Elon Musk, OpenAI, Microsoft and everyone else jumps into the debate and drama….
In a surprising turn of events, Wired recently reported that a potential mass exodus of 490 OpenAI employees may occur, with many considering job opportunities at a new Microsoft subsidiary led by Sam Altman and Greg Brockman. The catalyst for this upheaval is the contentious removal of Altman and Brockman from the OpenAI board, a move that employees argue has jeopardized the company’s mission and stability.
Microsoft just officially owns open AI after Sam Altman is kicked out $MSFT
Elon musk said Microsoft owned OpenAi more than Sam Altman actually understood 6 months ago
“They own the rights to all the software and model weights and everything necessary to run the inference… pic.twitter.com/Gylmvj10wQ
— Wealth Archives (@WealthArchives) November 17, 2023
OpenAI, a global leader in artificial intelligence (AI), boasts over 700 employees according to The Information. The looming departure of a significant portion of its workforce could have severe consequences for the organization. The crux of the matter lies in a letter addressed to the OpenAI board, where employees express their concerns and assert that the current board lacks the competence to oversee the company effectively.
The letter outlines the employees’ dissatisfaction with the process leading to the removal of Altman and Brockman, citing its detrimental impact on the company’s work, mission, and global standing. Despite the leadership team’s efforts to address concerns and cooperate with the board, the absence of concrete evidence supporting the allegations against Altman and Brockman has raised skepticism among employees.
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OpenAI board: pic.twitter.com/uwIQFuMcIK
— Jeff Richards (@jrichlive) November 21, 2023
The leadership team proposed a solution: the resignation of the current board members and the appointment of two new lead independent directors, such as Bret Taylor and Will Hurd. The goal was to restore stability and ensure the company’s continued success. However, the board’s actions further fueled discontent, leading to the replacement of interim CEO Mira Murati and signaling a lack of commitment to OpenAI’s mission.
Why did you take such a drastic action? If OpenAI is doing something potentially dangerous to humanity, the world needs to know. – Elon Musk
Faced with what they perceive as incompetence, lack of judgment, and a disregard for the company’s mission and employees, a group of employees threatens to resign and join the newly announced Microsoft subsidiary. Microsoft’s assurance of employment opportunities for all OpenAI employees at the subsidiary adds weight to this potential exodus.
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The situation at OpenAI has sent shockwaves through the tech industry, influencing Microsoft’s stock prices positively as investors react to the announcement of Altman and Brockman leading a cutting-edge AI research division at the tech giant. Altman’s dismissal from OpenAI and his swift appointment at Microsoft, along with the subsequent leadership changes at OpenAI, have raised eyebrows and sparked a flurry of social media reactions.
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Elon Musk, a prominent figure associated with OpenAI, has defended Ilya Sutskever’s role in Altman’s removal, emphasizing Sutskever’s moral compass and the necessity of drastic action. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella welcomed Altman and Brockman to lead a new advanced AI research team, signaling Microsoft’s commitment to advancing AI research.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella tells @emilychangtv about the state of play at OpenAI.
— Bloomberg TV (@BloombergTV) November 21, 2023
Despite Microsoft’s stock gains, concerns among OpenAI employees are evident on social media, with some expressing devastation over the recent developments. The abrupt changes at OpenAI, reminiscent of classic Silicon Valley founder-board conflicts, have led analysts to speculate on the potential consequences for the company and its partnership with Microsoft.
Microsoft’s $13 billion agreement with OpenAI remains intact, but analysts are closely monitoring the situation, with some expressing concerns about the possible “brain drain” and the impact on OpenAI’s fundamental capabilities. The departure of Altman, a key figure in OpenAI’s leadership, could also influence the trajectory of other AI models in the industry, according to analysts.
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As the dust settles on a tumultuous weekend for OpenAI, the tech industry watches closely to see how the company navigates this challenging period and how Microsoft’s strategic move with Altman and Brockman at the helm of its AI research division will shape the future of AI innovation.
Major Points Discussed:
- Wired reports potential mass exodus of 490 OpenAI employees to join a new Microsoft subsidiary led by Sam Altman and Greg Brockman.
- Employees express dissatisfaction with the board’s removal of Altman and Brockman, claiming it jeopardizes the company’s mission and stability.
- A letter to the board outlines concerns about the lack of competence, judgment, and evidence supporting the decision to remove Altman and Brockman.
- OpenAI’s leadership team proposes board resignation and appointment of new directors for stability, but the board’s actions intensify employee discontent.
- Microsoft’s stock prices rise as Altman and Brockman are announced to lead a new AI research division, while concerns about OpenAI’s future and partnership with Microsoft persist among analysts and employees.
Comments – Threads – Links
- I recently took a new role as a product manager on Google’s AI team. I just got this calendar invite from the VP of our division. We’re moving quickly to craft a plan to seize the opportunity given the recent OpenAI news – Alex Cohen
- OpenAI ended speculation about its outgoing chief Sam Altman returning by naming ex-Twitch boss Emmett Shear as the interim CEO, while Altman moves to backer Microsoft – Reuters News
- BREAKING: Over the weekend, OpenAI‘s board approached Dario Amodei, the CEO of its top startup rival, about a potential merger. The approach was part of an effort by OpenAI to persuade Amodei to replace Altman as CEO. – Stephanie Palazzolo
- I have no details of OpenAI‘s Board’s reasons for firing Sam, and I am conflicted (lead of Scalable Alignment at Google DeepMind). But there is a large, very loud pile on vs. people I respect, in particular Helen Toner and Ilya Sutskever, so I feel compelled to say a few things. – Geoffrey Irving
- UPDATES: Sam Altman is still trying to return as OpenAI CEO. The Microsoft deal is not yet finalized. Ilya Sutskever has also flipped to support Altman, but two more board members must change their minds for Sam Altman and Greg Brockman to return. – Rowan Cheung
- OpenAI‘s recently-fired CEO Sam Altman is moving to Microsoft, while OpenAI names Emmet Shear, ex-Twitch boss, as it’s new interim chief executive. – Reuters Business
- Microsoft just pulled off one of the greatest “acquisitions” of all time: Prior to the firing of Sam Altman, OpenAI was worth ~$90 billion. This weekend, Microsoft was able to hire Sam Altman and Greg Brockman after having no advance notice that they would be fired. Then, as Microsoft announced a new AI team lead by Altman, 660 OpenAI employees said they might follow. In other words, Microsoft just hired Sam Altman, Greg Brockman, and potentially 85% of OpenAI without spending a Dollar yet. All leading to a $70 billion jump in Microsoft’s, $MSFT, market value today. We are witnessing history. – KL
Some humor on it all that Musk liked…
The OpenAI story. pic.twitter.com/6X25phpYG0
— Matt Griswold (@griswold) November 20, 2023
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