OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is not afraid of his firing, and why it’s going to take so long to recover? An investor’s perspective
Some investors, including a firm with a significant stake in OpenAI, were surprised by his firing, according to two people familiar with the matter. The people for the companies declined to comment.
The board attempts to restore Altman as CEO and replace him with a different one failed over the role of existing directors in choosing replacements, according to reports.
Chaos at OpenAI has its root in an unusual corporate structure designed to protect humanity against rogue AI—some investors had expressed fears it could weaken the company.
In 2015, when he formed a US not-for-profit organization with Musk and others, Sam Altman told Vanity Fair he had never used nonprofits before. “So I’m just not sure how it’s going to go,” he said.
The employees signed the letter accuse the company’s board of having a negative effect on their work. They don’t believe that Openai was pushing ahead too quickly without concern for the safety of other people. “Our work on AI safety and governance shapes global norms,” they write.
Microsoft has formed a new research team led by Altman and Brockman. It comes just a week after Microsoft announced it has built its own custom AI chip that can be used to train large language models and potentially avoid a costly reliance on Nvidia. Microsoft has also built its own Arm-based CPU for cloud workloads. Both of its custom chips are designed to power its data centers.
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“OpenAI’s stability and success are too important to allow turmoil to disrupt them like this,” says Shear. It may take longer than a month to achieve true progress, although I will endeavor to address the key concerns as well.
Separately, OpenAI’s board announced it has hired former Twitch CEO Emmett Shear to lead the company, naming him the interim CEO despite calls from some OpenAI investors to bring back Altman.
In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Altman acknowledged he was joining Microsoft by reposting Nadella with the message “the mission continues.” Some hints were provided by the man who responded, that he sees the role Altman plays at Microsoft. We’ve learned a lot over the years and I’m looking for you to do the same with Microsoft and other companies.
Greg Brockman resigned as the president of Openai in protest at the sudden departure of Altman, and will be joining the new AI division at Microsoft.
OpenAI, founded by Altman, Elon Musk and others about eight years ago as a nonprofit AI research lab, released ChatGPT last year, setting the pace for the entire tech industry’s focus on a sophisticated type of artificial intelligence known as generative AI.
An investment by Microsoft is said to be worth around $10 billion. Microsoft is the exclusive cloud partner for OpenAI, and Microsoft’s cloud services power all OpenAI workloads across products, API services, and research.
“Satya now looks like one of the most epic kingmakers,” says Nathan Benaich, founder and general partner at Air Street Capital and author of the State of AI report.
Comment on “The Boardroom Coupling of OpenAI” [Am. J. Phys. Lett. 81, 071512 (2008)]
Remarkably, the letter’s signees include Ilya Sutskever, the company’s chief scientist and a member of its board, who has been blamed for coordinating the boardroom coup against Altman in the first place.
There was no indication that the door was open to any OpenAI employees wanting to leave, nor did Nadela say how they would help them with their success.