Altman and Greg Brockman are going to join Microsoft.
Image credit: jamesonwu1972, Shutterstock
It has been a long weekend for OpenAI, the tech company behind ChatGPT and DALL-E. Shocking news struck the team on Friday when the board of directors suddenly fired its CEO, Sam Altman. A blog post on OpenAI's website states that he "was not consistently candid in his communications with the board, hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities. The board no longer has confidence in his ability to continue leading OpenAI." At the same time, Greg Brockman, its president, stepped down as chairman of the board and later left altogether.
At first, the role of an interim CEO was given to Mira Murati, the company’s chief technology officer, and some sources said OpenAI's board was trying to get Altman back, the company was even "optimistic" about it, but that meant the board would have to step down. However, this deal fell through, so Altman will not be coming back.
Emmett Shear, the former chief executive officer of Twitch, was named interim CEO, becoming the third to lead the company in as many days. According to The Information (via The Verge), the employees were told that removing Altman was the “only path” to achieving OpenAI's mission of “broadly beneficial” artificial general intelligence.
This decision has wreaked havoc inside the company, with several senior researchers allegedly leaving as well and more departures cooking.
There is also an issue of Microsoft, OpenAI’s biggest investor, who reportedly “remains committed” to its partnership with the company. The problem is investors weren't informed of the changes until too late, and I don't think such important decisions being made so quickly and without advance notice will look good for OpenAI.
So what is going to happen to ChatGPT's creators? Satya Nadella recently shared that Altman and Brockman are going to join Microsoft "to lead a new advanced AI research team" together with colleagues. "We look forward to moving quickly to provide them with the resources needed for their success."
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