Sam Altman used to be the face of the AI tech boom, but now he’s like many that AI has affected—unemployed.
Earlier today, OpenAI, the company behind the popular chatbot ChatGPT, announced the firing of its influential CEO and founder. The surprising decision came after an Open investigation found that Altman was not entirely open with the board of directors.
“Mr. Altman’s departure follows a deliberative review process by the board, which concluded that he was not consistently candid in his communications with the board, hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities,” the company said in a statement. “The board no longer has confidence in his ability to continue leading OpenAI.”
Mira Murati, the current chief technology officer of Open AI, will serve as interim CEO until a permanent successor is selected.
Related: Who is Sam Altman?
What’s next for Altman
The news of Altman’s departure sent shockwaves across the technology industry. At a developer conference last week, Altman unveiled a series of AI tool updates, including a new technology that allows developers to create custom versions of ChatGPT called GPTs.
Now, Altman’s future is unclear.
In a departing tweet on X, Altman expressed his love for his time at OpenAI, teasing that he “would have more to say about what’s next later.”
i loved my time at openai. it was transformative for me personally, and hopefully the world a little bit. most of all i loved working with such talented people.
will have more to say about what’s next later.
— Sam Altman (@sama) November 17, 2023
Former Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, sang Altman’s praises, tweeting: “Sam Altman is a hero of mine. He built a company from nothing to $90 Billion in value, and changed our collective world forever.”
Sam Altman is a hero of mine. He built a company from nothing to $90 Billion in value, and changed our collective world forever. I can’t wait to see what he does next. I, and billions of people, will benefit from his future work- it’s going to be simply incredible. Thank you…
— Eric Schmidt (@ericschmidt) November 17, 2023
A complex figure
Despite Altman’s advocacy for AI, he is also concerned about its potential risks. In testimony before Congress, Altman had an Oppenheimer moment praising the innovation of the invention he’d help shepherd into the world but also warning of its destructive power.
“My worst fears are that we—the field, the technology, the industry—cause significant harm to the world. I think that can happen in a lot of different ways,” he said.
Future of OpenAI
Altman’s exit has raised questions about OpenAI’s future direction. Some tech leaders, including Elon Musk, have called for more caution in AI development due to the potential risks it poses. While Altman’s departure may signal a shift in OpenAI’s approach to self-regulation, analysts are curious to see how the company’s next generation of leaders will navigate the fast-paced innovation culture and meet the expectations of regulators and society.
As OpenAI moves forward with new leadership, the AI industry will be watching closely to see how the company continues to innovate and maintain its position as a leader in artificial intelligence.