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Sam Altman’s sudden exit sends shockwaves through OpenAI and beyond

Earlier this month, Altman hosted OpenAI’s first developer conference and announced plans to create an app store for AI agents based on its technology. Altman was also courting Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds for the development of AI chips that would compete with those of Nvidia, according to Bloomberg. The Information previously reported that Altman was exploring the possibility of developing AI-oriented hardware in collaboration with former Apple designer Jony Ive with funding from Softbank.

Disagreements over whether to prioritize safe AI development led several prominent OpenAI researchers to leave the company and found a competitor, Anthropic.

The development of OpenAI’s most powerful language model, GPT-4, has sparked an unprecedented debate about whether AI can evolve beyond human control. In July, Sutskever became co-lead of a “superalignment group” at OpenAI, dedicated to producing “technical breakthroughs to direct and control AI systems much smarter than us.”

Speaking at the APEC CEO Summit in San Francisco last week, Altman noted that the company had made progress in developing a more powerful successor to GPT-4. “Four times now in OpenAI history – most recently in the last two weeks – I have had the opportunity to be in the room as we push back the veil of ignorance and the frontier of discovery forward,” he said. .

Many in the tech industry have spoken out in support of Altman or criticized the OpenAI board for its actions.

“What happened at OpenAI today is a board coup the likes of which we haven’t seen since 1985, when Apple’s then-board of directors kicked out Steve Jobs,” angel investor Ron Conway wrote on

“Sam Altman is one of my heroes,” Eric Schmidt, former Google CEO job. “He built a company from nothing to a value of $90 billion and changed our collective world forever. I can’t wait to see what he does next.

OpenAI announced that Altman will be replaced by Mira Murati, formerly OpenAI’s CTO, who is serving as interim CEO while the company searches for a permanent replacement.

Some OpenAI employees seemed to suggest that Murati had been the company’s de facto leader for some time.

“In the madness of ChatGPT training, @miramurati “She was the one who made the final decisions during daily stand-ups,” wrote Evan Morikawa, head of engineering at OpenAI, on X. “She has been running this company for years and will continue to do incredible work here .”

Altman, who has little financial interest in OpenAI, spoke to X in the hours after his ouster to suggest he might reveal more about the circumstances of his departure. “If I start leaving, the OpenAI board should sue me for the full value of my shares,” he wrote.

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