Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • The world's leading artificial intelligence firm, OpenAI, says co-founder Sam Altman is set to return as CEO just days after he was fired by the board, is posted on X.

  • That's the agreement in principle involves a new board being installed.

  • The company which created the popular ChatGPT app says it's collaborating to figure out the details.

  • Mr.Altman's dismissal from OpenAI on Friday had sent shockwaves through the tech world.

  • Well, with more on this, we can go live to our North America technology reporter James Clayton.

  • So James, it was a shock over the weekend.

  • But now news of his return, the industry must be bewildered about this latest development.

  • Yeah, absolutely bewildered.

  • And we've been waiting on tenterhooks for about 30 hours.

  • We knew that Sam Altman was talking to the board.

  • We didn't know the outcome of that was gonna be and we now know that Sam Altman is going to return.

  • Plenty of OpenAI people have now tweeted, confirming that, and the board has also changed.

  • So we know that two people aren't on the board anymore and two people with masses of experience are now on it.

  • So Brett Taylor, the former chair of Twitter, he is now on the board of OpenAI, as is Larry Summers who adds political heft.

  • And that will really please investors because one of the reasons that this happened was the board was so small,

  • and had so little experience that they sacked Sam Altman without getting any kind of gauge of how OpenAI would react to that.

  • And the employees, well, 95% of them signed a letter saying they would quit unless Sam Altman came back.

  • So really, OpenAI was in a position where they had to bring Sam Altman back. If they didn't, potentially, the company would simply wind up.

  • And James, just walk us through this because the last news we received is that Sam Alterman was going to be going to Microsoft.

  • So why is he coming back to OpenAI?

  • So Microsoft is a massive investor in OpenAI.

  • So when Satya Nadella, the chief executive of Microsoft brought him in, he basically said, "You can come back to OpenAI wherever. I don't mind whether you're in Microsoft or OpenAI."

  • Because Microsoft has a massive interest obviously in Microsoft and in OpenAI.

  • So he doesn't mind; he would actually probably prefer him to be a chief executive of a stable OpenAI because Microsoft has pumped more than $10 billion into OpenAI,

  • it really needs it to succeed from a financial perspective.

  • So that's why Satya Nadella is happy to see Sam Altman go back to OpenAI and he's tweeted that this evening.

  • And James, where does this leave the industry?

  • Because OpenAI is a major player when it comes to artificial intelligence, but we're seeing such dysfunction disruption within the company, what does it tell us about the industry?

  • Well, it tells you that governing these companies are really difficult because all of these AI companies want to prioritize AI safety.

  • They want AI to be for the good of humanity.

  • They don't want just to do it for profit, but actually setting up a corporate governance structure that actually does, that is really hard.

  • OpenAI has tried and has now failed; Anthropic also has a really interesting corporate governance structure.

  • We'll see how that works in the future.

  • So it's really difficult to not prioritize profits in a for-profit company.

  • It's really, really hard and OpenAI have shown that over the last few days.

  • James, thank you very much.

  • That's our North America technology reporter James Clayton speaking to us and we'll have updates on that story throughout the day here on BBC News.

The world's leading artificial intelligence firm, OpenAI, says co-founder Sam Altman is set to return as CEO just days after he was fired by the board, is posted on X.

Subtitles and vocabulary

Click the word to look it up Click the word to find further inforamtion about it