OpenAI, the San Francisco company that created ChatGpt, It’s in chaos. Around seven hundred employees – out of a total of 770 – signed a letter asking for the resignation of the company’s board of directors and the reinstatement, as CEO, of Sam Altman.
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Altman himself, the entrepreneur who transformed OpenAI from a non-profit research laboratory to a company capable of generating billions in profits, he was fired last November 17 by the OpenAI board. An unexpected decision that triggered the resignation of Greg Brockman, who until three days ago held the position of president of the company.
The CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, immediately gave asylum to Altman and Brockman. “They will lead a new advanced AI research team” Nadella wrote on X.
Yet according to what the American media write, in particular The Verge, the agreement between Altman/Brockman and Microsoft is not yet closed. Indeed, the two would be willing to return to the company they helped found in 2015 if the board of directors that ousted them resigns.
Otherwise, hundreds of OpenAI employees they threaten to follow Altman and Brockman to Microsoft.
we have more unity and commitment and focus than ever before.
we are all going to work together some way or other, and i’m so excited.
one team, one mission.
— Sam Altman (@sama) November 20, 2023
“The process by which you fired Sam Altman and removed Greg Brockman from the board of directors has jeopardized all of our work, undermined our mission and our company,” reads the letter signed by the protesting employees. “The conduct of the board has highlighted the fact that it does not have the expertise to supervise OpenAI”.
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The letter is also signed, surprisingly, by Ilya Sutskever, OpenAI’s chief scientific officer and a member of the company’s board of directors. Sustskever, therefore, he’s one of those who showed Altman the door. But apparently he regretted it.
“I deeply regret having participated in the decisions of the board – wrote Sutskever on X, in the hours in which the letter signed with the other OpenAI employees was distributed -. I never intended to harm OpenAI. I love everything we have built together and will do everything I can to bring the company together.”
The about-face is so surreal that one of the X users, in response to his post, writes: “How can we be sure that these lines are not the result of artificial intelligence?”.
Sutskever’s few lines were enough to elicit an apparently affectionate reaction from Altman, who on X used some hearts to show his approval.
Among the signatories of the letter there is also Mira Murati, the Chief Technology Officer who for about 72 hours was the new interim CEO of OpenAI. The company then decided to rely on Emmet Shearthe co-founder of the live streaming platform Twitch. He too, apparently, is destined to hold this position only temporarily.
On social media Mira Murati – and many other OpenAI employees – are writing the same sentence: “OpenAI is nothing without its people”.