Gotta find a new job: Sam Altman
Photo: ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP
There is an unexpected change of boss at the developer company behind the popular chatbot ChatGPT. OpenAI's board of directors withdrew its confidence in co-founder and CEO Sam Altman. The company, which specializes in artificial intelligence, explained that the 38-year-old had not always been "honest" in his communication with the board of directors. The board no longer has confidence in its ability to continue to run OpenAI."
OpenAI initially did not provide further details on the allegations against Altman, who had become one of the faces of artificial intelligence (AI) and a star of Silicon Valley through ChatGPT. The previous head of OpenAI's technology, Mira Murati, is said to be leading the company on an interim basis with immediate effect. The search for a new boss is underway.
Big name in Silicon Valley
OpenAI was initially founded in 2015 as a non-profit company. In 2019, however, a restructuring allowed the generation of limited profits. Software giant Microsoft also invested in OpenAI in the same year with an initial investment of one billion dollars.
The company then caused a sensation about a year ago with the introduction of ChatGPT: The program is able to use AI to generate essays, poems or conversations at the linguistic level of a human from very short prompts. ChatGPT suddenly made a large audience aware of the possibilities of AI and triggered an AI hype. OpenAI thus became a pioneer in the technology.
"Artificial intelligence has the potential to improve almost every aspect of our lives," Altman told the U.S. Congress in May. "But it also carries serious risks."
Altman, who grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, had already made a name for himself in Silicon Valley before he became known worldwide with ChatGPT. Altman studied computer science at California's elite Stanford University, but dropped out and founded the app Loopt.
Later, he joined startup incubator Y Combinator, which helped jump-start successful companies such as housing broker Airbnb and delivery service DoorDash. In 2014, Altman became head of Y Combinator. He relinquished the post five years later to focus more on OpenAI. Altman has also invested hundreds of millions of dollars in fusion energy start-up Helion and is working on a cryptocurrency called Worldcoin, whose users will be asked to identify themselves by their iris.