ChatGPT parent company OpenAI fires CEO Sam Altman – CNN


OpenAI, the company behind the viral chatbot ChatGPT, fired its CEO and founder Sam Altman on Friday. His surprise departure sent shockwaves through the emerging AI industry.

The company said in a statement that an internal investigation found that Altman was not always honest with the board.

“Mr. “Altman’s departure follows an advisory review process by the board, which concluded that he was not consistently candid in his communications with the board, which prevented him from fulfilling his responsibilities,” the company said in its statement. “The board no longer has confidence in his ability to continue to lead OpenAI.”

OpenAI announced that Mira Murati, the company’s chief technology officer, will serve as interim CEO until a permanent successor is chosen.

In a tweet following the news, Altman said he “enjoyed my time at Openai.”

“It changed me personally and hopefully the world a little.” “What I enjoyed most was working with such talented people,” he said. “I’ll have more to say about what comes next later.”

The news follows OpenAI’s first developer conference held last week in San Francisco, where Altman served as master of ceremonies and unveiled a number of new updates to artificial intelligence tools, including the ability for developers to create custom versions of ChatGPT. He also shared that about 2 million developers now use the platform and about 90% of Fortune 500 companies use the tools internally. It currently has 100 million active users.

Launched late last year, ChatGPT made Altman a quasi-celebrity overnight and the face of a new generation of AI tools that can generate images and text in response to simple user input. The technology is called generative AI and has since been used by Microsoft in its search engine and other tools. Google has a competitor called Bard, and other generative AI tools have been developed in recent months.

Not long after its release, ChatGPT became a household name, almost synonymous with AI itself. CEOs used it to write emails, people built websites with no prior coding experience, and it passed law and business school exams.

Although Altman has long been a proponent of AI, he is also one of its biggest critics. In his testimony before Congress earlier this year, Altman described the current boom in technology as a defining moment.

“Is [AI] “Will it be like the printing press, which spread knowledge, power and learning widely across the landscape, which gave power to ordinary, everyday individuals, which led to greater prosperity and, above all, greater freedom?” he said. “Or will it be more like the atomic bomb – a huge technological breakthrough, but the consequences (serious, terrible) haunt us to this day?”

He was also one of several technology CEOs who met with White House leaders this year, including Vice President Kamala Harris and President Joe Biden, to highlight the importance of ethical and responsible AI development.

Others wanted Altman and OpenAI to tread more carefully. Elon Musk, who helped found OpenAI before quitting the group, and dozens of technology leaders, professors and researchers urged artificial intelligence labs like OpenAI to stop training the most powerful AI systems for at least six months, reprimanding to “significant risks”. Society and humanity.” (At the same time, some experts questioned whether those who signed the letter wanted to maintain their competitive advantage over other companies.)

OpenAI declined CNN’s request for further comment.

Arun Chandrasekaran, an analyst at Gartner Research, called Altman’s exit “shocking” because he had championed OpenAI’s cause with developers, consumers, regulators and others. “I am sure the OpenAI board made this decision after much consideration,” he said.

“OpenAI has a large number of technical leaders and it will be interesting to see how the next generation of leaders will steer the company as it continues its rapid culture of innovation, scaling the business and meeting the expectations of regulators and society at large.”

Murati was born and raised in Albania and studied engineering at Dartmouth. She joined OpenAI in 2018. She previously led the product and development teams at augmented reality company Ultraleap (then called Leap Motion) and previously worked at Tesla, where she helped develop the Model X.

The news shocked AI insiders, analysts and technology managers alike. Microsoft, which poured millions of dollars into Open AI earlier this year, told CNN in a statement that it “remains committed to Mira and her team as we deliver this next era of AI to our customers,” according to a company spokesperson.

Microsoft shares slipped 1.6% on Friday and fell another 1% in after-hours trading.

In a tweet, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt called Altman “a hero of mine.”

“He built a $90 billion company from nothing and changed our shared world forever,” Schmidt said. “I can’t wait to see what he does next. I and billions of people will benefit from his future work – it will be simply incredible. Thanks [Altman] for everything you have done for all of us.”

Reece Hayden, an analyst at ABI Research, said this could be a “serious blow” to commentators calling for AI regulation.

“Sam Altman has been passionate about this, and this could be a signal that OpenAI is moving toward a more self-regulatory approach,” Hayden said.

CNN’s Clare Duffy contributed to this report.

This story has been updated with additional information.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated how much Microsoft shares fell following the news. It fell 1.6% on Friday.