat on the board until early 2022. He even briefly served (for eight days) as Reddit’s CEO in 2014 after CEO Yishan Wong stepped down. 

Related: Meet Sam Altman, the man behind OpenAI’s revolutionary ChatGPT

Nvidia’s record stock surge

After reporting yet another strong earnings beat, shares of Nvidia surged all day Thursday; the stock hit a new 52-week high of $785 per share, closing the day up around 16%. 

In so doing, Nvidia once again made history, adding $277 billion to its market valuation in a single day, the largest single-day gain ever, according to Reuters. The surge beat  (META) ‘s record $196 billion single-day gain, which the social media giant notched earlier in February. 

Nvidia, which a little less than a year ago was just flirting with a $1 trillion market cap, has now exceeded a $2 trillion market cap. 

Deepwater’s Gene Munster said that Nvidia will keep pushing higher for the foreseeable future: “They’re going to have a bust, but I think it’s probably three to five years from now.”

Wall Street’s ongoing reaction to Nvidia’s performance — the stock rose a further 3% Friday morning — is proof to Wedbush’s Dan Ives that the AI bubble is nowhere near bursting; the AI revolution, he said in a note, is just beginning. 

Nvidia has “essentially cracked the code and sparked a generational tech transformation that investors are trying to get their arms around,” Ives said. “As someone that covered tech stocks during the bubble/burst, this is nowhere near the 1999/2000 period in our view as the sky-high valuations, lack of monetization/infrastructure, weak balance sheets, froth business models and macro backdrop was in a totally different world back then compared to what we see today.”

Related: Artificial Intelligence is a sustainability nightmare – but it doesn’t have to be

Cruise’s return to the streets

After suspending its U.S. operations in October following an incident in which one of its vehicles dragged a pedestrian who had been struck by another car, Cruise,  (GM) General Motors’ robotaxi division, is looking to resume testing on public roads, according to Bloomberg News. 

“We have not set a timeline for deployment. Our goal is to relaunch in one city with manually driven vehicles and supervised testing as soon as possible once we have taken steps to rebuild trust with regulators and the public,” a Cruise spokesperson said. 

The company is reportedly considering Houston and Dallas as potential locations for the relaunch, according to Reuters

Related: Engineering whistleblower explains why safe Full Self-Driving can’t ever happen

The AI Corner: Google’s Gemini and a tail of poor guardrails

One of the ethical issues intrinsic to AI that has been clear to researchers for a long time now involves algorithmic bias and discrimination. 

More examples of this played out on social media Thursday when users on X Thursday pointed out instances in which Gemini, Google’s answer to ChatGPT, was producing historically inaccurate images. 

New game: Try to get Google Gemini to make an image of a Caucasian male. I have not been successful so far.

— Frank J. Fleming (@IMAO_) February 21, 2024

Google, in response, temporarily shuttered the chatbot’s ability to generate images of people at all. 

“We’re already working to address recent issues with Gemini’s image generation feature,” the company said in a statement. “While we do this, we’re going to pause the image generation of people and will re-release an improved version soon.”

“If (AI models) fail to reliably do as we ask, with ever-higher stakes, something awful is bound to happen.” — AI researcher Gary Marcus

These examples of what some users called “anti-White bias” are proof, according to AI researcher Gary Marcus, that Google is attempting to solve the inverse problem that has plagued other popular AI models, in which minorities and people of color have been underrepresented in AI-generated images

“But here’s the thing. The AI we have got now isn’t really up to the job. Getting the delicate balance here right is way outside current AI’s wheelhouse,” Marcus wrote. “Getting AI to behave in a culturally-sensitive yet historically accurate way is hard for two reasons, one having to do with data and cultural change, the other with intelligence.”

Exactly! I call it the “Bridgerton” approach to image generation. 💃🏼
Is it perfect? No. But there’s no such thing as unbiased models, and shows that creators are trying to improve the diversity of the images generated.

— Sasha Luccioni, PhD 💻🌎🦋✨🤗 (@SashaMTL) February 23, 2024

Past historical data skews toward racial biases, Marcus said, and even though current data is “happily somewhat more balanced,” these systems mix the data together and “are way too unsophisticated to determine what would count as representative (of a) current sample.”

An ongoing lack of transparency around the training data that makes up these systems, he added, adds to the problem. 

“If we can’t solve alignment for ‘draw me a picture of 1820’s Scotland’ vs now, and machines someday get a lot more powerful, and a lot more empowered, we are toast,” Marcus said. “Not because they want to kill us, but because if they fail to reliably do as we ask, with ever-higher stakes, something awful is bound to happen.”

Contact Ian with AI stories via email,, or Signal 732-804-1223.

Related: The ethics of artificial intelligence: A path toward responsible AI

Related Posts

Union Capital Financial Group Ltd, registered in the British Virgin Islands, does not provide investment services inside the United States. The company only provides consulting, advisory and educational services.