It seems the board of OpenAI is having second thoughts after sacking co-founder and CEO Sam Altman.
The board of the wealthiest and best-known artificial intelligence organisation fired their CEO suddenly on Friday without notice — and with very little explanation. A board statement said merely that Altman “was not consistently candid in his communications.”
However, within hours of Altman’s dismissal, fellow co-founder and OpenAI president Greg Brockman resigned. A number of senior researchers also quit with more predicted to follow.
The Verge reports that OpenAI “is in a state of free-fall without [Sam Altman.]”
Altman co-founded Loopt, a location-based social networking mobile application, at the age of 19. Ten years later, in 2015, he co-founded OpenAI, an artificial intelligence (AI) research organisation. Although founded as a non-profit, OpenAI transitioned to a for-profit model in 2019, a status critics described as inconsistent with OpenAI’s claim to be democratising AI.
Sam Altman is openly gay and lives in San Francisco with Australian software engineer Oliver Mulherin.
In 2020, OpenAI announced GPT-3, a language model that aimed to answer questions in natural language, translate between languages, and coherently generate improvised text.
DALL-E followed in 2021, a deep-learning model that generated digital images from natural language descriptions.
But the biggest impact occurred with the introduction of ChatGPT in December 2022.
Altman has been both the face of OpenAI and the best-known and most-listened-to voice in AI. Reports of him returning to the company allegedly follow pressure from key investors like Microsoft. He is apparently considering starting a new company and taking key former employees of OpenAI with him.
It seems when the machines decide to take over, we’ll be too busy fighting each other to resist.
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