On Friday, OpenAI fired CEO Sam Altman in a surprise move that led to the resignation of President Greg Brockman and three senior scientists. The move also blindsided key investor and minority owner Microsoft, reportedly making CEO Satya Nadella furious. As Friday night wore on, reports emerged that the ousting was likely orchestrated by Chief Scientist Ilya Sutskever over concerns about the safety and speed of OpenAI's tech deployment.
"This was the board doing its duty to the mission of the nonprofit, which is to make sure that OpenAI builds AGI that benefits all of humanity," Sutskever told employees at an emergency all-hands meeting on Friday afternoon, as reported by The Information.
Since its founding, OpenAI has pursued the development of artificial general intelligence (or AGI), which is a hypothetical technology that would be able to perform any intellectual task a human can do, potentially replacing a large number of humans at their jobs.
Internally at OpenAI, insiders say that disagreements had emerged over the speed at which Altman was pushing for commercialization and company growth, with Sutskever arguing to slow things down. Sources told reporter Kara Swisher that OpenAI's Dev Day event hosted November 6, with Sam front and center in a keynote pushing consumer-like products was an "inflection moment of Altman pushing too far, too fast."