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Will Hurd. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) is joining the board of OpenAI, an artificial intelligence research lab that counted Elon Musk as a co-founder, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Hurd is a former undercover CIA operative who's long focused on artificial intelligence issues in and out of Congress. He's been widely quoted since leaving Congress for his moderate perspectives and criticism of former President Trump.

  • Hurd announced in 2019 he was retiring from Congress “in order to pursue opportunities outside the halls of Congress to solve problems at the nexus between technology and national security.”
  • He denied his retirement had anything to do with his district growing increasingly competitive.

Between the lines: Hurd has worked most recently as a managing director at Allen & Company and a trustee of the German Marshall Fund.

  • He also served recently as a fellow at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics.

What they’re saying: “I’ve been blown away by the scientific advances made by the team at OpenAI, and I’ve been inspired by their commitment to developing AI responsibly,” said Hurd.

  • OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said: “Will brings a rare combination of expertise — he deeply understands both artificial intelligence as well as public policy, both of which are critical to a successful future for AI."

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Aug 11, 2021 - Technology

Meet the AIs that can write — and code

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Two new AI models out this week show the power of artificial intelligence to read text, write it — and even convert it into computer code.

Why it matters: Natural language processing (NLP) is one of the most exciting areas in AI research, with major implications for how we'll communicate and work in the years ahead.

At least 3 dead after Amtrak train derails in Montana

Photo: Jacob Cordeiro/Twitter

An Amtrak train derailed near Joplin, Montana, resulting in at least three deaths and multiple injuries to passengers and crew on Saturday, per a company statement.

The big picture: 141 passengers and 16 crew members were estimated to be traveling on the westbound Empire Builder train from Chicago to Seattle and Portland when eight cars derailed about 4p.m., Amtrak said early Sunday.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Federal judge blocks vaccine mandate for NYC teachers

Students are dismissed from the first day of school at PS 133 in Brooklyn on Sept. 13. Photo: Michael Nagle/Xinhua via Getty Images

A federal appeals court is set to hear a challenge Wednesday to a vaccine mandate planned for New York City school employees.

Why it matters The vaccine mandate was set to begin on Monday, prompting concerns over staffing shortages in schools across the nation's largest school system. But a judge on Friday temporarily blocked the measure, per AP.