Two days after Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella hired former OpenAI CEO Sam Altman to lead a new advanced artificial intelligence (AI) research team, OpenAI backtracked its decision to fire its co-founder.
On Nov. 22, OpenAI announced a new agreement that would see Altman return as CEO. The company confirmed the agreement in a post on its official X (formerly Twitter) account.
According to OpenAI, the company and Altman “are collaborating to figure out the details.” Altman reciprocated his willingness to join OpenAI by reposting the announcement with a heart emoji.
Altman openly expressed his “love” for OpenAI as he decided to withdraw from his new role at Microsoft, adding, “I’m looking forward to returning to OpenAI, and building on our strong partnership with Microsoft.”
What happened with Sam Altman behind the scenes? Neither OpenAI nor Microsoft have provided all the answers. The industry deserves more congressional scrutiny.
CbatGPT developer OpenAI announced last week that it had fired CEO Sam Altman due to a loss of confidence by the board — only to see him return to the company after 90% of OpenAI staffers threatened to resign. The firing caused a flurry of excitement from companies offering to match OpenAI salaries in an attempt to lure top-tier talent.
The debacle — and its associated lack of transparency — highlighted the need to regulate AI development, particularly when it comes to security and privacy. Companies are developing their artificial intelligence divisions rapidly and a reshuffling of talent could propel one company ahead of others and existing laws. While President Joe Biden has taken steps to that effect, he has been relying on executive orders, which do not require input from Congress. Instead, they rely on agency bureaucrats to interpret them — and could change when a new president is inaugurated.
Biden this year signed an executive order related to the “safe, secure, and trustworthy artificial intelligence.” It commanded AI companies to “protect” workers from 'harm,' presumably in reference to the potential loss of their jobs. It also tasked the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) with, in part, establishing governing structures within federal agencies. It also asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to self-evaluate and determine whether it has the authority “to ensure fair competition in the AI marketplace and to ensure that consumers and workers are protected from harms that may be enabled by the use of AI.”