Microsoft creates its own AI research team by snatching Sam Altman and former OpenAI coworkers.

Microsoft creates its own AI research team by snatching Sam Altman and former OpenAI coworkers.

2 minutes, 18 seconds Read

Steve Dent

Sam Altman and Greg Brockman have been hired by Microsoft as part of a new development in the weekend-long OpenAI saga, according to CEO Satya Nadella’s post on X.

To “lead a new advanced AI research team,” the pair and their coworkers are joining Microsoft. Microsoft “remain]s ] committed to our partnership with OpenAI, Nadella continued, but the move appears to be a huge bet on that investment. Additionally, it implies that Microsoft may be acquiring a large portion of OpenAI’s talent, which could impede development of the popular ChatGPT product.

We are still devoted to working with OpenAI, and we are confident in our ability to innovate with the products we unveiled at Microsoft Ignite as well as our commitment to supporting our clients and partners. We are eager to meet Emmett.

November 20, 2023, Satya Nadella ( @satyanadelle )

Other than expressing gratitude to his OpenAI colleagues for their support, Altman has largely remained silent since Friday’s news of his firing. He did, however, confirm that Microsoft had hired him and stated on X that” the mission continues.” Nadella responded to that post by expressing his” super excitement” at having Altman lead the new company. He continued,” We’ve learned a lot about how to give founders and innovators at Microsoft, like GitHub and Mojang Studios, space to create independent identities and cultures.”

Just after it was suggested that Altman might rejoin OpenAI after his abrupt firing on Friday, the appointment was made public. Prior to that, OpenAI employees, many of whom shared their hearts on social media, showed their support for Altman.

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After disagreements between the parties, OpenAI claimed that Altman ( and co-founder Greg Brockman ) would not be returning. Emmett Shear, a co-founder of Twitch, was reportedly named OpenAI’s new CEO in its place.

Given that Microsoft has confirmed Altman’s firing and subsequent hiring, the story is probably far from over. Microsoft recently unveiled its Copilot AI assistant, which is powered by OpenAI’s technology, and has invested$ 13 billion in the for-profit segment of the company.

However, Microsoft’s investment is impacted by the peculiar” capped-profit” corporate structure of OpenAI, which includes both a for- profit and nonprofit body. Despite what Nadella said, Microsoft’s own AI research team will undoubtedly have an impact on the partnership with OpenAI, especially since it will be headed by the former CEO of the company. Expect more developments in light of all that.

Update: Ilya Sutskever, co-founder, board member, and chief scientist of OpenAI, has issued a statement on recent developments at 8:42 AM ET on November 20, 2023.” I deeply regret my participation in the board’s actions.” I did n’t mean to hurt OpenAI in any way. He wrote on X,” I love everything we’ve created together, and I’ll do everything in my power to bring the business back together.

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