Ai Update

Who is Sam Altman?

Many in the business were taken aback by it because the company has grown to be a major force in the race for artificial intelligence, with a market capitalization of approximately $US90 billion ($137 billion).

Both investors and employees were outraged by the news, and both demanded his reinstatement.

The board of OpenAI did not immediately disclose the reasons for the change, but the peculiar organizational structure of the business offers some insights into the possible reasons for the high-flying founder’s dismissal.

Who is Sam Altman?

At the age of 19, Mr. Altman, who is currently 38, left Stanford to launch his first business.

He claimed to New York Magazine that he worked so hard on it that he developed scurvy, a vitamin C deficiency that was previously common among sailors on protracted missions.

A man in a suit with a laptop strolls by a bunch of photographers outside OpenAI’s headquarters. Sam Altman, the company’s co-founder, was fired by the board. Julia Nikhinson, Reuters
Mr. Altman joined OpenAI as one of its founders in 2015 after a string of prosperous positions in Silicon Valley, most notably as head of startup incubator Y Combinator.

He was already a billionaire by then.

Why was he fired?

The OpenAI board said that Mr. Altman was “not consistently candid in his communications with the board” in a statement that was made public on Friday.

This revealed very nothing.

Toby Ord, a senior research fellow at Oxford University, identified OpenAI’s unique corporate structure as a contributing aspect, however.

He wrote on X, now known as Twitter, that focusing solely on OpenAI’s business success “misunderstands the nature of the board and their legal duties”.

According to Dr. Ord, the board’s purpose is clearly different from the company it is in charge of in terms of profit.

“[The board] has a legal duty to ensure that AGI [artificial general intelligence] is developed safely and broadly beneficially for humanity,” he stated.

Dr. Ord surmised that Mr. Altman’s departure might have been due in part to his having “repeatedly withheld information that interfered with [the board’s] legal obligations to ensure safe development of AGI.”

What happened after his firing?

An executive is typically fired to placate employees or investors.

They were both furious this time. Investors hurried to get him reinstated.

Numerous senior researchers at OpenAI apparently resigned in protest, while dozens of employees shared similar comments on X with the subject line, “OpenAI is nothing without its people.”

In a letter demanding Mr. Altman’s reinstatement among other things, nearly all of OpenAI’s more than 700 staff threatened to resign, according to Reuters.

Mr. Altman was soon negotiating a potential comeback to OpenAI’s offices.


According to a statement sent to employees by Chief Strategy Officer Jason Kwon, OpenAI was “optimistic” about getting the co-founder back who had been fired.

After all, this endeavor failed, and he eventually accepted a position at Microsoft, one of OpenAI’s biggest backers.

What happens now?

At Microsoft, Mr. Altman will now be in charge of an advanced AI research group.

Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, wrote on X, “We’re extremely excited.” “We look forward to moving quickly to provide them with the resources needed for their success.”

Nadella stated Microsoft is “committed to our partnership with OpenAI” despite acquiring the co-founder of OpenAI.

As a result, Microsoft may find itself in direct rivalry with OpenAI, a startup in which it has invested $12 billion. The new business will be led by Mr. Altman.

According to RBC Capital Markets analyst Rishi Jaluria, Mr. Altman’s presence makes Microsoft a “destination employer” for generative AI engineers, as he stated to Yahoo Finance.

Business reporter Adam Clark of Barron’s commented, “Microsoft will now have to decide how to split backing and resources between OpenAI and Altman’s team at Microsoft.”

Meanwhile, OpenAI still has a lot of gaps to close.

Current Chief Technology Officer Mira Murati was named interim CEO by the company, but Emmett Shear, the former CEO of Twitch, took over nearly immediately.

“One immediate issue could be a brain drain at OpenAI with employees either seeking to follow Altman or being lured away by rivals, with the company’s share-sale plans now threatened,” wrote Clark.

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