In a whirlwind of developments, the world of artificial intelligence witnessed a seismic shift as former OpenAI CEO Sam Altman found himself ousted from his position amid doubts about his leadership abilities. However, what followed was an unexpected twist, as tech giant Microsoft made a bold move by swiftly hiring Altman and OpenAI co-founder Greg Brockman to spearhead a cutting-edge AI research endeavor.
Why Sam Altman was ousted as OpenAI CEO
The abrupt departure of Sam Altman from OpenAI comes as a surprise to the tech community. Altman, who had been at the helm of the high-flying AI startup, was reportedly removed from his position by the board, citing concerns over his ability to lead the organization forward. Negotiations to reinstate Altman as OpenAI CEO proved futile and the company has now appointed Emmett Shear, former CEO of Twitch, as the interim chief.
According to multiple sources who spoke to The Verge, Altman’s attempts to resume his role as OpenAI CEO were met with resistance from the organization’s four-person board, who declined to step down and allow his return. Furthermore, as reported by The New York Times, Altman had been actively presenting a distinct startup concept to potential investors, which involved the development of AI tensor processing unit (TPU) chips designed to rival Nvidia’s offerings.
This project, known by the codename “Tigris,” managed to garner significant attention from notable venture firms and even piqued the interest of Microsoft.
Microsoft’s bold move to hire Sam Altman
In a surprising turn of events, Microsoft has made a significant announcement, appointing Sam Altman and OpenAI co-founder Greg Brockman to lead a pioneering AI research team. Altman will assume the role of CEO for this groundbreaking initiative, underscoring Microsoft’s deep commitment to advancing AI technology.
Traditionally, Microsoft assigns the CEO title to leaders of distinct or substantial businesses within the company. For instance, Phil Spencer, who oversees Xbox, was recently named Microsoft Gaming CEO. Microsoft has retained or introduced CEO positions for various acquisitions, including GitHub, LinkedIn, Mojang, and Activision Blizzard. This move could hint at grander ambitions for Microsoft’s newly established advanced AI research team.
Brockman has also disclosed that this fresh Microsoft team will incorporate key talent from OpenAI. Jakub Pachocki, who serves as the director of research at OpenAI, will assume an undisclosed leadership role within Microsoft’s advanced AI research team.
Furthermore, OpenAI research scientist Szymon Sidor and head of preparedness Aleksander Madry will also join Microsoft in leadership capacities, according to Brockman. Notably, OpenAI employees have begun posting messages such as “OpenAI is nothing without its people” to X, indicating the possibility of more resignations to come.
Altman’s impact on AI Chip development
Altman and OpenAI collaborated closely with Microsoft to enhance and assess the Maia AI chip. Microsoft was prompt in minimizing the chip’s significance concerning its established partnership with Nvidia. However, it’s worth noting that the Maia GPU is just one component of an ongoing series, and the company is actively developing a second-generation version.
Microsoft’s substantial investment in OpenAI remains in the multibillion-dollar range, with rumors suggesting a valuation of approximately $10 billion. Microsoft holds the exclusive position as OpenAI’s cloud partner, and its cloud services are the driving force behind all of OpenAI’s operations, encompassing products, API services, and research initiatives.
In a significant development within Nigeria’s financial sector, the Nigeria Interban…