Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal

Nadal joins Saudi "sportswashing" team. Spanish tennis legend Rafael Nadal signed up on Jan. 15 to become an ambassador for the Saudi Tennis Federation.

He is the latest cog in Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030 master plan to transform the Kingdom into a sports powerhouse.

He's adopted the "if you build it, they will come" approach from "Field of Dreams." Saudi Arabia has 177 tennis clubs, up 146 percent since 2019.

Human rights groups have criticized Nadal for going for the Saudi gold, but hope he will eventually do the right thing.

Peter Frankental, economic affairs director of Amnesty International UK, urged the 22-time Grand Slam men’s singles champ to turn tables on the Saudis.

“We would urge Nadal to speak out about Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, offering an important message of solidarity with the country’s jailed human rights defenders,” he said.

Fat chance of that happening.

Nadal said he’s eager to work with young Saudis. “If I can help them pick up a racquet or simply get fit and enjoy the benefits of healthy living, then I’ll be happy to have made a difference,” he said.

My hunch is the Crown Prince is counting on Nadal to groom tennis champs and top-rated Olympic competitors. He's not paying Nadal to become a physical ed teacher.

Nadal will have to hunt down his young charges. The Saudi Tennis Federation counts only 1,000 registered players under the age of 14.

Unless Nadal plans to offer one-on-one lessons to kids, he will have a lot of time on his hands.

Evolution not revolution for AGI… OpenAI chief Sam Altman told an Economist webinar on Jan. 17 that progress toward artificial general intelligence—which will outperform humans on intellectual tasks— will be “a slow take-off” with many fits and starts.

He likened it to the 2007 introduction of Apple’s iPhone. There’s only slight incremental changes made to the phones on the year-to-year basis. But if you compare the 2007 iPhone with the iPhone 15: WOW.

Altman shared the stage with Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, which has partnered with OpenAI.

Both men dismissed the idea that AGI will wipe out jobs. Nadella predicted AGI will create a more dynamic work force with wages on the upswing. He did concede that some jobs will be “commoditized” (e.g., wage cuts).

Overall, they agreed that “people will find other things to do” just as they always have to adapt to a changing world.

Altman said one thing is certain: Predictions from experts about new technologies are always wrong.

For instance, the introduction of ChatGPT triggered a two-week freak-out. People now complain that it is too slow, said Altman.

Zanny Minton Beddoes, editor-in-chief of the Economist, moderated the webinar that took place at the World Economic Forum.

The Mooch rips DC’s lobbying culture. Anthony Scaramucci, who famously did a 10-day stint as president Donald Trump’s communications director, has ripped the power that DC lobbyists exert over US government policy.

At the World Economic Forum at Davos, The Mooch diverted from the discussion about the Arab future.

According to the Jewish Insider, he said: “If you can be bought, they give you two cigars, a bottle of Cristalle, sit in the hot tub with them.

“But if you can’t be bought, they make up stories about you. It’s not the weaponization of the dollar that I’m worried about, it is the control of the lobbyists over the action of what is going to happen to the US.”

Scaramucci also predicted that Trump will lose the November election because he will go “crazy” over his mounting legal woes.

He believes Biden is too old for the job, but he has a great staff that gets things done.

“If we’re going to choose between dementia and demented, I’m going with dementia,” quipped Scaramucci.