Former OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is leaving to start a new venture at Microsoft, just days after being fired by the company behind ChatGPT and DALL-E. Here’s a quick summary of the big shock in Silicon Valley.
Why was Sam Altman fired?
On November 17, OpenAI’s board of directors unexpectedly fired the company’s CEO Sam Altman. The board secretly announced that Altman “was not consistently candid in his communications with the board, which hindered his ability to perform his responsibilities”. This led to rumors about the reason for the decision.
Within hours, OpenAI Chairman Greg Brockman was removed from the board and later resigned from his position at the company. Three senior researchers – Jakub Pachocki, Alexander Madry and Szymon Sidor – also left.
The board appointed Chief Technology Officer Mira Muratti as interim CEO and announced that a search process was underway to find a permanent successor. Muratti’s tenure was brief: within two days, Emmett Shearer, who co-founded the video streaming service Twitch, was appointed as interim CEO.
shears tweeted a message Saying that the board did not remove Altman because of any specific disagreement over AI safety, and promising that an independent investigation would be conducted in the next month for a report. He also promised to “improve the management and leadership team” and hinted that “governance change” may be needed at the company.
Could Sam Altman return to OpenAI?
Within a day of Altman’s shocking departure, reports emerged that OpenAI investors, including technology giant Microsoft, were pressuring the board to bring him back. However, it seemed as if the conversation would go nowhere.
Then on November 20, Microsoft Managing Director Satya Nadella said, announced on x (formerly known as Twitter) that Altman and Brockman will start a new venture. “We are excited to share the news that Sam Altman and Greg Brockman will join Microsoft to lead a new advanced AI research team, along with colleagues Sam Altman and Greg Brockman.
So Microsoft, which has a large stake in OpenAI and has invested $11 billion over the past few years, apparently failed to reinstate Altman and decided to fire him and start over instead. Neither OpenAI nor Microsoft responded new scientist Request for comment.
What is OpenAI?
OpenAI was founded in 2015 by Altman and others, including Brockman, as an open organization that aims to release its research publicly and allow anyone to freely use the proprietary technology it develops. I promised. Elon Musk served on the board and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel provided financial backing. The company’s open approach attracted a lot of conceptual talent, but it did not last long.
In 2018, Musk resigned from the board and proposed taking over the organization directly, which was rejected by the remaining board members, leading Musk to step down. In 2019, the company transitioned to a profit-based model, where it will be able to earn only 100 times profit on its investments. That change led to the current situation where the non-profit OpenAI, Inc. Owns and controls for-profit OpenAI Global LLC.
In the years since, OpenAI has been at the forefront of AI research and has launched groundbreaking AI models such as GPT-3, GPT-4 and DALL-E, which have pushed the boundaries of what this technology can do . But this has created a somewhat uneasy situation where the open, altruistic nature of the parent organization now has to contend with the company’s pursuit of profit.
Who is Emmett Shear?
Emmett Shearer co-founded Twitch, a video streaming service focused on broadcasting people playing video games. It grew out of a previous venture called Justin.TV, which livestreamed the life of a man named Justin Kahn who wore a webcam over his head 24 hours a day, seven days a week for 8 months. Shear resigned as CEO of Twitch in March this year.
What does this mean for the industry?
Altman is considered a shrewd operator in Silicon Valley, and has become a leading figure for AI research in general, so it was never really in doubt that he would continue his AI work elsewhere. Paul Graham, who founded the venture capital firm Y Combinator, once wrote about him: “You could parachute him onto an island full of cannibals and come back in 5 years and he’d be king.”
Therefore, Altman and Brockman are set to launch a new AI research team directly under Microsoft, while Microsoft remains a major shareholder in OpenAI – Nadella said he is “looking forward to getting to know and work with Emmett Shear and OAI’s new leadership team.” Looking forward to doing.” with them.”
Time will tell how many researchers from OpenAI join the new team, and how Microsoft handles the potential conflict of interest from having two horses in the AI race. It is certain that the frenetic pace of AI research and commercialization will still not be slowed by more well-funded competition.
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