In an unexpected move, Microsoft CEO and Chairman Satya Nadella announced that former OpenAI CEO Sam Altman will join Microsoft to lead a new artificial intelligence (AI) research team. Along with Altman, colleague OpenAI co-founder Greg Brockman and other former OpenAI employees are expected to participate in this new endeavor.
Nadella expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration, stating, Nadella said on X, formerly Twitter, “We are looking forward to moving rapidly to offer them with the resources they require for success.”
Altman’s departure from OpenAI raised eyebrows in the tech community, especially after reports from tech news site.
The Information indicated that he would not return to the organization despite efforts from executives. Ilya Sutskever, OpenAI co-founder and board director, confirmed Altman’s departure, citing issues related to consistent communication.
The sudden change at OpenAI prompted not only Altman’s exit but also the resignation of Brockman, the company’s president and co-founder. Three senior researchers reportedly followed suit with their resignations.
Altman, known for his public role in AI advancements with ChatGPT and GPT-4, shared his thoughts on his unexpected firing, describing it as a “weird experience” and comparing it to “if i start going off, the openai board should go after me for the full value of my shares,” Unlike some tech founders, Altman did not have equity in OpenAI, making him susceptible to dismissal at any time.
Microsoft’s stated $13 billion investment in OpenAI remains untouched by these developments, with Nadella expressing Microsoft’s commitment to the cooperation with the AI startup.
This transfer is a significant shift for Altman, who has been a prominent voice in conversations about the potential benefits and perils of AI since creating OpenAI in 2015. Time magazine recognized Altman’s work by including him on their list of the 100 most influential people in AI for 2023.
As Altman begins this new chapter with Microsoft, the tech industry is eagerly awaiting the impact of his leadership on the emerging landscape of artificial intelligence.