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Sam Altman: One of the most recognizable faces of the AI revolution


Jon Gambrill/AP

As recently as the weekend, it was said that financiers such as Microsoft were pushing to reinstate Sam Altman, who was fired on Friday, as head of OpenAI. Now, there's a new twist in the wake of the chaotic leadership change at the ChatGPT development company. On Platform X, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced on Monday morning German time that Sam Altman and OpenAI co-founder Greg Brockman, along with other former OpenAI employees, will work for him in the future. Altman and Brockman will lead a new artificial intelligence (AI) research team at Microsoft, Nadella writes. Microsoft looks forward to quickly equipping the team with the resources they need to succeed.

According to media reports, Altman and Brockman held talks with representatives of their former company on Sunday, in which a possible return was negotiated. Altman himself had posted a picture of an OpenAI guest pass on Sunday, with the comment: "The first and last time I'll wear one like this here."

Obviously, the two sides could no longer find each other. According to US media, the new interim head of OpenAI will be Emmett Shear, the co-founder and long-time head of the video game-focused streaming service Twitch. Nadella now seems to have confirmed this appointment. In his X message, he wrote that Microsoft is looking forward to getting to know Shear and OpenAI's new leadership team.

Microsoft is the largest funder of OpenAI. The software company is said to have invested a total of around 13 billion dollars in the start-up, which has become world-famous primarily through its ChatGPT service.

Sam Altman himself wrote on X on Monday morning: "The mission continues." Nadella replied that he was very happy that Altman would become head of a new team at Microsoft. According to him, Nadella hopes that the new signing will "bring a new pace of innovation". In his response, he also pointed out that Microsoft has learned over the years how to give founders and innovators space to build independent identities and cultures. As examples, he cited previous acquisitions, such as the "Minecraft" developers of Mojang Studios, LinkedIn and GitHub.