hundreds of OpenAI employees: Threatening a mass departure to join the former CEO
Up to 500 of OpenAI's 770 workers reportedly signed the letter threatening to quit the company, according to reports.
On Monday, hundreds of employees of OpenAI made threats to leave the industry-leading artificial intelligence startup and work for Microsoft.
They would follow Sam Altman, the co-founder of OpenAI, who announced that he was launching an artificial intelligence division at Microsoft after being abruptly fired from the business whose ChatGPT chatbot has spearheaded the exponential advancement of AI technology.
Some of the most senior employees of OpenAI vowed to quit the company in writing if the board was not replaced.
First leaked to Wired, the letter stated, "Your actions have made it obvious that you are incapable of overseeing OpenAI."
Ilya Sutskever, the chief scientist of the company and one of the four members of the board who voted to remove Altman, was listed among the signatories.
It also featured senior executive Mira Murati, who was demoted over the weekend after being chosen to succeed Altman as CEO after his dismissal on Friday.
"Microsoft has assured us that there are positions for all OpenAI employees at this new subsidiary should we choose to join," the letter stated.
Up to 500 of OpenAI's 770 employees reportedly signed the letter, according to reports.
Despite pressure from Microsoft and other key investors to bring Altman back, OpenAI has named Emmett Shear, the former CEO of Amazon's streaming network Twitch, as its new CEO.
Altman was fired by the startup's board on Friday, according to US media, who said he was misjudging the risks associated with the company's technology and steering it away from its stated goals. His successor has refuted these allegations.
Along with co-founder of OpenAI Greg Brockman and other collaborators, Altman "will be joining Microsoft to lead a new advanced AI research team," according to a post made by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on X.
With the introduction of ChatGPT last year, Altman gained enormous notoriety and spurred billions of dollars' worth of investment in the field of artificial intelligence research and development.
His firing led to a number of other well-known exits from the corporation, and investors reportedly pushed for his reinstatement.
"We're going to construct something amazing and innovative. "The mission continues," stated Brockman, tagging longtime researcher Szymon Sidor, head of AI risk evaluation Aleksander Madry, and previous research director Jakub Pachocki.
However, in a statement to staff members on Sunday night, OpenAI defended its choice, stating that "the board's ability to effectively supervise the company was undermined by Sam's behavior and lack of transparency," according to The New York Times.
Shear denied rumors that Altman had been let go over safety concerns about the use of AI technology in a post on X on Monday, even as he acknowledged his appointment as OpenAI's interim CEO.
"I received a call today asking me to think about a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take on the role of interim CEO of @OpenAI. I agreed after talking to my family and giving it some thought for a few hours," he stated.
"I looked into the justification for the modification before accepting the position. The board's justification for Sam's removal was quite separate from any particular issue regarding safety.
"It's clear that the process and communications around Sam's removal has been handled very badly, which has seriously damaged our trust," Shear stated.
worldwide tech giant Microsoft has made over $10 billion in investments in OpenAI and has integrated the AI pioneer's technology into its own products.
"We look forward to getting to know Emmett Shear and OAI's new leadership team and working with them," Microsoft CEO Nadella continued in his article.
"We remain committed to our partnership with OpenAI and have confidence in our product roadmap," he stated.
When it comes to creating its own AI models, OpenAI is battling against established players like Google and Meta as well as startups like Anthropic and Stability AI.
Large volumes of data are used to train generative AI systems like ChatGPT so they can respond to queries in a manner akin to that of a person, even those that are difficult.
They are also employed in the creation and modification of visuals.
However, the technology has prompted cautions about the risks of improper use, ranging from manipulating images and spreading false information to blackmailing people using "deepfake" photos.