United States: Sam Altman, head of OpenAI and creator of ChatGPT, ousted

Sam Altman, creator of ChatGPT. CARLOS BARRIA / REUTERS

The board of directors of the American company “concluded” that the 38-year-old businessman “was not always honest in his communication”.

The board of OpenAI, which launched generative artificial intelligence platform ChatGPT a year ago, announced the departure of chief Sam Altman with immediate effect on Friday, saying he was not always “franc» with this instance. “Mr. Altman’s departure follows a deliberate review process by the board, which concluded that he had not always been candid in his communications with the board, impeding his ability to fulfill his responsibilities.”, the press release explains, stressing that this body no longer has “confidence in its ability to direct OpenAI. Mira Murati, CTO of OpenAI, has been appointed as interim head of the company while it waits for the ongoing process to find a permanent successor to be completed. She worked there for five years.

“OpenAI is purposely structured to advance our mission: to ensure that artificial intelligence benefits all of humanity. The Board remains fully committed to serving this mission.”the press release continues. “We are grateful for Sam’s many contributions to the creation and growth of OpenAI. At the same time, we believe that new governance is necessary for progress.continues.

“Microsoft will simply have more control over the situation”

Sam Altman (38) reacted on the X network (formerly Twitter): “I enjoyed my time at OpenAI. It was transformative for me on a personal level, but also, I hope, for the world.. In response to Sam Altman’s dismissal, Chairman Greg Brockman – the company’s co-founder – previously announced his resignation.

Founded at the end of 2015, OpenAI could count on the financial support of prestigious collaborators from the very beginning, including LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, investors Peter Thiel and Elon Musk. The company is financed by Microsoft, which has invested several billion dollars in it and has integrated this technology into its own products such as the Bing search engine. In a press release, the IT giant reacted to the news of the manager’s departure: “We have a long-term partnership with OpenAi and Microsoft remains committed to Mira and the teams as we bring a new era of artificial intelligence to users.”

“Altman fired as head of OpenAI, shock, but ultimately Microsoft will have more control over the situation given his stake” in the company’s equity, Wedbush analyst Dan Ives reported on X. On “he was instrumental in getting the platform to where it is, but the fact that he’s no longer there creates a bit of concern for the future”he added. “A year ago it would have been different.”

A revolution comparable to the emergence of the Internet

Since the first version of ChatGPT went online on November 30, 2022, millions of people have used it to write messages, search for a cooking recipe or make up a story to tell their children – which the chatbot can read to them. The launch of ChatGPT kicked off the AI ​​race, pitting giants like Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Meta against each other. Widely considered a revolution comparable to the advent of the Internet, generative AI enables the production of texts, lines of code, images and sounds on simple demand in everyday language.

Despite their success, ChatGPT and other interfaces of this kind also raise serious concerns about the dangers to democracy (massive misinformation) or employment (replaced occupations), in particular. Altman himself has spoken before the United States Congress and spoken to heads of state about this technology and the fears it raises. “I have a lot of empathy for people’s feelings, regardless of their feelings” about ChatGPT, Sam Altman told AFP on Thursday, on the sidelines of this week’s annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in San Francisco.

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