The internal discord at OpenAI appears to be escalating rapidly, with the removal of Sam Altman announced by the company, citing a confidence deficit. Shortly thereafter, Greg Brockman, co-founder, and president of OpenAI, revealed his exit from the organization.
Greg Brockman, expressing pride in the collective achievements since the company’s inception, announced his resignation, citing the recent developments as the reason. In a statement on the X platform (formerly Twitter), Greg Brockman said,
“I take immense pride in what we’ve collectively achieved since our humble beginnings in my apartment eight years ago. Despite facing numerous challenges, we’ve accomplished a great deal together. However, in light of today’s developments, I quit.”
He reiterated his belief in the mission of developing safe artificial general intelligence for the benefit of all humanity. As part of the changes recently disclosed, Brockman was slated to step down from his role as board chairman while continuing with the company in a reporting capacity under the new CEO.
— Greg Brockman (@gdb) November 18, 2023
The departure of Sam Altman from his role raises concerns about potential talent drain at OpenAI. There is also concern about the former CEO’s next steps from the situation, as Altman said he would share what the future holds for him later.
OpenAI’s decision to part ways with Sam Altman stemmed from significant disagreements between the CEO and the board, particularly with Ilya Sutskever, a co-founder and the chief scientist. The disagreements centered around AI safety, the pace of technology development, and the company’s commercialization.
These disagreements echo persistent challenges within OpenAI related to ethical AI development, an ongoing concern for the organization since its inception. Similar conflicts in the past resulted in Elon Musk’s disassociation from OpenAI in 2018, and in 2020, some employees departed to launch the competing venture Anthropic.
Originally established as a nonprofit in 2015, OpenAI aimed to prevent advanced AI from falling into the hands of monopolistic corporations. However, after receiving a significant investment from Microsoft in 2019, the company transitioned to a for-profit structure.