One Of OpenAI’s Founders Was Forced To Step Down

One Of OpenAI’s Founders Was Forced To Step Down
Paul Allison, CFA

3 months ago1 min

Mentioned in story

What’s going on here?

OpenAI’s founder was forced to step down over the weekend, after it seemed he wasn’t entirely, uh, open with internal communications.

What does this mean?

Artificial intelligence could be the biggest threat humankind has ever faced, so it’s essential that the forces harnessing the super-sensitive tech are trustworthy and stable. Well, no such luck: the cofounder of ChatGPT-owner OpenAI was recently cast out of the company for “not being consistently candid in his communications” – a reason vague enough to get social media speculating. And despite pressure from the firm’s investors and employees to reinstate the ousted leader, OpenAI is standing firm so far. Microsoft, however, nabbed the chance to get the former cofounder a staff badge.

Microsoft stock

Why should I care?

For markets: Altruism meets capitalism.

OpenAI is primarily a not-for-profit organization on a mission to ensure that the tech is developed responsibly, with money-making designs apparently playing second fiddle. Now in time, the world – or more specifically, the world’s media – could catch wind of the alleged secrets within the firm. And if the bust-up was over a case of putting profit before people, this debacle could raise bigger questions about whether responsible AI and profit-making initiatives can ever truly co-exist.

The bigger picture: Same leaders, different company.

All eyes are on Microsoft now. The tech giant not only snapped up two ex-OpenAI entrepreneurs, but also owns 49% of OpenAI. The private company is rumored to be worth around $90 billion, or at least it was before most of the company’s staff threatened to walk out over the reshuffle. Microsoft has cash to burn, though, so it might be able to pick up the rest of OpenAI on the cheap.

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