The OpenAI Drama has seemingly concluded, much to our relief, with ChatGPT remaining accessible. A reshuffle has occurred, involving Sam Altman and the introduction of a nine-member board of directors.
This episode has etched itself into business history, marking a significant moment not just in machine learning development but also in corporate governance.
The situation also appears to have been a learning experience for Sam Altman. An overnight article revealed that the root of the discord was a contentious paper, from which we’ve extracted some key rumors:
For over a year, the OpenAI board experienced deep-rooted tensions, fueled by divergent views on Sam Altman’s leadership and strategic direction. Altman’s focus was on company growth, whereas the board was concerned about balancing growth with AI system security.
Scientific Publication Dispute:
Central to the dispute was a scientific paper co-authored by board member Helen Toner. Altman perceived this paper as undermining OpenAI and overly favorable towards Anthropic, an AI lab founded by former OpenAI members who opposed Altman’s methods (and called for his removal as CEO).
The paper suggested that Anthropic refrained from releasing their version of ChatGPT to deliberately slow AGI development, a claim that raises skepticism given OpenAI’s success in creating a user-friendly product. Questions about the format and interface choices of Anthropic’s non-released product add to this skepticism.
We believe that OpenAI’s rollout of new AI projects might decelerate slightly, as a more cautious Sam Altman, who values the company, has learned from this experience.
In summary, this episode represents a rare moment of temporary equilibrium between two differing technological development philosophies in the industry.