I think what happened at OpenAI was that the board, which has the responsibility of ensuring AI is developed responsibly (see corporate structure below), became worried about the commercial direction in which ChatGPT seemed to be heading, and so fired the man leading the charge. Microsoft, which hopes that commercializing AI will help them win the race against other mega-tech-giants, naturally wants to hire him.
In my opinion, the potential importance of AI is a scam, and Microsoft might end up looking as foolish as following its desperate purchase of Nokia.
Opinion-ators on Twitter -- and all the action is indeed happening on Twitter -- continue to hit home runs in their commentary, even as OpenAI hires its fifth ceo in three days (one fired, second replaced, two others approached turned down the offer):
@joannastern: "We are all the interim CEOs of OpenAI."
@llsethj: "Only good answer is that the future AI went back in time to destroy this before it got AGI [artificial general-intelligence]."
@el33th4xor: "Someone who cannot foresee the consequences of his actions in 3 days is in charge of developing AI. God help us all."
@jaycaspiankang: "I didn't really take AI safety concerns all that seriously until I realized the whole thing is in the hands of impulsive weird children. Please hire one adult to hang out with you!"
@deljohnsonvc: "Hahahah lol lmao! Blink twice if you're in a safe place."
@williamlegate: "Since some people *still* don’t understand what’s happening, let me introduce you to the 'lead' member of the board - Adam D’Angelo. Adam has a company Poe, which was made obsolete by the GPTs OpenAI announced on dev day.
Adam was furious the board didn’t give him advance notice so his competitor could have a head start. Adam manipulated the EA [ethical altruism] people on the board that there was an existential AI risk & that Sam had withheld information (he was bitter about the launch of GPTs [generative pretrained transformers]).
Adam’s goal was a hostile takeover of OpenAI — all in a conspiracy to shutdown his #1 competitor. Adam refuses to make a public statement because he’s busy lawyering up. Adam was the ringleader behind everything."
@blader: "In one tweet:
gpt5 more powerful than expected,
ilya turns the board,
board fires sam,
satya turns the screws,
mira threatens to hire sam and gdb back,
d'angelo replaces her with emmett shear as ceo,
satya recruits sam and gdb to msft to oversee openai"
@ryan_t_lowe: "importantly, I think the deepest motivation for what is happening is less 'a power grab for selfish reasons' and more 'a near-sacred mandate to avoid doom at any cost'."
@tszzl: "wanton destruction of a beautiful thing"
@mattyglesias: "The OpenAI board clearly f*cked up, but I have to say that to me this all *confirms* rather than debunks the basic worry that financial motives in the AI space are going to trample on the interests of humanity."
@twobitidiot: "Sam Altman being out at OpenAI is probably the only thing that ensures that AI will actually be open in the U.S. vs. dominated by one 'non-profit' firm begging for regulation in D.C. Counter-intuitively a great day for American tech. (Aside from Microsoft.)"
@elonmusk (on Feb 17): "OpenAI was created as an open source (which is why I named it 'Open' AI), non-profit company to serve as a counterweight to Google, but now it has become a closed source, maximum-profit company effectively controlled by Microsoft."
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