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