Sam Altman joins Microsoft after departure from OpenAI

20th November 2023
Sheryl Miles

Sam Altman is set to join Microsoft, as announced by the technology giant, marking the end of rumours about his potential return to OpenAI following his abrupt departure.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella revealed on X, previously known as Twitter, that Altman would head "a new advanced AI research team."

Altman's influence

Altman co-founded OpenAI and gained prominence for developing the ChatGPT bot. His sudden removal by the board, due to “a loss of confidence,” led to a tumultuous sequence of events where support for Altman from various Silicon Valley leaders poured forward. Despite speculation about a possible reinstatement, Altman has instead chosen to join Microsoft.

The specific rationale behind Altman's sacking remains unclear. OpenAI accused him of failing to be "consistently candid in his communications with the board."

New leadership at OpenAI

Ex-Twitch CEO Emmett Shear steps in as the new interim leader at OpenAI and has expressed excitement about the opportunity. However, he has also criticised the damaging way Altman was dismissed.

Despite bringing a diverse skill set to the role, Shear has expressed concerns about AI's potential risks – likening it to an easy method for creating powerful weapons.

Shear addressed the speculation of why Altman was removed as CEO, stating that the board's decision to remove Altman was not due to any particular disagreement on safety but was based on different reasons. He also mentioned his commitment to hiring an independent investigator to review the process.


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