Microsoft hires former OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and co-founder Greg Brockman for its new advanced AI research lab.
In a surprising twist, Microsoft Corporation has swiftly appointed Sam Altman, the former chief of OpenAI, to lead an advanced research lab. This move comes mere hours after OpenAI’s board announced Altman’s non-return to the CEO position. Alongside Altman, Greg Brockman, OpenAI’s co-founder and president, who resigned in support of Altman, will join Microsoft. Furthermore, this development follows a weekend of dramatic changes within OpenAI, including Emmett Shear – former Twitch CEO – becoming the interim CEO, replacing Mira Murati. The latter served as interim CEO for less than 48 hours.
OpenAI’s Board Decision
OpenAI’s board decided against Altman’s return, citing a need for effective supervision and transparency which they felt Altman did not provide. This decision sparked a flurry of reactions across the tech industry, with Silicon Valley investors and tech executives voicing their support for Altman and Brockman. Altman’s sudden exit was particularly startling for OpenAI’s investors, including Microsoft, Sequoia Capital, and Thrive Capital, who were largely kept in the dark about the developments.
In a rapid response, Microsoft announced Altman’s new role as chief executive of their new research lab, underlining a commitment to innovation. Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, emphasized the lab’s independence within Microsoft and hinted at the inclusion of additional colleagues in this new venture. Moreover, Nadella’s statements were echoed by Altman, who expressed continuity in his mission through a cryptic message.
Perspectives on AI Development
This leadership shake-up at OpenAI and the quick hiring of Altman and Brockman by Microsoft highlight the ongoing debates in the AI community. Moreover, concerns range from the ethical implications of AI to the pace at which this technology develops and commercializes. Altman, known for his focus on business growth, has been a pivotal figure in bringing AI into mainstream discussions, especially with OpenAI’s release of ChatGPT.
OpenAI’s unique governance structure, controlled by a nonprofit board, sets it apart in the tech industry. The board’s decision to remove Altman was based on a loss of trust and a need to preserve its ability to execute its responsibilities effectively. This governance model has stirred discussions, especially as OpenAI has grown into a significant business entity with substantial revenue and partnerships.
The departure of Altman and Brockman from OpenAI and their subsequent joining of Microsoft signifies a major shift in the landscape of AI research and development. With Microsoft’s considerable investment in OpenAI and the tech giant’s ongoing interest in AI, this move could potentially lead to groundbreaking advancements in the field. Lastly, the formation of the new research lab under Altman’s leadership at Microsoft sets a precedent for future collaborations and innovations in AI technology.