“What’s happening on OpenAi right now?”. That’s a question we’d be tempted to ask ChatGPT because the situation at the parent company of the generative artificial intelligence giant is so murky this evening of November 19th. Several investors in the start-up that launched ChatGPT a year ago are trying to bring back its boss, Sam Altman, who was surprisingly fired by his board on Friday, November 17. Among these already nostalgic investors is Microsoft.
Citing several unidentified sources The Wall Street Journal writes on its website that the company’s major financiers, primarily Microsoft and venture capital firm Thrive Capital, are “making efforts to bring Sam Altman back.” Microsoft and Thrive are OpenAi’s two biggest backers, but “other investors in the company are supporting their efforts.” THE New York Times reports elements of the same content.
“New management is essential to move forward”
OpenAi caused surprise by announcing the Silicon Valley star’s dismissal, effective immediately, following “an advisory board review process that concluded he had not always been honest in his communications with the board, which hindered his ability to fulfill his duties.” The body no longer has “confidence in its ability to lead OpenAI,” she added.
“We are grateful for Sam’s many contributions to the creation and growth of OpenAI. At the same time, we believe new governance is necessary to move it forward,” the board said in a statement Friday.
Return with conditions
Several executives at the company, founded in late 2015, have since announced their resignations, most notably chairman Greg Brockman, the company’s co-founder. However, Microsoft assured a little earlier that he was leaving his position on the board, but that he remained a member.
Investment firm Sequoia is “supporting” Altman and Brockman “in whatever they decide to do next, whether it’s going back to OpenAi or creating a new start-up,” CNBC said after speaking with someone close to the matter. According to sources WSJSam Altman, 38, “is considering a return, but has told investors that if he does return, he wants a new board and a new management structure.”
Decision on the weekend?
The business daily adds that he is also in talks to create a new company to bring in former OpenAI employees, including several who resigned after his dismissal. “He should decide between the two options as early as this weekend,” the newspaper notes.
Since the first version of ChatGPT went online on November 30, 2022, millions of people have used it to write messages, ask about a cooking recipe, or come up with a story to tell their kids that the chatbot can then read to them.