Sam Altman’s ouster at OpenAI disrupts the AI ​​power dynamic

Sam Altman's ouster at OpenAI disrupts the AI ​​power dynamic

In just three days, the landscape of artificial intelligence has been massively reshaped. On Friday morning, Sam Altman was the CEO of OpenAI, a pioneer in the commercialization of generative AI through ChatGPT. By Monday, he was not only fired by his board — he also joined Microsoft, the start-up’s biggest backer.

What happened is more than just a juicy corporate story. The fate of major AI players like OpenAI and Microsoft is at stake. And it’s a reminder of the serious divisions within the AI ​​community — and questions over how that industry is led.

A recap:

  • OpenAI’s board fired Altman for not being “consistently forthright”. Another co-founder, Greg Brockman, was stripped of his chairmanship and stepped down. The two launched a new AI start-up that evening.

  • Investors in OpenAI – who have little power due to the company’s bizarre corporate governance structure (more on that below) – began making way for Altman’s return, with the encouragement of OpenAI executives. Altman returned to the office, marking the moment A selfie that went viral,

  • Talks to bring back Altman ultimately fall apart with naming to OpenAI’s board emmett shearThe former CEO of streaming service Twitch, as its interim leader, will replace company CTO Mira Muratti, who replaced Altman.

  • Altman and Brockman are joining Microsoft to lead a new advanced research lab, and are likely to hire several former colleagues. (Some OpenAI employees wrote on X that “OpenAI is nothing without its people,” a post that Altman liked.)

The future of OpenAI is much more unclear. According to the information, rivals are watching To fire workers. And a tender offer for OpenAI shares held by employees at a valuation of $86 billion appears to be in doubt.

It’s unclear how much OpenAI’s strategy will change. Altman disagreed with board members – particularly Ilya Sutskever, another co-founder and the company’s chief scientist – over how quickly to commercialize new technologies. Like Elon Musk and AI pioneer Geoffrey Hinton, Sutskever is deeply concerned that AI could endanger humanity, and is now forcing companies to move more slowly.

Microsoft is racing to protect its AI edge. The tech giant, which has invested billions in OpenAI, pushed to reinstate Altman over the weekend Satya NadellaThe CEO of Microsoft was reportedly deeply involved in the talks.

Although Nadella said that his company be “committed” He made it clear to OpenAI that he would provide Altman and Brockman with “the resources necessary for their success.”

A big question: Who watches the viewers? The drama revealed how precarious the monitoring of this highly consequential technology is. OpenAI has an unusual structure, in which a non-profit entity controls the for-profit organization that produces ChatGPT. Supervisor including Technical Executive marissa mayer and investors dan loebThis setup exposed a major problem: It gives a nonprofit board with a low financial stake in the company and less experience in corporate governance power over commercial investors.

Corporate governance expert Scott Syfax also said, “How bad the future of OpenAI technology is going to be because they made the mistake of putting that IP and that technology into a public donation in the first place.” A non-profit that created a for-profit business, told DealBook.

What’s next for AI? OpenAI may lose a lot of employees and struggle to raise more money. Meanwhile, its once-dominant lead may have evaporated and Microsoft and Google are now competing for leadership in the industry.

Argentina elected a far-right libertarian as president. Xavier Miley, an economist and former television personality who has drawn comparisons to Donald Trump, won a decisive victory on Sunday. Miley has vowed to cut inflation by cutting public spending and replacing pesos with dollars.

President Biden’s former chief of staff joins Airbnb. Ron will become clan Chief legal officer of home-rental giant, months after leaving the White House. Klain, a longtime Biden ally, will bring Airbnb’s decades-old connections to Washington — but her appointment could close the door on her involvement in Biden’s re-election campaign, with speculation in Democratic circles.

Bayer’s shares fell to a 12-year low after drug trials were halted. The German pharmaceutical giant announced on Sunday that it would Stop testing Oceanic, a blood-thinning drug that was expected to be a big money-maker. That followed a legal setback Friday, when a Missouri jury ordered the company to pay $1.56 billion for damages related to Roundup weedkiller.

