Sam Altman, who as CEO of OpenAI gave the world ChatGPT and became one of the most influential people in technologyHe has left the company after losing the trust of his management.
A company statement says a review “concluded that he was not consistently candid in his communications with the board, which hindered his ability to exercise his responsibilities.” Mira Murati, previously OpenAI’s chief technology officer, was named interim CEO while OpenAI searches for a full-time replacement, according to the statement.
Altman did not respond to a request for comment. OpenAI declined to comment.
Greg Brockman, who co-founded OpenAI with Altman along with leading names in artificial intelligence and technology, including Elon Musk, will also step down from his role as chairman of the company’s board of directors, according to the company statement. No reason was given for Brockman’s change of position.
ChatGPT’s amazing capabilities, such as solving complex puzzles and handling questions that appear to require human-like reasoning, surprised AI researchers, amazed the public, and sparked an arms race among big tech companies to build more powerful AI. The robot’s success made Altman a tech celebrity, consulted by world leaders about the future path of artificial intelligence technology.
Altman appeared at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco yesterday and told hundreds of business and government leaders that AI systems could solve humanity’s most pressing problems if their development were carried out responsibly.
“We are on a path to self-destruction as a species right now,” he said, sitting next to executives from Meta and Google. “We need new technology if we want to thrive for tens, hundreds of thousands and millions of more years.”
Altman acknowledged that success was not certain, but expressed confidence that AI would ultimately be beneficial and described the technology as his life’s work, since childhood. “This will be the most transformative and beneficial technology humanity has ever invented,” he said.
OpenAI was founded in 2015 as a nonprofit organization focused on safely developing AI smarter than humans. It was funded by Musk and others, including Peter Thiel and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman.
OpenAI became a for-profit company in 2019, when the cost of building and training advanced AI became a challenge. It partnered with Microsoft in 2019 in which the software giant invested $1 billion and provided cloud computing power to train OpenAI’s algorithms. This year Microsoft agreed to invest another $10 billion in OpenAI.
OpenAI developed a number of cutting-edge AI projects in the years after its creation, but the introduction of ChatGPT in November 2022 quickly turned the company into one of the largest companies in the world.
Additional reporting by Paresh Dave.