Top OpenAI executives Sam Altman and Greg Brockman, who left the company after Friday’s dramatic board meeting, are in talks again with board members about returning to the artificial intelligence startup, the company said. This was revealed by two people familiar with the matter.
This discussion was brought up by Mr. Altman, 38. exiled From his role as CEO of OpenAI. Since then, OpenAI investors and Mr. Altman’s supporters have been pressuring the startup’s board members to recall Mr. Altman, six people familiar with the situation said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks are confidential.
Microsoft, which invested $13 billion in OpenAI, was leading the pressure campaign, one of the people said. OpenAI investors who expressed support for Altman’s return also said they would be willing to invest if Altman returned. start a new companya person familiar with the situation said he started talking about it shortly after he was kicked out.
There is no guarantee that Altman or Brockman will return to OpenAI, according to people familiar with the matter. Because of OpenAI’s unique structure (it’s managed by a non-profit organization, whose board of directors has the power to manage the activities of the subsidiaries where the AI work is done), the company’s investors are concerned about what happens to the startup. Or who guides it has no official say in what happens.
OpenAI, Microsoft and Thrive Capital declined to comment. The Verge We previously reported that OpenAI’s board was in talks with Altman about potentially returning to the company.
The new discussions between Mr. Altman, Mr. Brockman and the OpenAI board are the latest development in a fast-paced drama at perhaps the world’s most high-profile AI company.
The San Francisco startup shot to fame last year when it released its chatbot ChatGPT, demonstrating the power of artificial intelligence. Altman, the founder of OpenAI, has quickly become the face of his AI industry as Google, Meta and other major companies compete to dominate the technology. But on Friday, OpenAI suddenly announced that its board had removed Altman as chief executive officer, saying that “he has not been consistently candid in his communications with the board.” The board did not provide details.
Brockman said Altman was asked to participate in a video conference with the OpenAI board at noon Friday and was fired effective immediately. Said. Brockman said that even though he is chairman of the board, he does not participate in the meetings. After that, he said he was leaving the company.
Before Altman’s firing and Brockman’s departure, OpenAI had six directors. The other four he is the founder of OpenAI is Ilya Sutskever. Adam DiAngelo, CEO of Q&A site Quora. Helen Toner, Strategic Director, Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technologies; Tasha McCauley, entrepreneur and computer scientist;
Before Mr. Altman was fired, Tensions were high at OpenAI The company’s popularity has skyrocketed. In particular, Sutskever, a respected AI researcher, was increasingly concerned that OpenAI’s technology could be dangerous and that Altman was not paying enough attention to the risks. Three people familiar with his thinking said this. Mr. Sutskever also objected to what he considered his role within the company to have diminished.
Altman’s firing comes amid a long-standing divide in the AI community between those who believe AI is the biggest business opportunity of a generation and those who worry that moving too quickly could be dangerous. It attracted attention.
The firing caused ripples across the tech industry, but Altman is best known not only for OpenAI but also for his years leading Silicon Valley startup incubator Y Combinator. Many of OpenAI’s investors, including Microsoft, Thrive Capital, and Sequoia Capital, did not learn of Altman’s departure until one minute before it was announced or after the news became public.
By Friday evening, Mr. Altman and Mr. Brockman Competing to start a new AI companyThree people familiar with the situation said. We also considered which OpenAI employees would join the company. At least three other OpenAI employees have quit in the past two days.
Altman took a break to criticize OpenAI’s board on social media, joked about threatening to “run wild” and spoke candidly about the situation.
Tech investors also rushed to show their support for Mr. Altman, hinting that they would support his next venture.
Alfred Lin, an investor at Sequoia Capital, the venture capital firm that invested in OpenAI and Altman’s first startup, Loupt, is looking forward to the “next world-changing company” he and Altman will create. posted on X. Brockman would build it. Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt posted: “I can’t wait to see what he does next.”
Altman still leads OpenAI and has pitched several ideas for new projects to investors and others in recent months. During a fundraising trip to the Middle East last month, Altman talked about AI-related projects, including plans to develop a custom chip for AI to compete with chip company Nvidia.
Altman also spoke with billionaire Masayoshi Son, CEO of technology conglomerate SoftBank, and Jony Ive, Apple’s former chief design officer, about investing in efforts to develop AI devices.
But by Saturday afternoon, Altman and Brockman were also in talks with OpenAI about returning.
Karen Wise and trip mickle Contributed to the report.