The board of the company behind ChatGPIT late Friday fired OpenAI CEO Sam Altman — for many, the human face of generic AI — sending shock waves through the tech industry.
OpenAI Chief Technology Officer Mira Muratti will serve as interim CEO, with the company saying it will conduct a formal search for a permanent CEO.
The announcement caught many employees by surprise, who learned of the sudden management shuffle through an internal announcement and the company’s public-facing blog.
OpenAI said, “Altman’s departure follows a thoughtful review process by the Board, which concluded that he was not consistently forthright in his communications with the Board, thereby hindering its ability to perform its responsibilities.” blog Without explaining in detail.
Greg Brockman, OpenAI’s president and co-founder, who resigned as chairman of the board as part of a management shuffle, has left the company, he announced on messaging platform X late Friday. “Based on today’s news, I step down,” he said wrote,
Backed by billions of dollars from Microsoft, OpenAI fueled the generative AI craze by releasing its ChatGPT chatbot last November, which became one of the world’s fastest-growing software applications.
Trained on data, generative AI can create brand new human-like content, helping users prepare term papers, complete science homework, and even write entire novels. After ChatGPT’s launch, regulators struggled to catch up: the EU revised its AI Act undefined and the US shut down AI regulation efforts.
Altman, who runs Y Combinator, is a serial entrepreneur and investor. He was the face of OpenAI and the hugely popular Generative AI technology as he toured the world this year.
altman Posted On Loved doing it. There will be more to say about this next time.”
Altman did not respond to requests for comment. OpenAI was not available for further comment.
Murati, who previously worked for Tesla, joined OpenAI in 2018 and later became the company’s chief technology officer. He oversaw the launch of products including ChatGPT.
At an emergency all-party meeting Friday afternoon after the announcement, Murati tried to calm staff, saying OpenAI’s partnership with Microsoft is stable and its supporting executives, including CEO Satya Nadella, continue to express confidence in the startup, a A person familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Information had earlier revealed details of the meeting.
“Microsoft is committed to Mira and his team as we bring the next era of AI to our customers,” a spokesperson for the software maker told Reuters on Friday.
one in statement “We have a long-term agreement with OpenAI… Together, we will continue to bring meaningful benefits to this technology to the world,” Nadella said in a statement published on Microsoft’s website.
As soon as the news spread, well-wishers and critics gathered on digital platforms.
On X, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt called Altman is “my hero,” he added, “he built a company worth $90 billion (Rs 7,50,000 crore) from nothing and changed our collective world forever. I can’t wait to see what happens next.” What he does next. I, and billions of people, will benefit from his future work – it’s going to be absolutely incredible.”
“It’s a shocking thing and Altman was a key ingredient in the recipe for OpenAI’s success,” said Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives. “That said, we believe Microsoft and Nadella will retain greater control over OpenAI after Altman departs.”
The full impact of the OpenAI surprise will be revealed over time, but its fundraising prospects were an immediate concern. Altman was considered a master fundraiser who managed to negotiate a billion-dollar investment from Microsoft as well as led the company’s tender offer transaction this year, valuing OpenAI at $29 billion (approximately Rs 2,41,500 crore). ) to over $80 billion. Approximately Rs 6,66,300 crore).
Thomas Hess, chairman of hedge fund Great Hill Capital, said, “In the short term this will impair OpenAI’s ability to raise more capital. In the medium term it will be a non-issue.”
Other analysts said Altman’s departure, while disruptive, would not derail the popularity of generic AI or the competitive advantage of OpenAI or Microsoft.
DA Davidson analyst Gil Luria said, “The innovation created by OpenAI is bigger than any one or two people, and there is no reason to think this will cause OpenAI to lose its leadership position.” “If nothing else, Microsoft’s stake and significant interest in the progress of OpenAI ensures that appropriate leadership changes are being implemented.”
As of Thursday evening, Altman showed no signs of concern at two public events. He joined colleagues on a panel on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference in San Francisco and described his commitment and vision for AI.
He later spoke for an hour on the topic of art and AI at an event related to Burning Man in Oakland, California. Altman seemed relaxed and gave no indication that anything was wrong, but he left after their conversation ended at 7:30 pm.
The organizer of the event said on the program that Altman had to attend another meeting.
© Thomson Reuters 2023
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