The fear and tension that led to the overthrow of Sam Altman at OpenAI

The fear and tension that led to the overthrow of Sam Altman at OpenAI

“I’m sure all of you are feeling confusion, sadness, and maybe some fear,” Brad Lightcap, OpenAI’s chief operating officer, said in a memo to OpenAI employees. “We are completely focused on getting through this, moving toward resolution and clarity and getting back to work.”

On Friday, Altman was asked to join a board meeting via video at noon in San Francisco. There, Sutskever, 37, read a script that closely resembled the blog post the company published minutes later, according to a person familiar with the matter. The publication said Altman “was not consistently candid in his communications with the board, which hindered his ability to exercise his responsibilities.”

But in the hours that followed, OpenAI employees and others focused not only on what Altman may have done, but also on the way the San Francisco startup is structured and the extreme views on the dangers of AI built into it. in the company’s work since then. It was created in 2015.

Sutskever and Altman could not be reached for comment Saturday.

In recent weeks, Jakub Pachocki, who helped oversee GPT-4, the technology at the heart of ChatGPT, was promoted to the company’s director of research. After previously serving in a position below Sutskever, he was promoted to a position alongside Sutskever, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Pachocki resigned from the company on Friday night, the people said, shortly after Brockman. Earlier in the day, OpenAI said Brockman had been removed as board chair and would report to new interim CEO Mira Murati. Other Altman allies, including two high-level researchers, Szymon Sidor and Aleksander Madry, also left the company.

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John C. Johnson

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