After the terrible weekend, the OpenAI start-up known for the development of ChatGPT continues to descend into chaos. Uncertainty reigns.
Where is OpenAI on Tuesday, November 23 in the morning? The situation is evolving by the hour for the startup specializing in artificial intelligence, and known for ChatGPT. After a weekend particularly full of twists and turns following the surprise dismissal of his charismatic boss, we thought that things would be resolved at Microsoft, 90% of the startup’s employees are threatening to leave for the American giant.
Negotiations continued with the OpenAI board throughout the night.
Altman’s return still under consideration
Why negotiations? For the return of Altman at the head of OpenAI and a change in governance. The employees’ joint letter poses a clear threat: either Altman is reinstated as boss of the firm, or the employees leave to join him at Microsoft, which promised him the creation of a subsidiary dedicated to AI.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Microsoft boss Satya Nadella confirmed that the prospect of Altman returning to OpenAI was indeed one of the giant’s possible objectives. For Satya Nadella, the most important thing is to continue working with Sam Altman and his team, regardless of their employer.
On the other hand, one thing is clear, Microsoft wants a change in governance at OpenAI. The firm discovered at the same time as everyone else the dismissal of Sam Altman, even though Microsoft is the largest investor in OpenAI.
New OpenAI boss was board’s 3rd choice
According to the sources of The Information, we also learn that the choice of Emmett Shear as new interim boss of OpenAI was in fact the 3rd choice of the firm’s board of directors. The first two candidates were Nat Friedman, former boss of GitHub and AI investor, and Alex Wang, co-founder and boss of Scale AI.
Both reportedly turned down the offer, which illustrates the difficulties OpenAI faces in finding a viable replacement for Sam Altman.
The two probable scenarios
Two scenarios are therefore emerging at this stage. The first is a return of Sam Altman as head of OpenAI, with a resignation from the board of directors and a fundamental change in the company’s structure. Microsoft would then probably take greater control.
The other scenario is a board of directors that cannot accept the terms laid down. In this case, Sam Altman and his team are leaving OpenAI to join Microsoft. The latter keeps its partnership with OpenAI for access to GPT, but would have somehow gotten its hands on all of OpenAI’s brains.