‘Huge egos are in play’: behind the firing and rehiring of OpenAI’s Sam Altman

  • November 23, 2023
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The surprise sacking of the AI venture’s CEO was followed by a near mutiny at the company and his reinstatement

OpenAI’s messy firing and re-hiring of its powerful chief executive this week shocked the tech world. But the power struggle has implications beyond the company’s boardroom, AI experts said. It throws into relief the greenness of the AI industry and the strong desire in Silicon Valley to be first, and raises urgent questions about the safety of the technology.

“The AI that we’re looking at now is immature. There are no standards, no professional body, no certifications. Everybody figures out how to do it, figures out their own internal norms,” said Rayid Ghani, a professor of machine learning and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University. “The AI that gets built relies on a handful of people who built it, and the impact of these handfuls of people is disproportionate.”

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