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OpenAI’s leadership drama will have far-reaching repercussions
By Elliot Leavy  |  Nov 23, 2023
OpenAI’s leadership drama will have far-reaching repercussions
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The recent upheaval at OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, is causing more waves than one might expect from a mere leadership reshuffle. Tech entrepreneur and author Elliot Leavy investigates what this might mean for other tech companies and the future trajectory of AI.

LONDON - In an unexpected turn of events that has sent ripples across the technology community, OpenAI's board of directors has ousted Sam Altman from his role as chief executive officer (CEO). The reins have been handed over - albeit temporarily - to Mira Murati, OpenAI’s chief technology officer, who is now interim CEO. This abrupt leadership challenge at OpenAI, an entity at the forefront of groundbreaking artificial intelligence (AI) research, has sparked intense discussion and speculation within the industry.

Shortly after OpenAI's board removed Sam Altman from his position, a wave of significant departures ensued. Greg Brockman, another co-founder of OpenAI and its chairman, resigned in response to Altman's pink slip. Brockman subsequently shared insights implying that Ilya Sutskever, OpenAI's chief scientist and a company’s board member, played a key part in the decision to dismiss Altman.

Inside sources from OpenAI suggest the core of the disagreement between Sutskever and Altman revolved around the company’s strategic direction, particularly concerning development of advanced AI technologies in a safe and responsible manner. This is not the first time disagreements over the issue of prioritizing safe development of AI have caused headaches at OpenAI - previous concerns around safety led to several prominent OpenAI researchers leaving the company and founding a competitor, Anthropic

This time, however, it looks as if the unfolding crisis will lead to the departure of more than just a few researchers. Employees across the board have signaled their intention to resign if Altman is not reinstated. Aside from Brockman, other notable exits included Jakub Pachocki, a leading researcher on the GPT-4 language model, Aleksander Madry, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology brought on board by Altman to focus on AI safety, and Szymon Sidor, known fo

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