laying off Sam Altmanthe founder and former CEO of OpenAI, who emerged as a major figure in the AI industry after the massive success of the ChatGPT chatbot, wowed employees, investors, activists, and AI enthusiasts.
After the news of Altman’s dismissal, several key members of the company, including Greg BrookmanThe chairman of the board has resigned. The board is facing pressure from investors to reinstate Altman, and there is a possibility that the board itself will resign in the coming days.
Quoted from BloombergInformed sources attributed the reason for Altman’s dismissal to disagreements between him and the board about the safety of artificial intelligence and the speed of technology development and commercialization of the company.
It goes without saying that Altman’s ambitions were also not affected by this incident. Altman planned to receive tens of billions of dollars from some investment funds affiliated with Arab countries in order to create a startup producing artificial intelligence chips.
Altman was also raising a multi-billion dollar investment from SoftBank Group’s investment fund to collaborate with Johnny Ive, former Apple designer, to launch a new company to produce artificial intelligence hardware. The board was said to be unhappy with OpenAI’s fundraising efforts to establish separately managed companies.
Although Microsoft is OpenAI’s biggest supporter, it only found out about this a minute before Altman was fired. Satya NadellaThe Microsoft CEO was unaware of the board’s hasty decision and called Altman and promised his full support.
The Redmonds have gambled billions of dollars on OpenAI, and have used their partnership with the startup to add AI features to many of their popular software to beat rivals like Google in the AI race.
Nadella posted to ease concerns that Altman’s departure could hurt the company’s long-term AI plans. He wrote: “We have a long-term agreement with OpenAI that gives us full access to the tools needed to advance innovative programs, and we are loyal to our cooperation with this company.”
Currently, OpenAI’s investors are said to be pressuring the company’s board to reverse the decision to fire Altman. Altman would like to return to the company, one of the people said.
In one of the scenarios considered, current OpenAI board members may resign. If Altman doesn’t return, more employees may decide to leave the company and perhaps join him on future projects, further jeopardizing OpenAI’s position as the AI market leader.