March 5, 2024

OpenAI: Altman’s removal triggers co-founders exit

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Greg Brockman announced his resignation, citing recent developments and expressing pride in the collective achievements since the company’s founding.

The internal discord at OpenAI appears to be escalating, with the removal of Sam Altman announced by the company, citing a lack of confidence. Shortly after, OpenAI co-founder and president Greg Brockman revealed his exit from the organization.

Brockman announced his resignation on X (formerly Twitter), citing recent developments and expressing pride in the collective achievements since the company’s founding. He said:

“I take immense pride in what we’ve collectively achieved since our humble beginnings in my apartment eight years ago. Despite facing numerous challenges, we’ve accomplished a great deal together. However, in light of today’s developments, I quit.”

Brockman reiterated his belief in the mission of developing safe artificial general intelligence for the benefit of all humanity. As part of the changes recently disclosed, he was slated to step down from his role as board chairman while continuing with the company in a reporting capacity under the new CEO.

Altman’s departure as CEO raises concerns about a potential talent drain at OpenAI. There is also speculation about the former CEO’s next steps, with Altman saying he would share what the future holds for him later.

OpenAI’s decision to part ways with Altman stemmed from significant disagreements between the CEO and the board, particularly with Ilya Sutskever, a co-founder and chief scientist. The disagreements centered around AI safety, the pace of technology development and the company’s commercialization.

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These disagreements echo persistent challenges within OpenAI related to ethical artificial intelligence (AI) development, an ongoing concern for the organization since its inception. Similar conflicts in the past resulted in Elon Musk’s disassociation from OpenAI in 2018. In 2020, some employees departed to launch Anthropic.

Originally established as a nonprofit in 2015, OpenAI aimed to prevent advanced AI from falling into the hands of corporations. However, after receiving a significant investment from Microsoft in 2019, the company transitioned to a for-profit structure.

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