When you think about the leading figures in AI, a few faces come to mind. You’ll picture Sundar Pichai (Google’s CEO) and you’ll picture Sam Altman (OpenAI’s CEO). Well, one of those figures was fired from his job, and it wasn’t Pichai. That’s right; seemingly without warning, Sam Altman was ejected from his leadership role at OpenAI. The company announced this via a blog post on OpenAI.com.
Why was Sam Altman fired?
As for the exact reasons, details are scarce. This may sound harsh, but we can’t really take the explanation the company gave at face value. In the blog post, the reason given was that he “was not consistently candid in his communications with the board, hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities.” So, it seems that he wasn’t quite honest when speaking to the board of directors. If that’s the reason for his termination, then he must have been lying about something rather important.
All we can do is speculate until more information eventually leaks. What we know is that the company has been suffering some financial woes over the past couple of months. If there’s anything to lie to the board about, it’s money.
Also, we don’t know if he could have been lying about any safety or security issues with the company’s AI products. AI is now under the watchful eye of the government. Any potential safety issue will be met with tough scrutiny. So, if there’s anything that could impact user safety on a wide scale, who knows if it was kept under wraps? Again, this is all speculation.
So, what’s next?
Someone just got a promotion… well, temporarily. The company’s chief technology officer, Mira Murati, will be serving as interim CEO in Altman’s place. This is a temporary setup, as the company is now looking for a suitable permanent SEO.
As for the fate of the company, that remains to be seen. We haven’t gotten any good news about the company since we heard that it was staring bankruptcy in the eye. Unless the company managed to somehow triple the number of GPT Plus subscribers, we can guess that its finances haven’t improved much. OpenAI is looking for a new CEO, and it looks like “pulling the company from the brink of ruin” is going to be part of the job description.