The board of OpenAI fires Sam Altman for allegedly lying
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The board of OpenAI fires Sam Altman for allegedly lying

In a surprising turn of events, Sam Altman, the CEO and co-founder of OpenAI, has been abruptly removed from his position by the company’s board. The decision was based on allegations that Altman was “not consistently candid in his communications” with the board, leading to a loss of confidence in his leadership.

Altman, a prominent figure in the tech industry, gained widespread recognition after the success of ChatGPT, a popular chatbot developed by OpenAI. The company’s board stated that new leadership is deemed “necessary” as they move forward, emphasizing the need for transparency and effective communication.

The board’s statement revealed that Altman’s departure followed a thorough review process, but the specific details of what he allegedly hid from the board remain unclear. Altman, in response, expressed gratitude for his time at OpenAI and hinted at revealing more about his future plans.

The interim CEO appointed in Altman’s place is Mira Murati, OpenAI’s Chief Technology Officer with a five-year tenure at the company. Greg Brockman, another key figure at OpenAI, will step down as the chair of the board but retain his position as OpenAI president.

Altman’s removal came as a surprise to many employees, who learned about it through an internal announcement and the company’s public-facing blog. An emergency all-hands meeting was scheduled to address the news with employees.

Altman has been a leading voice in the field of artificial intelligence, particularly after the release of ChatGPT in November 2022, which garnered over 100 million users within a year. He has actively advocated for responsible AI development and testified before the US Congress on AI legislation.

OpenAI, initially founded as a non-profit in 2015, received a significant shakeup in 2019 when it adopted a “capped-profit” model, with Altman taking on the role of CEO. Microsoft, a key business partner of OpenAI, invested billions in the company this year, and Altman’s departure caused a slight dip in Microsoft’s stock.

The unexpected leadership change raises questions about the future direction of OpenAI, its ongoing projects, and the dynamics of its board and corporate governance structure. The board assured stability in OpenAI’s partnership with Microsoft, indicating that the leadership transition will not affect existing collaborations.

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As the tech industry reacts to this development, the departure of Sam Altman from OpenAI marks a significant moment in the evolving landscape of artificial intelligence and its key players. The company will now embark on a formal search for a permanent CEO as it continues to pursue its mission of ensuring the benefits of artificial general intelligence for humanity.

Also Read | New OpenAI interim CEO: Who is she?

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