Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, and Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft.
Hayden Field | CNBC
The past few days have been chaotic for the AI industry, with technology experts assessing what this could mean for the nascent sector and some of its major players.
OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT that launched AI into the mainstream late last year, announced Friday that it was firing its CEO Sam Altman and appointing its chief technology officer Mira Murati as interim CEO. place.
But before the weekend even ended, OpenAI appeared to change course, announcing that former Twitch chief Emmett Shear would take over for Altman, at least on a temporary basis.
Meanwhile, Altman himself has already found a new role leading a new advanced AI research team at Microsoft, where he will be joined by former OpenAI board chairman, Greg Brockman, and several other employees.
But Altman’s move could simply be a case of “damage control” for Microsoft, according to Richard Windsor, founder of digital research company Radio Free Mobile. This is linked to Microsoft’s huge investments in OpenAI, he said Monday on CNBC’s “Street Signs Europe.”
Microsoft began investing in OpenAI as early as 2019, initially with around $1 billion. This figure has since exploded to an amount believed to be closer to $13 billion. Microsoft has also integrated OpenAI technologies into products like the Bing search engine and various software.
“A lot of that value is held by the founders and engineers who work within the company,” Windsor said.
Meanwhile, other tech experts supported Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s quick decision to hire Altman internally.
“Incredible execution by Satya in one of the most dynamic situations in technology history,” Aaron Levie, CEO of cloud sharing and management company Box, wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
Aviral Bhatnagar, an investor at Venture Highway, had a similar view.
“Now you understand why Satya Nadella is one of the greatest tech CEOs of this generation,” he said in a statement. job on X.
“I kept Altman in the fold, I kept the transition as neat as possible, I handled the chaos and wild decision-making, I didn’t destroy OpenAI. What a boss move.”
Windsor suggested that other OpenAI employees could soon follow Altman to Microsoft, which he said could have detrimental consequences for OpenAI. This could even include Murati, OpenAI’s chief technology officer, who played a crucial role in the development of OpenAI’s products, he noted.
“If she goes with Sam and the others to join Microsoft, what’s left of OpenAI? Probably not much,” Windsor said.
Several OpenAI employees also shared comments on X, often referring to the fact that people are crucial to the business.
The chaotic developments were also criticized by Shear himself, the new interim CEO of OpenAI.
“It is clear that the process and communications around Sam’s dismissal were very poorly managed, which seriously damaged our trust,” he said in a statement. job on X, formerly Twitter, in which he also confirmed that he would serve as interim CEO.
Shear suggested that he would launch an investigation to examine the process that led to the recent events and produce a report on them during his first thirty days at OpenAI.
This was echoed by experts, including Windsor, who said the situation could seriously damage the company’s reputation and undermine public confidence in the company.