The last 24 hours have been a complete rollercoaster since OpenAI’s co-founder and former CEO Sam Altman was ousted. The Information reported on Sunday that Altman and former President Greg Brockman joined executives at OpenAI’s San Francisco headquarters after interim CEO Mira Murati invited Altman.
The report suggests that Altman is in discussions about a potential return to the company responsible for the ChatGPT bot, even as he considers launching a new artificial intelligence (AI) venture, Reuters reported. Altman’s abrupt dismissal on Friday, a figure many associated with the human side of generative AI, sent shockwaves through the tech industry.
“Two days after OpenAI’s board of directors fired him, Sam Altman joined executives at the company’s San Francisco headquarters Sunday as they pushed the board to reinstate him and other recently departed executives, said a person with knowledge of the situatioin. Interim CEO Mira Murati earlier told staff that she and the leadership team invited Altman, according to people with knowledge of the situation,” The Information reported.
OpenAI, as reported by Reuters, declined to comment on the specifics of The Information’s report.
The report came just a few hours after Altman posted an image of himself wearing an OpenAI guest badge on the messaging platform X, with the caption: “First and last time I ever wear one of these.”
first and last time i ever wear one of these pic.twitter.com/u3iKwyWj0a
— Sam Altman (@sama) November 19, 2023
The sudden management upheaval, particularly Altman’s firing, has stirred discontent among current and former employees. There are concerns about how the upcoming $86 billion share sale could be impacted by these unexpected changes.
Greg Brockman, OpenAI’s former president and co-founder, also showed up at the office on Sunday, as reported by The Information. Brockman had resigned from the board as chairman during the management shuffle and announced on Friday that he was leaving the company.
If Altman decides to return to OpenAI, Microsoft, the company’s primary supporter, is reportedly contemplating taking a role on the board, according to The Information’s Sunday report, citing two individuals familiar with the discussions.
Meanwhile, the future of OpenAI under Murati’s leadership remains uncertain, but her appointment as interim CEO suggests a desire for a more measured and cautious approach. Murati, a respected technologist with a profound understanding of AI, is likely to focus on ensuring that OpenAI’s technology is developed and utilized in a responsible and ethical manner. Time will reveal the outcomes of this leadership transition.
OpenAI was founded in 2015 by Elon Musk and Sam Altman as a non-profit research institution with a singular mission to forge the path toward the creation of safe and advantageous artificial general intelligence (AGI). Throughout its journey, OpenAI has built a series of remarkable AI systems, among them the influential GPT-3 language model and the innovative DALL-E 2 image generation model. The company has received at least $13 billion in investment from Microsoft and is reportedly valued at $86 billion.