Microsoft announced Monday that it has hired Sam Altman and another architect from ChatGPT maker OpenAI, after they abruptly left the company days ago in a corporate shakeup that shocked the world of artificial intelligence.
Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella tweeted that the US tech giant is ready to partner with OpenAI, whose chatbot started the generative artificial intelligence craze by producing human-like text, images, video and music.
Nadella wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, that he was “looking forward” to the new CEO of OpenAI, former Twitch chief Emmett Shear, and the rest of the management team.
Microsoft invested billions of dollars in the startup and helped provide the computing power to run its AI systems. Now he's bringing two of OpenAI's co-founders directly into the fold.
“We are very excited to share the news that Sam Altman and Greg Brockman will be joining Microsoft with their colleagues to lead a new group of advanced artificial intelligence researchers,” Nadella said.
In response to X, Altman said, “The mission continues,” while OpenAI co-founder and former president Brockman posted, “We're going to build something new, and it's going to be incredible.”
The moves come after a weekend of drama and speculation about how leadership at OpenAI will shake up. Altman has been active on X, posting a photo of himself with an OpenAI guest pass on Sunday and saying it's “the first and last time I'll ever ride one of these.”
Hours earlier, he had tweeted, “I love the openai team so much,” prompting a response from Brockman, who resigned after Altman was fired, and Mira Murat, OpenAI's chief technology officer, who was initially named as interim CEO.
It's unclear what happened between Friday's announcement of Murat's interim role and the hiring of Shire, who founded Twitch, the Amazon-owned live streaming service popular with video gamers.
An OpenAI spokesperson did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
The company said Friday that Altman was fired after a review found he was “consistently not candid in his communications” with the board of directors, which had lost confidence in his ability to lead the company.
Altman helped make ChatGPT a global success and in the past year has become a sought-after Silicon Valley voice on the promise and potential dangers of artificial intelligence.
He embarked on a world tour to meet with government officials earlier this year, drawing large crowds at public events as he discussed both the risks of artificial intelligence and efforts to regulate the emerging technology.
Altman posted on Friday X that he “loved my time at openai” and later called it a “weird experience.”
OpenAI declined to answer questions about Altman's alleged lack of candor. The company said in a statement that his conduct impeded the exercise of the board's authority.
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