NEW DELHI, India — Microsoft has made a power move in the artificial intelligence industry by hiring Sam Altman, co-founder of OpenAI, after he was ousted from his CEO position in a sudden boardroom coup. This significant shakeup comes at a time when the balance of power over AI is being closely watched as a major new technology. Altman’s firing has also led to more upheaval as ChatGPT, a subsidiary of OpenAI, is set to appoint its third CEO in the span of just three days.
In addition to Altman, Greg Brockman, another co-founder of OpenAI, has also joined Microsoft, which is the startup’s largest financial supporter. Meanwhile, Emmett Shear, former CEO of Amazon’s streaming service Twitch, will take over as interim CEO of OpenAI, replacing Mira Murati who was previously named in the role after Altman’s departure. In response to these changes, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella expressed excitement for the new advancements in AI research that Altman and Brockman will bring to the company.
Microsoft’s $13 billion investment positions them as OpenAI’s biggest stakeholder, and Altman will now lead a new advanced AI research team at the tech giant. This move by Microsoft effectively ended speculation that Altman could be reinstated at OpenAI after the board reportedly engaged in discussions with him and Brockman about the possibility of their return. In light of these developments, hundreds of OpenAI employees have called for the resignation of the company’s board, accusing them of mishandling Altman’s firing.
Despite the turmoil at OpenAI, Altman has expressed his excitement to unite and continue the company’s mission. As for Shear, although he acknowledged the damaged reputation of the company due to recent events, he remains committed to making significant improvements and has plans to undergo an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Altman’s firing. He emphasized the importance of OpenAI’s stability and success and acknowledged the need for changes to ensure the company’s continued progress.
The details surrounding Altman’s firing remain murky, but sources suggest that it was due to a disagreement about the company’s research and the aggressive development of AI products. Altman had been a proponent of pushing the company to bring AI products to market more quickly, while cautioning about the risks posed by AI in public statements and hearings. Despite the controversy, OpenAI has made significant strides and partnerships in the AI space, including a multibillion-dollar investment commitment from Microsoft.
The appointment of Altman, the changes at OpenAI, and Microsoft’s expanded role in AI research signify a pivotal moment in the industry and have major implications for the future of artificial intelligence technology.