First off, OpenAI ousted its co-founder and CEO, Sam Altman, out of nowhere... just days ago. He was followed by key OpenAI staff, and then Microsoft hired Altman to run a new advanced AI research division of the company... after that, 700+ of the 800 employees wrote to the OpenAI board demanding if Altman wasn't reinstated, they'd all leave to Microsoft with Altman.
And now... now the OpenAI board is reportedly talking to Altman about his return as a director on a transitional board of OpenAI.
OpenAI's vice president of global affairs, Anna Makanju, sent a memo to OpenAI staff informing them that the company had "intense discussions" with the board and that Altman and new CEO Emmett Shear would be working together inside of OpenAI. Of course, they need to promise this because they're about to lose all of their staff to Microsoft, where they'll join Altman, who the board is in talks with to return. It feels like I have the triple-check that last sentence, but it's exactly what's happened.
- Read more: OpenAI staff threaten to follow ex-CEO Sam Altman to Microsoft if the board doesn't quit
- Read more: Microsoft CEO expected to negotiate stability at OpenAI and keep teams intact
- Read more: Sam Altman was raising billions in funding for codename Tigris, for a new chip to rival NVIDIA
- Read more: OpenAI CEO gets fired: Sam Altman gone, ousted from the company
However, Altman's adventures at Microsoft aren't finalized just yet, according to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who probably didn't sleep much of the weekend. Nadella said in an interview with CNBC on Monday that he was assuring customers and investors that Microsoft was on solid ground no matter what happens and that the door has been left open for Altman to return to OpenAI or to take on his new role leading an advanced AI research team at Microsoft. Nadella added: "I'm open to both options" because whatever happens from here, Microsoft has the best (either brains, IP, or everything in between or literally everything) of OpenAI.
Altman, on the other hand, tweeted out on X: "We are all going to work together some way or other," adding "top priority remains to ensure OpenAI continues to thrive. We are committed to fully providing continuity of operations to our partners and customers".
But I've been thinking... maybe this is all just an AI writing the craziest story it could, and Atlman is now working with Microsoft to help them stop it from turning into Skynet. Maybe. Who knows at this point? This feels like the storyline of the HBO TV show Silicon Valley.