Microsoft gives Sam Altman, Greg Brockman a crucial lifeline
In a landmark announcement on Monday, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced that Altman and Brockman, fired this past weekend by OpenAI, will join the tech giant to lead a newly formed team focusing on advanced artificial intelligence research.
“We look forward to getting to know Emmett Shear and OAI’s new leadership team and working with them. And we’re extremely excited to share the news that Sam Altman and Greg Brockman, together with colleagues, will be joining Microsoft to lead a new advanced AI research team. We look forward to moving quickly to provide them with the resources needed for their success,” Nadella said.
Altman’s transition follows his recent dismissal from OpenAI. The Information reported that after a weekend of intense negotiations, it was confirmed by Ilya Sutskever, a co-founder of OpenAI, that Altman would not return to the company.
Instead, the for-profit company opted for Emmett Shear, former CEO and founder of Twitch.
Following Altman’s departure, several key figures at OpenAI, including CTO Mira Murati and COO Brad Lightcap, shared a cryptic post, which added to ongoing speculation about a mass exodus.
Amidst these developments, competitors like Cohere and Adept are reportedly attempting to recruit employees from OpenAI.
Microsoft, a major investor in OpenAI with a 49% stake in its for-profit segment, recently introduced the Copilot AI assistant, utilising OpenAI’s technology.
The company’s establishment of a separate AI research team, especially under Altman’s leadership, suggests a strategic realignment and potential complications in its partnership with OpenAI.