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Former OpenAI CEO Sam Altman Joins Microsoft To Lead New AI Research Initiative

Hundreds of OpenAI workers are also threatening to leave the artificial intelligence company after Altman’s exit

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman speaks to ABC News

Former OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and co-founder Greg Brockman have been hired by Microsoft less than two days after being fired by the OpenAI board with an announcement that it, “No longer has confidence” in Altman’s, “Ability to continue leading OpenAI.” 

Following a weekend of negotiations aimed at the possible return of Altman to OpenAI, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella declared that both Altman and Brockman will spearhead Microsoft’s newly established advanced AI research team with Altman assuming the role of CEO for this newly formed initiative.

“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,” says Nadella. “We look forward to moving quickly to provide them with the resources needed for their success.”

Soon after, Altman took to social media platform X (formerly Twitter), to confirm his move to Microsoft by resharing Nadella’s message with the caption, “The mission continues.” Nadella comments by acknowledging how important it is for founders and innovators to have the space they need to, “Build independent identities and cultures within Microsoft, including GitHub, Mojang Studios, and LinkedIn,” and hopes Altman will do the same. 

OpenAI employees threaten to leave 

Brockman has also disclosed that Microsoft’s new team will incorporate essential talent from OpenAI. Jakub Pachocki, OpenAI’s director of research, is set to assume an undisclosed leadership role in Microsoft’s advanced AI research team. In addition, OpenAI research scientist Szymon Sidor and head of preparedness Aleksander Madry will also be taking on leadership positions at Microsoft, as stated by Brockman. 

Hundreds of OpenAI staff members have also been posting the term “OpenAI is nothing without its people” on X, including CTO Mira Murati. signalling the possibility of further resignations. A lot of the frustration from the members was seemingly inspired after negotiations with the OpenAI board to bring Altman back as CEO failed. The OpenAI board has now tapped former Twitch CEO and co-founder Emmett Shear as the new interim CEO of OpenAI. 

Just a week after Microsoft revealed its development of a proprietary AI chip designed for training large language models, the tech giant announced its new advanced AI research team, led by Altman and Brockman. This strategic move is seen as a step to potentially reduce dependency on Nvidia and aligns with Microsoft’s initiative to create an Arm-based CPU tailored for cloud workloads. 

Despite hiring two of OpenAI’s most notable leaders, Microsoft remains committed to its partnership with the artificial intelligence company. “We look forward to getting to know Emmett Shear and OAI’s new leadership team and working with them,” Nadella said in a statement. 

Written By

Isa Muhammad is a writer and video game journalist covering many aspects of entertainment media including the film industry. He's steadily writing his way to the sharp end of journalism and enjoys staying informed. If he's not reading, playing video games or catching up on his favourite TV series, then he's probably writing about them.

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