After joining Microsoft, Sam Altman makes strong ‘unity and commitment’ pitch

  • The new CEO of a brand new AI team at Microsoft, Sam Altman has reacted to the storm that engulfed OpenAI today.

| Updated on: Nov 21 2023, 00:35 IST
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Sam Altman has joined Microsoft after having been summarily dismissed from OpenAI. (AP)

After the dust settled over his controversial dismissal, former OpenAI CEO and current CEO of new AI team at Microsoft, Sam Altman has reacted to all the commentary during the day with an X post that looks to encapsulate the past present and the future. Today, after much drama, Microsoft emerged as the clear winner of the in-fighting in OpenAI, with Sam Altman joining a new AI team there as its CEO. The talks at OpenAI to bring back Altman had failed. OpenAI soon got itself another CEO in the form of Emmett Shear, co-founder of Twitch - he was the third CEO in just over 3 days after Altman and Mira Murati.

Markets have clearly welcomed the move by Altman to join Microsoft as is seen by the share price. OpenAI will not likely benefit from his exit though as he is expected to set up a unit within Microsoft that will rival what OpenAI has been doing. Things are set to get worse for it.

So, where do things stand? According to Altman's latest X post all talk of disunity and disharmony are not as they seem. He posted, "we have more unity and commitment and focus than ever before." He added, "we are all going to work together some way or other, and i'm so excited. one team, one mission.".

In effect, that may well hint at a mass exodus of OpenAI employees to Microsoft. The staffers have already threatened OpenAI that unless the board is sacked and Altman is returned to his CEO post, they will quit en masse. They made it quite official with a letter signed by the top brass there including former interim CEO Mira Murati and top scientific honcho Ilya Sutskever, that they will leave unless their demands are met.

What Altman's X post may be referring to may well be that he sees the entire OpenAI team shifting to Microsoft. Satya Nadella has already indicated his happiness if everyone from OpenAI joins his company. 

At the moment, the role of the institutional investors is not clear. They had sided with Altman, but things have not worked out. What they say will determine what happens at OpenAI now, more than anyone else. And the biggest investor, Microsoft, has already passed a no confidence motion against OpenAI board by hiring the man they had sacked.




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First Published Date: 21 Nov, 00:35 IST