Following OpenAI’s dismissal of Sam Altman, almost all the company’s employees are threatening to quit. This internal conflict is taking on massive proportions, so much so that the company itself is in danger of disappearing and dragging much of the AI industry down with it…
On Friday November 17, 2023, a thunderclap hit the AI industry Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, has been fired from his own company by the board of directors. You can read our full article on the subject by following this link.
The reason given? A “lack of openness” in communicationwithout providing further details.
Following this abrupt dismissal, Sam Altman has been hired by Microsoft to lead a new team dedicated to AI, and Twitch founder Emmett Shear has been named the new CEO of OpenAI.
However, the story is unlikely to end there. Following Sam’s departure, the almost all the company’s employees are threatening to resign and join him at Microsoft…
Almost all OpenAI employees want to quit
On 770 employees, more than 700 signed a letter threatening to resign if the current board is not dissolved and Altman is not reinstated as CEO, according to a source close to the matter.
Through this letter, the employees accuse the board: “ your actions have proven that you are incapable to oversee OpenAI. We are unable to work for or with people who lack competence, judgment or interest in our mission and our people. “.
Against all odds, one of the signatories is none other than Ilya Sutskever OpenAI’s chief scientist, who is also a member of the four-person board of directors that voted to fire Altman…
Heavily criticized by Silicon Valley heavyweights for the decision, he said on X on Monday November 20: “ I deeply regret my participation in the board’s actions. It was never my intention to hurt OpenAI. I love everything we’ve built together, and I’ll do everything I can to bring the company back together. “.
Other signatories include CTO Mira Murati, who was briefly appointed CEO by the Board on Friday, before being replaced by Emmett Shear on Sunday.
Others executives joined the movement including COO Brad Lightcap, CSO Jason Kwon, and Security Director Lilian Weng.
In solidarity, former OpenAI president Greg Brockmanhas also resigned and will join Microsoft to head up its new AI team. Former research director Jakub Pachocki, researcher Szymon Sidor and preparation director Aleksander Madry have also left the company.
Likewise, Jan Leike, senior OpenAI executive and respected researcher in the field of AI, declared on X that ” the OpenAI board should resign “. He was also seen going in and out of the company’s offices on Sunday November 19.
A lot of elite company researcherswho earn tens of millions of dollars, have also signed up. These include Wojciech Zaremba, Alec Radford and Bob McCrew. Without them, OpenAI simply couldn’t compete with other AI research labs from Google, Facebook or Anthropic.
OpenAI’s future threatened: what impact for the AI industry?
So what would be the consequences of such a mass exodus? Quite simply the future of OpenAI could be in jeopardy.
Only a few days ago, it was considered a one of Silicon Valley’s most promising startups with a market capitalization of $90 billion. Following this sudden turnaround, it could suddenly disappear.
Obviously, this would leave a gaping hole at the center of the AI industry. The thousands of startups founded around ChatGPT and LLM GPT should urgently find a new technology provider, or risk being forced out of business.
We can imagine that GAFAMs would take advantage of this windfall to extend their grip on the booming field of artificial intelligence. Visit big winner would probably be Microsoftwhich could welcome the industry’s elite into its ranks.
It could also be an opportunity for Google to take its place on the vacant throneand install its AI Bard as the new benchmark. A position currently occupied by ChatGPT.
It should be remembered, however, that Microsoft’s AI products rely heavily on on OpenAI’s technology, with which it has forged a close partnership by investing over $10 billion. Its strategy could therefore be affected.
Nevertheless, at a press conference held on Monday November 20, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadellaassured customers and investors that his company would not be affected by the crisis.
It also leaves Sam Altman free to choose whether he wants to return to OpenAI or continue his career as AI Director at Microsoft. ” I’m open to both options “he told CNBC reporters.
For his part, Altman hasn’t ruled out a comeback to his post: “ we’re all going to work together in one way or another “he said on X. He added that ” the priority remains to ensure that OpenAI continues to thrive. We are committed to providing business continuity to our partners and customers. “…
Whatever the outcome, this crisis within OpenAI highlights a fracture among AI industry researchers and executives. Some believe that the technology should be developed as quickly as possible, while others call for its regulation for fear that it will overtake humans and turn against them…