Why should you care about Sam Altman, Microsoft, and the OpenAI CEO mess?


Sam Altman was forced out of his position as CEO of OpenAI on Friday, kicking off a chaotic weekend for the company.Jacques Guez/AFP via Getty Images

  • Sam Altman was forced out From his position as CEO of OpenAI on Friday.

  • The announcement kicked off a weekend of chaos involving Altman, Microsoft, and the company behind ChatGPT.

  • That’s why you should care, even if you’re not into the world of technology.

On Friday afternoon, the technology world reverberated with the news that Sam Altman was fired As the CEO of OpenAI, the AI ​​company behind ChatGPT.

Throughout the weekend, phones rang, tweets blared, and group texts lit up as more news arrived: OpenAI President Greg Brockman Leave; The company tried to reinstate Altman. In the early hours of Monday morning, Microsoft announced that it had hired both Altman and Brockman.

Now, almost everyone An OpenAI employee signed a letter Saying they will resign if Altman and Brockman are not reinstated. Some media reported that Lobbying campaign to reinstate Altman It may be work.

So what’s the big deal? Why should you care so much about the chaos happening at a company you probably hadn’t heard of a year ago? Why is it so important for OpenAI and Microsoft to figure all this out?

Beyond Existential concerns of OpenAI With the development of potentially dangerous technology, this weekend’s events were about more than just corporate deception: the fate of ChatGPT — the AI-powered chatbot used by more than 100 million people at work, at school, and at home — hangs in the balance.

Just look at Microsoft shares During the last few days, or the last of Altman Share on Xwhich reveals how important ChatGPT and OpenAI’s other AI tools are to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and a whole host of others.

“Satya and my top priority remain ensuring UPAI continues to thrive,” Altman wrote on Monday. “We are committed to providing complete continuity of operations for our partners and customers, and the openai/microsoft partnership makes this very possible.”

For backup: Since 2019, Microsoft and OpenAI, which was founded as a non-profit organization dedicated to AI research, have worked together. Microsoft invested $1 billion that year, wrote another check in 2021, and increased the amount this year, allocating $10 billion to OpenAI.

But the deal was about more than just cash. OpenAI relies on Microsoft’s cloud computing infrastructure and Azure data centers to run its large language models and AI tools such as GPT-4, ChatGPT, and DALL-E 3. The startup will likely spend most of the money it gets from Microsoft on cloud services from its company. The main beneficiary, in a sense Circular deal.

Without Microsoft’s supercomputers, OpenAI is essentially a well-made, technologically advanced boat without a paddle. while Microsoft is developing its own big internal language The model, doesn’t have one yet; Without OpenAI, the tech giant would have some great oars, but no boat.

The two work symbiotically. If almost everyone at OpenAI jumped ship and headed to Microsoft, what would they bring with them? Probably not ChatGPT and the big language model behind it. So this would require Altman, Brockman, and anyone else joining Microsoft to develop their own AI models from scratch, which would take at least several months and a whole new pile of money.

In this scenario, will Microsoft continue to support OpenAI with all that expensive cloud infrastructure? If not, where will OpenAI go to get the chips, servers, networks, and data centers to bring ChatGPT and its other services to the masses?

Even if you’re not using ChatGPT as a homework helper or personal assistant, the shockwaves can be significant.

There are hundreds of Startups in the field of artificial intelligence Which, with OpenAI’s blessing, has built itself around ChatGPT. Big companies like Canva and JetBlue have integrated their services Enterprise AI software In their works.

However this mess has been resolved, the episode has seriously damaged OpenAI and put a question mark over the future of its incredibly popular services.

If all this continues to go downhill, get ready to learn about Claude, Google Bard, and other competing AI offerings.

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