Elon Musk is gearing up for another fight, threatening to sue critics and big advertisers over allegations of anti-Semitism at X and denying reports that he himself is an anti-Semite.forged,

The tech billionaire’s claims were strongly supported by his followers on the social media platform, but the controversy has increased pressure on his CEO as the broader business community grapples with a rise in anti-Semitism in the wake of the Israel-Hamas war. ,

Many brands have halted ad spending on X, Apple, Sony, Disney and others followed IBM in removing ads from the platform after Musk endorsed a white nationalist conspiracy theory that accused Jewish people of “dialectical hatred against whites.”

Several marketing leaders have called on the social network’s CEO and former advertising executive Linda Yaccarino, who was brought in to improve relationships with big brands, to leave Forbes. informed of, (The lobbying reportedly began while Yaccarino was there his daughter’s wedding on Saturday.) For now, she’s turned against those calls.

Yaccarino had persuaded several advertisers to return in recent months. And he emphasized that Ax’s record on cracking down on hate speech was improving after Musk criticized the company’s content moderation team after buying Twitter last year.

Following Musk’s controversial post last week, he posted that the platform has been “extremely clear about our effort to combat antisemitism and discrimination. There is no place for this anywhere in the world.”

Musk has tried to defend himself, “I wish only the best for humanity and a prosperous and exciting future for all,” he posted to his 163 million followers overnight.

This uproar has starkly exposed Musk’s polarizing impact on the business community, Bill Ackman, the billionaire investor who recently blamed his alma mater, Harvard, for not doing enough to protect Jewish students from anti-Semitic threats. gave his support Behind Musk this weekend. (Ackman has a small stake in Making social media platforms public Through a new investment vehicle that he has recently established.)

What will happen next? Musk on Friday threatened to file “A thermonuclear lawsuit against Media Matters and everyone who participated in this fraudulent attack on our company,” he said, referring to the left-leaning campaign group, which reported last week that it had placed large signs next to anti-Semitic material on How the brands’ ads were appearing. The lawsuit, Musk said, will be filed “The second court split will open on Monday.”

It was a tough weekend for some Silicon Valley tech founders.

Cruise CEO and co-founder Kyle Vogt stepped down on Sunday, just weeks after General Motors’ self-driving car unit halted driverless taxi operations nationwide following multiple accidents. It’s the latest blow to the start-up after California regulators revoked its license to operate in the state and accused the company of not properly sharing information about an accident last month.

Vogt was one of the pioneers of the industry. GM acquired Cruise for $1 billion in 2016, three years after Vogt started the company, promising that driverless cars would reduce road deaths.

Cruise is competing with Alphabet’s self-driving car unit Tesla and Waymo to become the leader in robot taxis. The company expects to achieve revenues of $1 billion by 2025.

An accident on 2 October threw that ambition into doubt. A pedestrian was struck by a car and fell into the path of a cruise taxi. The cruise vehicle crushed him and dragged him for 20 feet before decommissioning. The California Department of Motor Vehicles said the company initially shared footage that appeared to show the car braking after hitting the pedestrian. But officials later learned that the man had been dragged.

DMV orders Cruise to cease operations on October 24, The regulator has met with the company about 50 times this year over various incidents. Cruise was also testing its robo-taxi services in Phoenix and Austin, Texas.

Cruise issues are looming over the self-driving sector. The industry is concerned that regulators could increase enforcement and investigations. This could impact companies like Aurora, Amazon’s Zoox and Waymo, which have been piloting self-driving taxis in San Francisco largely without incident.

It’s a short holiday week in America, but there’s a lot going on. What to keep in mind here?

Tuesday: The Fed is set to release the minutes of its most recent rate-setting meeting. The report could give clues about the central bank’s outlook on borrowing costs next year.

Elsewhere, Wall Street will be closely watching the latest quarterly results from Nvidia, the leader in AI chips. Lowe also reports.

Wednesday: Deere reports earnings.

Thursday: American markets are closed on Thanksgiving.

Friday: It’s Black Friday, and economists are wondering about the buyer’s mood. Last week, the Commerce Department reported that retail sales declined last month, a sign that consumers are beginning to pull back from spending.



best among the rest

  • Meta has split the team responsible for this Creating security measures for your AI products, (Information)

  • A former junior banker at Centerview Partners sued the investment bank Dismissal for sleep requirements She said this was necessary due to her mental illness diagnosis. (FT)

  • Rosalynn Carter, wife of Jimmy Carter and one of the most politically active first ladies since Eleanor Roosevelt, died Sunday. She was 96 years old. (NYT)

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