• Lore
  • Posts
  • Lore #58: The Return of Sam Altman

Lore #58: The Return of Sam Altman

Good morning.

What a crazy week. For the last few days, we’ve witnessed the most insane event in Silicon Valley history. Sam Altman, the founder of OpenAI and previous President of YCombinator, was unexpectedly fired from OpenAI.

And as of a few hours ago, after immense pressure from investors, Microsoft, and over 90% of the OpenAI team — he’s been rehired.

I’m still trying to process what all went down. This all started two days after I began hearing rumors from friends that early training of GPT-5 was looking incredibly promising. Then, all of a sudden, Sam was fired apparently out of nowhere without any warning and without investors being informed.

As far as I can tell, certain board members at OpenAI seemed to want the company to slow down development. Most notably, Helen Toner recently wrote a paper praising their competitor, Anthropic, and criticizing OpenAI for moving towards AGI too fast.

One of the craziest parts of the whole story is that the board never told anyone precisely why they fired Sam. They brought in Twitch co-founder Emmett Shear to be interim CEO, and he resigned because the board wouldn’t provide any evidence or even make specific claims. This is unheard of.

I’m glad everything is “back to normal” now, and I am excited to see what’s next for OpenAI. I believe the team will be stronger than ever before — but also, this has hurt their reputation in the short term and will make many people take open-source AI more seriously.

We share even more details today in the news section below.

  • Menlo Ventures raised $1.35B for AI investments (Link)

  • Former Googler Adrian Aoun’s Forward raised $100M for walk-in AI healthcare pods (Link)

  • AI model developer AI21 Labs raised $53M more in funding (Link)

  • Cyble raised $30M to bolster AI-driven cybersecurity solutions (Link)

  • Retorio raised €9M to expand their personalized AI coaching platform (Link)

  • Munch raised $7.2M for its AI-powered automation platform for social media (Link)

  • Handraise raised $6.3M to create AI-powered PR platform (Link)

  • Siena AI raised $4.7M to develop an empathic AI customer service agent (Link)

  • Qevlar AI raised €4.5M for generative AI cybersecurity solutions (Link)

  • CreateSafe raised $4.6M to help artists monetize generative AI opportunities in music creation and distribution (Link)

  • Zerve raised $3.8M for its coding platform that is designed to help teams collaborate and share outputs more easily (Link)

  • Artisan raised $2.3M to develop human-like digital workers (Link)

  • Impact AI raised €1.5M for its modular AIProductOps platform (Link)

Future ToolsEverything you need to know in AI news and tools

In a dramatic turn of events for the AI industry, Sam Altman, the co-founder and former CEO of OpenAI, was removed from the company and subsequently hired by its largest investor, Microsoft.

As a result, more than 700 former OpenAI employees signed a letter demanding Altman's reinstatement and the resignation of the current board members. The letter states that the board's actions have made it obvious that they are incapable of overseeing OpenAI, and the employees are unable to work for or with people who lack competence, judgment, and care for their mission and colleagues.

The employees threatened to resign and join Altman at Microsoft unless the board complied with their demands.

The crazy story seems to have concluded with Sam being rehired, and the board is being reformed with Larry Summers and Bret Taylor joining the board.

Read more about it here:

  • Sam Altman, OpenAI Board Open Talks to Negotiate His Possible Return (Link)

  • OpenAI’s future hangs in balance amid stand-off between staff and board (Link)

  • OpenAI’s Board Approached Anthropic About Merger (Link)

  • Ilya Sutskever: The OpenAI Genius Who Told Sam Altman He Was Fired (Link)

Google Deepmind has launched its “most advanced music generation model” called Lyria, in partnership with YouTube.

Google also announced two AI experiments designed to open a new playground for creativity:

  • Dream Track – an experiment in YouTube Shorts designed to help deepen connections between artists, creators, and fans through music creation.

  • Music AI tools – a set of tools designed with artists, songwriters, and producers to help bolster their creative processes.

Meta AI announced two new advances in its generative AI research: Emu Video & Emu Edit. These new models deliver exciting results in high quality, diffusion-based text-to-video generation & controlled image editing w/ text instructions.

Other news

  • ChatGPT with voice is now available to all free users (Link)

  • Claude 2.1 is out with 200k context window. (Link)

  • Stable Diffusion releases the first version of Stable Video Diffusion. (Link)

  • Google Delays Release of Gemini AI That Aims to Compete With OpenAI (Link)

  • Xbox partners with Inworld AI to build generative AI tools for game development (Link)

GPT-4 Vision for creating a working UI by just drawing it

New features announced at Runway

A ChatGPT video game by Pieter Levels

AI tutors create a new learning experience for kids

  • TypeDream: Build your site & sell online with one no-code tool (Link)

  • Looka: Design a logo and brand (Link)

  • Droxy: All-in-one no-code chatbot builder (Link)

  • Eightify: A Chrome extension for YouTube video summaries (Link)

Find more tools at FutureTools.io.

  • Exponentially Faster Language Modelling (Link)

  • Make Pixels Dance: High-Dynamic Video Generation (Link)

  • The Chosen One: Consistent Characters in Text-to-Image Diffusion Models (Link)

  • Drivable 3D Gaussian Avatars (Link)

  • Large-scale pancreatic cancer detection via non-contrast CT and deep learning (Link) 👇

That's it!

See you next week!

If you want to support Lore, please:

  1. Share this newsletter 

  2. Follow us on Twitter @NathanLands & LoreAiNews.

  3. Join our Generative AI community on LinkedIn