In a surprising turn of events, Microsoft has revealed its decision to absorb the recently ousted co-founders of OpenAI, Sam Altman and Greg Brockman, along with their colleagues who left the AI company in protest against Altman’s removal. The announcement was made by Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, on Monday, just three days after the dramatic board shakeup at OpenAI that led to the co-founders’ termination.
Nadella disclosed that the former OpenAI members would spearhead a “new advanced AI research team” at Microsoft. Despite the absorption of Altman and Brockman, Nadella emphasized that Microsoft would continue its collaborative relationship with OpenAI. He expressed readiness to work with the newly appointed management team at OpenAI.
In an official statement, Nadella shared his commitment to the partnership, saying, “We remain committed to our partnership with OpenAI and have confidence in our product roadmap, our ability to continue to innovate… We look forward to getting to know Emmett Shear and OAI’s new leadership team and working with them.”
The board drama at OpenAI unfolded on Friday when a deliberative review process concluded that Altman “was not consistently candid in his communications with the board, hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities.” This led to a loss of confidence in Altman’s leadership abilities, prompting his removal. Altman subsequently announced his resignation without providing details, while ousted Chairman Greg Brockman expressed shock at the sudden decision.
In response to Altman’s departure, OpenAI’s board has appointed Emmett Shear, the former chief executive officer of Twitch, as the new CEO to replace Altman. Shear, who stepped down from his role at Amazon’s game-streaming site Twitch earlier this year, is recognized for his deep understanding of the existential threats posed by AI. The board believes that Shear’s experience and leadership will guide OpenAI through its next phase.
The absorption of OpenAI’s co-founders into Microsoft marks a strategic move in the rapidly evolving landscape of artificial intelligence research. The collaboration between Microsoft and the new leadership at OpenAI is expected to contribute to advancements in the field, signaling an exciting era for the development of cutting-edge AI technologies.