Update 11/29/2023 9 pm ET: Surprise! Sam Altman is back. It seems the ousted CEO is returning to OpenAI with a new board. Hopefully this is the end of the saga.
Update 11/20/2023 9:43 am ET: It seems ousted OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has landed on his feet at Microsoft, with the latter's CEO stating on social media it has hired him alongside OpenAI co-founder Gregory Brockman. Brockman quit after Altman was fired late last week.
OpenAI's board of directors fired CEO Sam Altman due to a vote of no confidence, according to a company announcement. Chief technology officer Mira Murati was appointed interim CEO, but by Monday former Twitch co-founder Emmett Shear had been named as Altman's successor. On X (formerly Twitter), Shear said his plan for the next 30 days would include the hire of an independent investigator to report on what led to Altman's departure, a listening tour to get feedback from employees and the overhaul of OpenAI's leadership.
Brockman co-founded OpenAI with Altman and Ilya Sutskever.
"Mr. Altman’s departure follows a deliberative review process by the board, which concluded that he was not consistently candid in his communications with the board, hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities. The board no longer has confidence in his ability to continue leading OpenAI," said the company's announcement.
The board of director's statement said: “OpenAI was deliberately structured to advance our mission: to ensure that artificial general intelligence benefits all humanity. The board remains fully committed to serving this mission. We are grateful for Sam’s many contributions to the founding and growth of OpenAI. At the same time, we believe new leadership is necessary as we move forward. As the leader of the company’s research, product, and safety functions, Mira is exceptionally qualified to step into the role of interim CEO. We have the utmost confidence in her ability to lead OpenAI during this transition period.”
Silverlinings asked ChatGPT about Altman's departure and if it was sad to see him go. Here's what the AI tool said:
"I don't have personal feelings or relationships, as I am a machine learning model created by OpenAI called GPT-3.5. However, I can provide information and insights about Sam Altman leaving OpenAI based on the data available up to my last training cut-off in January 2022.
"Sam Altman has been a key figure at OpenAI, contributing to the organization's vision and strategic direction. His departure, as of my last knowledge update, could represent a shift in leadership styles and priorities within the company. It's common for organizations to undergo leadership changes, and these transitions can bring about both challenges and opportunities.
"The impact of Altman's departure would likely depend on the plans and strategies that OpenAI has in place to continue its mission of developing artificial general intelligence (AGI) for the benefit of humanity. Leadership changes can often bring fresh perspectives and ideas, potentially leading to new innovations and approaches.
"It's essential for any organization, including OpenAI, to manage leadership transitions effectively to maintain continuity and momentum in their goals. Altman's contributions to OpenAI will undoubtedly have left a lasting mark, and the company will likely build upon the foundation he helped establish as it moves forward into the future."
Ed. Note added on Sat. Nov. 18, 2023, at 8:44 AM (after coffee): ChatGPT's last training cut-off was January 2022?