OpenAI, the entity responsible for creating ChatGPT a year ago, declared on Friday that it had removed CEO Sam Altman due to a lack of confidence in his ability to lead the Microsoft-backed company. Altman, aged 38, rose to prominence in the tech sphere with the introduction of ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence chatbot renowned for its exceptional capabilities, swiftly producing human-like content such as poems or artwork.
The board of OpenAI, in a statement, explained that Altman’s departure followed an exhaustive review process, exposing that “he was not consistently candid in his communications with the board, hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities.” The statement added that the board no longer had confidence in Altman’s capacity to lead OpenAI.
Altman’s decision to launch the app last year turned out to be a triumph, elevating the Missouri-born Stanford dropout to a household name. The introduction of ChatGPT sparked a fierce competition in the artificial intelligence landscape, drawing in tech giants like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Meta.
Microsoft’s substantial investment in OpenAI led to the integration of the company’s technology into its offerings, including the Bing search engine. Altman, who provided testimony before the US Congress on AI and engaged in discussions with heads of state regarding the technology, is confronting growing pressure to enact regulations addressing potential risks associated with AI, such as its potential use in bioweapons, misinformation, and other threats.
While the board expressed appreciation for Altman’s contributions to the establishment and expansion of OpenAI, it underscored the necessity for new leadership. Mira Murati, the company’s chief technology officer, will step into the role of CEO on an interim basis, according to the statement.
Altman, who spearheaded a major developer’s conference for OpenAI earlier this month, acknowledged the concerns people harbor about AI and its disruptive capabilities. Speaking on the sidelines of the APEC summit in San Francisco, he conveyed empathy for diverse perspectives on the platform credited with revolutionizing generative artificial intelligence (AI). Altman encountered a throng of fans at the summit, with many seeking selfies with him.