The past two weekends have seen some major changes in the AI landscape, or I should say the companies behind the AI landscape. Can one call it a war? Not in the classic sense anyway, but let us dive in and see what it is that has happened.
OpenAI´s board fires the CEO
If you have been following last year´s AI hype, it has been hard to miss both OpenAI and its former CEO Sam Altman. Both of them have been more or less synonyms with the forefront of AI. And if you have not followed along, then I will assume you at least have heard about ChatGPT, as that has made news and headways all over and not just in the AI field. OpenAI is the company behind that program.
Then what could have happened to have the board of OpenAI fire Sam Altman all of a sudden, seemingly out of the blue? According to the board, Altman has downplayed risks and withheld information from the board. And that is what has caused the board to act and remove Altman.
But if we take a look, what we see is two factions that have fought over the control and direction of the company. And what we are seeing is the winners ousting the losers. It appears this rift has been there for some time but it is still unclear as to what caused it to break apart completely two weekends ago. And maybe we will never truly know what was the catalyst.
The two factions appear to have been quarreling about the dangers of AI and moving too fast in the unknown field. This is where Altman supposedly has downplayed the risks in favor of being able to move ahead faster. And the board presumably being of the opinion that caution and moving slower was the correct way to go.
One thing however that became apparent was that Microsoft has invested more than $13 billion into OpenAI, and they seemed to be both caught off guard by the firing of Sam Altman as well as pretty peeved over it. And I can understand why, they invested in a company helmed by Sam Altman, and now suddenly they are left with at best just the company without Sam Altman. But most likely it will be a company with some major parts and components missing, not just Sam Altman. And this explains why Microsoft reportedly has put a lot of pressure on the board to re-hire Sam Altman during the past week.
But as if this was not enough, the interim CEO Mira Murati stepped down after only two days. According to reports because of failed negotiations to bring Altman back. Apparently, Altman refused the proposed terms to return to the company. But along this have also been other key people in OpenAI who have either quit like Greg Brockman a co-founder of OpenAI or are threatening to quit if the board does not step down. According to news outlets, this accounts for the majority of employees at OpenAI.
In comes the grownup
In what I can only see as an act of desperation, not wanting their $13 billion investment to go up in smoke. Microsoft has stepped in and tried to at least cool things down a little.
Microsoft trying to mediate between the two camps, Satya Madella is the CEO of Microsoft
This is done by simply throwing more money at the problem. Hiring both Sam Altman and Greg Brockman, as well as other OpenAI employees who have left.
But I do not think that it will be the last chapter in the saga of OpenAI. If I am to try and guess how it will end the most likely scenario I see is that the entire board of OpenAI will resign, and presumably whomever is part of the non-Altman faction. Personally, I would have liked the slow and steady approach. But As it appears to be an AI race going on it looks like things like slow and safe will get curbed stomped in favor of short-term gains. In short buisseniss as usual.
Also, I am not a big fan of how Sam Altman seemingly is playing both sides where he is on one side pushing AI, and on the other side is warning people against it trying to "help" the world if AI makes most workers obsolete. Talking about his crypto WorldCoin. Not to mention how scummy WorldCoin looks to be.
But I would love to hear what your thoughts are on this AI conflict, who would you like to see come out as the "winner"? What are your general thoughts on AI, are you in favor of it or against it, and why? Please let me know your thoughts on this in the comment section below.
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