(London) Sam Altman and another OpenAI architect have joined Microsoft. Their sudden departure from the company behind ChatGPT shocked the artificial intelligence (AI) world last week.
Monday’s developments come after a weekend of speculation about how power dynamics might play out at OpenAI, whose chatbot launched the era of generative AI by producing text, images, videos and music similar to what a human could do.
At the end of the weekend, former Twitch CEO Emmett Sherr took over as interim CEO of OpenAI, and Microsoft announced that it had hired Mr. Altman and Greg Brockman, co-founder and former president of OpenAI, to lead its new advanced company. Artificial Intelligence Research Team.
Despite the rift between key players in ChatGPT and the company they helped create, Emmett Shear and Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s chairman and CEO, said they remain committed to their partnership.
Microsoft invested billions of dollars in the startup and helped provide the computing power needed to run its AI systems. Mr. Nadella said of Mr. Scheer and the rest of the management team.
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OpenAI said on Friday that Mr. Altman was fired after a review found that he “was not always forthright in his communications” with the board, which had lost confidence in his ability to run the business.
In an X post published on Monday, Mr. Scheer said he would appoint an independent investigator to examine what led to Mr. Altman’s ouster and would write a report within 30 days.
“It is clear that the process and communication around Sam’s dismissal was extremely poorly managed, which severely damaged our confidence,” wrote Mr. Scheer, who co-founded Twitch, an Amazon-owned live streaming service popular among video game players.
He added that, over the next month, he also intends to “reform the management and leadership team in light of the recent departures to make it an effective force” and to speak with employees, investors and investor clients.
Afterwards, Mr Scheer said he would “drive changes to the organisation”, including “significant changes in management if necessary”. He explained that the reason the board fired Mr. Altman was not “a specific disagreement about security,” a possible reference to discussions surrounding OpenAI’s mission to securely build artificial intelligence that is “generally smarter than humans.”
Last week, OpenAI declined to answer questions about Mr. Altman’s alleged lack of candor. His statement indicated that his behavior conflicted with the Council’s ability to carry out its responsibilities. But one of the key players in Friday’s unrest, OpenAI co-founder, chief scientist and board member Ilya Sutskever, expressed regret on Monday Everything we have built together and I will do everything I can to bring the company back together.”
OpenAI did not respond to emails seeking comment. A Microsoft representative said the company would not comment beyond its CEO’s statement.
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