sam altman: OpenAI CEO ouster followed debates between Sam Altman, board

OpenAI’s firing of Sam Altman followed wide-ranging disagreements between the chief executive officer and his board — in particular Ilya Sutskever, an OpenAI co-founder and the company’s chief scientist, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The debates included differences of opinion on AI safety, the speed of development of the technology and the commercialization of the company, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing private information.

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The disputes echo longstanding rifts within OpenAI over the responsible development of powerful AI tools — issues that have plagued the company since its inception. Similar disputes over safety and commercialization are why Elon Musk broke ties with OpenAI in 2018, and why a group of employees departed in 2020 and started rival Anthropic.

In July, Sutskever formed a new team at the company to bring “super intelligent” future AI systems under control. Before joining OpenAI, The Israeli-Canadian computer scientist worked at Google Brain and was a researcher at Stanford University.

A month ago, Sutskever’s responsibilities at the company were reduced, reflecting friction with Altman and Greg Brockman, the company’s president. Sutskever later appealed to the board, winning over some members.

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Brockman on Friday resigned, following Altman’s firing.

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Solidad La Madrid

Solidad has been a reporter since 2017. She writes stories about climate change, environment, COVID-19 pandemic and human rights.

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