Sam Altman has decided to return to manage OpenAI, the business said in a post on X on Wednesday, only days after his abrupt removal as CEO caused a staff mutiny that threatened to derail what had been the top startup in the embryonic artificial intelligence field.
“We have reached an agreement in principle for Sam Altman to return to OpenAI as CEO with a new initial board.” The board will be led by Bret Taylor, a former co-CEO of Salesforce, according to the business. Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo and former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers are among the other members.
“We are collaborating to figure out the details,” it stated.
Altman stated on X, previously Twitter, that he is “looking forward” to returning to OpenAI and expanding on the company’s “strong partnership” with Microsoft, the ChatGPT maker’s largest financial supporter. The statement looks to bring an end to the AI industry’s days of instability, which included talks about who should head OpenAI and how the company should be operated, as well as larger concerns about how quickly the arms race to build AI technology should be progressing.
The specifics of Altman’s termination and rehiring remain unknown. According to OpenAI’s declaration on Friday, Altman was not sufficiently “candid” with the board. The unclear phrase fueled the gossip mill. According to CNN contributor Kara Swisher, who spoke to sources familiar with the crisis, a key factor in Altman’s ouster was the presence of tensions between Altman, who favored pushing AI development more aggressively, and members of the original OpenAI board, who wanted to move more cautiously. Nadella revealed on Monday morning that Altman, along with fellow OpenAI co-founder Greg Brockman, would be joining Microsoft to run a new AI research group. Emmett Shear, the former CEO of Twitch, was named temporary CEO of OpenAI. However, hundreds of OpenAI employees, practically the entire company’s workforce, threatened to depart, maybe for Microsoft, if the company’s board of directors did not resign and restore Altman as CEO.
It’s unclear how Altman’s return will effect Shear. Shear stated on X, “I am really happy by this achievement; after (some) 72 very intensive hours of effort, I’m delighted I could contribute to the solution.”
According to his X post, Brockman is also returning to OpenAI.
In the end, Microsoft and Altman look to be the major winners: Altman will continue to run the company he helped build, now with a board that is, in theory, more supportive of his vision. And Microsoft has gained more influence over the firm in which it invested billions of dollars to boost its aspirations in creating AI, which many in Silicon Valley believe will be the most significant wave of technological innovation in the coming decades.
“We are encouraged by the changes to the OpenAI board,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella remarked on the X platform. “We believe this is the first essential step on a path to more stable, well-informed, and effective governance.”
Altman’s concept of rapidly deploying and commercializing AI technologies appears to have prevailed as well.
Altman has long warned about the threats presented by AI, and he has promised lawmakers and consumers that he will drive OpenAI forward responsibly.
“Is [AI] going to be like the printing press, which disseminated knowledge, power, and learning widely across the landscape, empowering ordinary, everyday people, leading to greater flourishing, and, above all, greater liberty?” he asked in a Senate subcommittee hearing in May. “Or is it gonna be more like the atom bomb—a huge technological breakthrough, but the consequences (severe, terrible) continue to haunt us to this day?”
But, within the corporation, Altman had been pushing to get items to market faster and for a profit.
Altman revealed a few weeks ago at OpenAI’s inaugural developer day that the business will make tools accessible so that anybody could build their own ChatGPT. OpenAI has also collaborated with Microsoft to include ChatGPT-like technologies into Microsoft’s products.
OpenAI and iPhone designer Jony Ive were also said to be in negotiations with Japanese corporation SoftBank to fund $1 billion for an AI gadget to replace the smartphone.