"The Problem With Jon Stewart" has abruptly ended.
Comedian and political commentator Jon Stewart is now out of a job. On Thursday, the former "Daily Show" host told his staff that he was leaving his series on Apple TV, "The Problem With Jon Stewart," just as its third season was set to begin filming in a few weeks.
The reasons behind the departure are eyebrow-raising, to say the least. The New York Times reports that several topics Stewart wanted to cover "caused concern" with company executives: apparently Apple really didn't want him sounding off on China and artificial intelligence.
As of now, it's unclear what exactly Stewart would have had to say on either issue, but given the nature of the show, it's safe to assume it probably would've been critical.
Per a followup report from The Hollywood Reporter, Apple insisted that both parties needed to be "aligned" on certain topics on the show. Stewart, though, wasn't game for being "hamstrung" by his employers, even when they threatened to cancel "The Problem."
Beyond any single topic, Stewart reportedly wanted to exert full creative control, and rather than giving that up, he chose to walk away before Apple could be the ones to get the final say. With its star gone, Apple decided to "unrenew" the series.
China, of course, has long been a hot-button issue. But if these latest reports are any indication, AI models are becoming a near equally controversial topic — at least for a brand that tries to maintain a neutral and squeaky-clean image.
Plus, Apple, as a Silicon Valley giant, has its own AI aspirations. It's been fastidiously working on its rival to ChatGPT, though its entire development has been kept under tight wraps. As far as AI models go, Apple still has some serious catching up to do.
But pursuing that tech comes at a cost. Gangbusters chatbots like OpenAI's ChatGPT, while receiving ludicrous amounts of investment and hype, are also under fire for perceived copyright and privacy violations, never quite shaking off the perception that they operate by stealing artists' work.
Clearly, Apple would have a vested interest in not having the tech maligned on its own platform.
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