Sam Altman, ousted CEO of OpenAI, is steering towards a new artificial intelligence (AI) venture following his dismissal, sources familiar with the plan disclosed on Saturday. The departure of Altman has sent ripples across the tech industry, leaving numerous questions about the future of the company.
Former OpenAI president Greg Brockman, who exited the company in the wake of Altman’s termination, is reportedly poised to join this new effort. However, attempts to reach Altman for comment were unsuccessful, and Brockman has yet to respond to requests from Reuters.
The transition at OpenAI, marked by Altman’s ousting due to a “breakdown of communications,” according to Chief Operating Officer Brad Lightcap, has triggered a string of resignations. Notably, some researchers, including Szymon Sidor, have parted ways with the company, although their involvement in Altman’s new initiative remains uncertain.
Altman, known for his endeavours as the CEO of OpenAI and his tenure at Y Combinator, is reportedly in talks with Apple’s former design chief Jony Ive regarding the development of a new AI hardware device. Reports from September had also suggested the engagement of SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son in these discussions.
The sudden management shift within OpenAI saw Altman being replaced by interim CEO Mira Murati, the company’s Chief Technology Officer. Brockman, a co-founder, stepped down shortly after Altman’s removal, leaving a now four-person board primarily composed of independent directors alongside Chief Scientist Ilya Sutskever.
Microsoft, a significant investor in OpenAI, expressed continued support for the company amidst the leadership changes. However, the departure of key figures, including Altman and Brockman, has raised concerns about OpenAI’s immediate fundraising prospects and its long-term growth trajectory.
The departure of Altman, an influential figure in the world of AI, and the subsequent upheaval at OpenAI have sparked discussions about the future of generative AI, the company’s initiatives, and the broader landscape of the technology industry.
Meanwhile, Altman, in a post on a social platform, expressed gratitude for his tenure at OpenAI, hinting at more announcements about his future endeavours.
The shakeup at OpenAI arrives at a time when the company’s valuation was poised to soar to about $86 billion through a planned employee share sale led by Thrive Capital. The status of this offer remains uncertain following the recent management changes within the organisation.
News of Altman’s exit from OpenAI has drawn significant attention, triggering discussions not only about the company’s future but also about the broader implications for AI development and the tech industry at large.
As the dust settles from the recent shakeup, the AI community and industry analysts remain poised to gauge the potential ramifications and future trajectory of OpenAI, its competitors, and the evolution of generative AI technology.