In a surprising move, Sam Altman, the co-founder and CEO of OpenAI, was fired by the company’s board of directors on Friday. Altman had been with OpenAI since its inception in 2015 and had led the company through a period of rapid growth and innovation. The board of directors said that it had lost confidence in Altman’s ability to lead the company. Altman’s dismissal is a major shakeup in Silicon Valley. Following the launch of ChatGPT, the wildly popular chatbot developed by OpenAI, Altman became one of the world’s most visible tech executives and a sought-after expert on artificial intelligence.
OpenAI is a non-profit research company that was founded with the goal of developing safe and beneficial artificial general intelligence. The company has made significant progress in this area, and its technology has been used to develop a number of popular applications, including ChatGPT and GPT-4. Chief technology officer Mira Murati will be the interim CEO, effective immediately. The company will be conducting a search for a permanent CEO successor. When contacted by The Verge , OpenAI’s communications department declined to comment beyond the blog post. Employees at OpenAI found out about the news when it was announced publicly, according to multiple sources.
The same report also goes on to say that Altman’s ambitions to raise billions of dollar from Middle Eastern sovereign funds to create an AI chip startup may have played a role in the separation, citing a person with knowledge of the investment proposal. Altman’s firing is a setback for OpenAI, but the company has a strong team of engineers and scientists who are well-positioned to continue its important work. The board of directors is currently conducting a search for a new CEO.
Sam Altman acknowledged that he was leaving OpenAI in post on X on Friday, but did not mention any accusations by the firm’s board that he failed to be candid during unspecified reviews. He said he loved working at the company and that he would talk more about “what’s next later.” After releasing ChatGPT last year, Altman was thrust into the spotlight. He has been among the most vocal proponents of artificial intelligence, but has also led calls for regulation and warned that the technology comes with risks as it reshapes society. He testified before the US Congress in May about what form AI legislation should take. Altman is a co-founder of OpenAI and initially served as a co-chair of the company alongside Elon Musk. Musk left in 2018 to avoid a conflict of interest with Tesla. He has since founded his own AI company, xAI.
Despite the challenges, the future of artificial intelligence is bright. OpenAI and other companies are making significant progress in developing safe and beneficial AI, and this technology has the potential to revolutionize many aspects of our lives.