OpenAI co-founder and former Chief Executive Officer Sam Altman
Sam Altman, the co-founder and former Chief Executive Officer of OpenAI, could be making a quick return to the company. The developer behind ChatGPT is facing significant investor backlash following the announcement of his departure on Friday.
The Verge, a U.S. media outlet specializing in information technology news, reported on Saturday that some members of OpenAI’s board are discussing Altman’s return. But Altman himself is reportedly “ambivalent” about returning to OpenAI and “would demand significant governance changes,” the report added.
Bloomberg reported that OpenAI investors are pressuring the board to reverse Altman’s dismissal, following his removal, with some reportedly urging Microsoft Corp., OpenAI’s largest shareholder, to intervene. Microsoft allegedly received information about Altman’s dismissal just a minute before the public announcement, with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said to be taken aback by the news.
Investors argue that they were not given prior notice of Altman’s dismissal and were denied the opportunity to express their opinions during the process. Amid the turmoil surrounding the founder’s removal, The Verge commented, “his removal throws the future of OpenAI into uncertainty at a time when rivals are racing to catch up with the unprecedented rise of ChatGPT.”
Observers speculate that if Altman decides not to return to OpenAI, he could found a new startup with former OpenAI employees. Altman is reportedly already in discussions about founding an AI startup with OpenAI co-founder Greg Brockman.
Brockman resigned immediately after Altman’s dismissal was announced, and many senior researchers with close ties to Altman are also leaving the company, with more departures underway, according to an inside source.
Following the news of Altman’s sudden dismissal, speculation is growing that internal conflicts within the company are beginning to surface. Altman’s departure is said to have been led by Ilya Sutskever, a third OpenAI co-founder, over reported disagreements among the founders over artificial general intelligence (AGI) research.
By Song Gwang-sup and Chang Iou-chung
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