Sam Altman returns to OpenAI two days after leaving the Artificial Intelligence company and joining Microsoft

Sam Altman has agreed to return to lead OpenAI, the company said in a Wednesday, Nov. 22, post on X, just days after his surprise removal as chief executive.

His dismissal sparked an employee revolt against board members who threatened to break up the leading company in the artificial intelligence sector.

“We have reached an agreement in principle for Sam Altman to return to OpenAI as CEO with a new initial board,” the company said, adding that the board will be chaired by Bret Taylor, former co-CEO of Salesforce. Other members include Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo and former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers.

“We are collaborating to find out the details,” he said.

In his own post on X, formerly Twitter, Altman wrote that he is “looking forward” to returning to OpenAI and building on the company’s “strong partnership” with Microsoft, which is the ChatGPT maker’s biggest backer.

The announcement appears to put an end to days of chaos for the AI ​​industry, which included negotiations over who should lead OpenAI and how the company should be run.

In its announcement on Friday, OpenAI said Altman was not sufficiently “frank” with the advice.

But a key factor in Altman’s ouster was the presence of tensions between Altman, who advocated more aggressive promotion of AI development, and OpenAI’s original board members, who wanted to tread more cautiously.

On Monday morning, Altman, along with OpenAI co-founder Greg Brockman, said they would join Microsoft to lead a new AI research division, while OpenAI said it had hired former Twitch chief Emmett Shear, as interim CEO.

But then hundreds of OpenAI employees, almost the entire company’s staff, threatened to leave, potentially to Microsoft, if the company’s board didn’t resign and reinstate Altman as CEO.

Brockman is also returning to OpenAI, according to his X post.

Ultimately, Microsoft and Altman appear to be the big winners in the dispute: Altman will continue to lead the company he helped found, now with a board that, in theory, is more supportive of his vision.

“We are encouraged by the changes to the OpenAI board,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said on X. “We believe this is an essential first step on the path to more stable, well-informed and effective governance.”

Publicly, Altman has long warned about the risks posed by AI and promised lawmakers and customers that he would advance OpenAI responsibly.

“Will AI be like the printing press that spread knowledge and power and learning widely across the landscape, that empowered ordinary, everyday individuals, that led to greater flourishing, that led, above all, to greater freedom? ?” he said at a Senate subcommittee hearing in May, pushing for regulation. “Or will it be more like the atomic bomb – a huge technological advance, but the (serious, terrible) consequences continue to haunt us to this day?”


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