Sam Altman To Lead ‘New Advanced AI Research Team’ At Microsoft After OpenAI Ouster
Sam Altman was ousted as the Chief Executive Officer of OpenAI on Friday, in a move that continues to send ripples throughout the Silicon Valley.
OpenAI’s board of directors had said they “no longer had confidence” in Altman. More than 48 hours later, Microsoft’s Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella announced the new hiring on X.
Altman will join Microsoft – a major financial backer of OpenAI, while Emmett Shear, a Co-founder and CEO of the video streaming platform Twitch, will lead the start-up next.
Respect For What Sam And OpenAI Team Have Built
OpenAI has become the most visible of a new generation of AI companies. Its ChatGPT chatbot is widely used and has become a symbol of everyday AI innovation.
Shear has laid out a plan for his first 30 days, including recruiting an independent investigator “to dig into the entire process leading up to this point and generate a full report.”
Highlighting his “respect for what Sam and the entire OpenAI team have built,” he noted “OpenAI’s stability and success are too important to allow turmoil to disrupt them like this.”
Microsoft Still Committed To Supporting OpenAI: Nadella
Microsoft has invested billions of dollars in OpenAI since its first funding deal in 2019. Nadella said the tech giant was still committed to supporting OpenAI.
He also confirmed that Altman will now lead a “new advanced AI research team”, alongside OpenAI Co-founder Greg Brockman, who quit as its president on Friday.
On Saturday, Brockman took to X, noting: “Sam and I are shocked and saddened by what the board did today,” but concluded with “greater things coming soon”.
Efforts To Grapple With Promise And Potential Risks Of AI
Reports emerged on Sunday that some OpenAI investors were pushing for Altman to be reinstated, after Chief Technology Officer Mira Murati was named interim CEO.
OpenAI employees had reportedly given OpenAI an ultimatum to bring Altman back. But the start-up missed its deadline, raising the risk of a potential mass exodus.
As the saga unfolds further, Altman – a leading figure in the tech industry’s efforts to grapple with the promise and potential dangers of AI – will stay under the enhanced spotlight.