The board of directors of OpenAI, the tech firm that produces ChatGPT, fired Sam Altman from his position as CEO on Friday.
“Mr. Altman’s departure follows a deliberative review process by the board, which concluded that he was not consistently candid in his communications with the board, hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities. The board no longer has confidence in his ability to continue leading OpenAI.”
The statement informed the media that Mira Murati, previously the firm’s Chief Technology Officer, is being appointed as interim CEO. A search for a permanent replacement has begun.
i loved my time at openai. it was transformative for me personally, and hopefully the world a little bit. most of all i loved working with such talented people.
will have more to say about what’s next later.
— Sam Altman (@sama) November 17, 2023
OpenAI’s board of directors gave an official statement on the firing itself:
“OpenAI was deliberately structured to advance our mission: to ensure that artificial general intelligence benefits all humanity. The board remains fully committed to serving this mission. We are grateful for Sam’s many contributions to the founding and growth of OpenAI. At the same time, we believe new leadership is necessary as we move forward. As the leader of the company’s research, product, and safety functions, Mira is exceptionally qualified to step into the role of interim CEO. We have the utmost confidence in her ability to lead OpenAI during this transition period.”
The board is comprised of OpenAI chief scientist Ilya Sutskever, independent directors Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo, technology entrepreneur Tasha McCauley, and Georgetown Center for Security and Emerging Technology’s Helen Toner.
It was also announced that Greg Bockman will be stepping down from his position as Chair of the board and will remain at the company reporting to the new CEO.
Just last week, Sam Altman and Elon Musk were feuding over whose chatbot is better: Altman’s ChatGPT or Musk’s recently launched Grok, which is produced by his company xAI.
Altman took shots at Grok for telling dad jokes, a reference to Grok’s self-billed sarcasm, of which xAI is very proud. The company said in its announcement of the bot: “Please don’t use it if you hate humor!”
Grok is an AI modeled after the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, so intended to answer almost anything and, far harder, even suggest what questions to ask!
Grok is designed to answer questions with a bit of wit and has a rebellious streak, so please don’t use…
— xAI (@xai) November 5, 2023
Altman decided to post this to X, an app that Musk owns. Musk replied: “GPT-4? More like GPT-Snore! When it comes to humor, GPT-4 is about as funny as a screen door on a submarine,” a response that was generated by Grok.
The post went on: “Humor is clearly banned at OpenAI, just like the many other subjects it censors. That’s why it couldn’t tell a joke if it had a goddamn instruction manual. It’s like a comedian with a stick so far up its ass, it can taste the bark.”