More than 700 OpenAI employees: The board of directors resigned collectively and asked Altman to return to the company, otherwise he would join Microsoft

More than 700 OpenAI employees: The board of directors resigned collectively and asked Altman to return to the company, otherwise he would join Microsoft

[Text/Observer Network Xiong Chaoran] In just a few days, changes in the top management of OpenAI, the parent company of ChatGPT, not only caused a “violent shock” within the artificial intelligence (AI) industry, but also became one of the “reversal series”. potential.

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal on November 20, local time, after the board fired CEO Sam Altman on November 17, OpenAI’s approximately 770 employees, including one board member More than 700 employees of the company have threatened to “resign”, demanding that the board of directors resign collectively and let Altmann return to take charge of the company.

According to the report, this makes OpenAI seem to be “in danger” and this request seems to have come “too late.” Previously, under pressure from investors, OpenAI board members were revealed to have discussed returning with Altman, but Emmett Shear, co-founder of the video streaming website Twitch, eventually became OpenAI’s new CEO official.

On the other hand, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced on social media that Altman and former OpenAI president Greg Brockman (Greg Brockman), after Altman was fired resigned in protest) will join Microsoft together and lead a new advanced artificial intelligence research team. At the same time, Microsoft will also “open the door” to more people in OpenAI.

On November 2, local time, the first Artificial Intelligence Security Summit was held at Bletchley Park in the UK, with Altman attending. Picture from ThePaper Image

According to reports, OpenAI currently has about 770 employees, and as many as 700 employees threatened to resign and leave the company in a letter to the board of directors. It is worth mentioning that the letter was also co-signed by the company’s chief scientist Ilya Sutskever, who was also one of the four board members who voted to remove Altmann. He said on social media that he “deeply regrets participating in the board’s actions and never intended to harm OpenAI.”

The employees said in the letter that if their demands are not met, they may leave the company and join Altman and Brockman’s Microsoft, adding that Microsoft has assured them that it will provide support for all of them. Provide jobs. Currently, Microsoft has invested $13 billion in OpenAI.

In addition to Susqueville, OpenAI’s board of directors also includes Adam D’angelo, a former Facebook executive and founder of the question-and-answer website Quora, and Tasha McCauley, a part-time senior management scientist at the RAND Corporation. McCauley and Helen Toner, a director of a Washington nonprofit.

It is reported that during fierce negotiations on November 19, Altman and his supporters strongly demanded that OpenAI form a new board of directors, and proposed including Altman’s long-term close friend and Airbnb CEO Brian Other board nominees including Brian Chesky.

The employee letter, which also called for the addition of two independent directors, said OpenAI’s senior leadership tried to listen to the board’s concerns and work with them. “Despite repeated requests to provide specific facts of the allegations, you have never provided any written evidence,” the employees wrote. “OpenAI’s leadership team has become increasingly aware that you are incapable of fulfilling your responsibilities and are engaging in bad faith negotiations.” .

In 2015, Altman co-founded OpenAI with Elon Musk and others, and received support from investors such as Microsoft. In 2020, OpenAI launched the ultra-large-scale language training model GPT-3, with 175 billion parameters, making it the world’s largest AI language model at the time. In November last year, with the support of billions of dollars from Microsoft, OpenAI released the ChatGPT chatbot, setting off a craze for generative artificial intelligence and becoming one of the fastest-growing software applications in the world.

A photo of some OpenAI employees taken from the OpenAI Facebook account

Reuters believes that for many people, Altman is the spokesperson of generative artificial intelligence and even the “father of ChatGPT”, so the news of his dismissal from the board of directors sent a huge shock wave throughout the technology industry. OpenAI said: “Prior to Altman’s departure, the board conducted a careful review and concluded that he was not always candid in his communications with the board and hindered the board’s ability to perform its duties. The board no longer has any further interest in him. We are confident in our ability to lead OpenAI.”

The Wall Street Journal quoted people familiar with the matter as saying that one of the factors that prompted the board of directors to remove Altman was that his activities outside the scope of OpenAI were not clear and that his use of OpenAI’s intellectual property might make the board uncomfortable. Comfortable. Altman was involved in two new business ventures in the months before he was fired, and he also spent several weeks in the Middle East trying to raise secondary financing, the report said.

Another person familiar with the OpenAI board of directors said that “Altman was not candid.” This person said that this was not a single incident, but the board’s increasing loss of trust in its communication with Altman, which led to He was relieved of his duties as CEO.

After Altman was fired, Reuters disclosed on November 18 that investors led by technology giant Microsoft put pressure on the OpenAI board of directors to recall Altman to return as CEO. Investors are worried that if Altman is lost, OpenAI may experience a mass exodus of employees. The American technology media “The Verge” once quoted multiple sources as saying that the OpenAI board of directors was in talks with Altman to allow Altman and Brockman to return, but Altman was still considering the matter at the time and did not Give a reply.

But the OpenAI board has since hired Schell as CEO to replace Altman. Earlier on November 20, Scheer said on social media that he had accepted the job and would hire an independent investigator to write a report on the events that led to the drastic change at OpenAI. “It is clear that the process and communication surrounding Sam (Altman’s) departure were handled so poorly that it severely damaged our trust.” Scheer added that he would push for major corporate governance changes if necessary.

Later the same day, Microsoft CEO Nadella said on social media, “We are very excited to tell everyone that Altman and Brockman and their colleagues will join Microsoft to lead a new advanced artificial intelligence research team. . We look forward to moving quickly to provide them with the resources they need to succeed.”

“We remain committed to our partnership with OpenAI and are confident in our product roadmap, our ability to continue to innovate, and our continued support of our customers and partners,” Nadella said. “We look forward to getting to know Schell and OpenAI. new leadership team and working with them.”

Altman quickly reposted Nadella’s tweet and wrote: “The mission continues.”

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