Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told CNBC’s Jon Fortt on Monday that OpenAI’s governance structure needs to change, three days after the sudden firing of CEO Sam Altman.
“At this point I think it’s very clear that something needs to change in terms of governance,” Nadella said. He added that Microsoft would “have a good dialogue with its board about this.”
In his first press interview since Altman’s ouster, Nadella dismissed concerns about long-term damage to OpenAI and said critical research in artificial intelligence continues, as does the partnership with Microsoft. But his comments didn’t clear up the confusion about where Altman and his OpenAI co-founder Greg Brockman, who was the company’s chairman, will ultimately end up.
Early Monday morning, Nadella said Altman, Brockman and their colleagues would join Microsoft as part of a new AI research group. This post followed news that former Twitch CEO Emmett Shear had been named interim head of OpenAI as Altman was about to leave. As Monday progressed, it became less and less clear that Altman and Brockman would actually be moving to Microsoft.
Hundreds of OpenAI employees signed a letter to the company’s board demanding their resignation or else the employees could choose to join their former boss at Microsoft.
Nadella said it will be OpenAI employees’ decision whether to stay in their current roles or move to Microsoft, adding that his company has everything it needs to continue innovating on its own.
“I’m open to both options,” he said.
Altman’s quick reinstatement appeared to be a possibility Saturday when news broke that a group of prominent investors, including Microsoft, Tiger Global, Thrive Capital and Sequoia Capital, were working to reverse the board’s decision the previous day. None of these companies had board seats and they were caught off guard by the decision.
In one Post on X Late Saturday evening, Altman wrote, “I love the Openai team so much.” Brockman, who left the company after the board removed him as chairman along with Altman, reposted the comment with a heart symbol. Other OpenAI employees did the same.
Nadella told Fortt that Microsoft respects OpenAI’s nonprofit roots and shares its belief that AI must be developed and deployed in a safe manner.
“We want to make sure that we address not only the benefits of the technology, but also the unintended consequences of the technology from day one, rather than waiting for something to happen,” Nadella said.
REGARD: A timeline of the drama between Sam Altman, OpenAI and Microsoft
Source : www.cnbc.com