OpenAI board decided to push CEO Sam Altman out of the company over the weekend, and Ilya Sutskever is an important character in this entire shakeup. Initially it looked like Sutskever was the mastermind in this OpenAI board coup. However, in a plot twist, he later expressed regret for his part in ousting Altman. This has pushed the spotlight on his role at OpenAI and the part he played in ousting Altman.
From afar, it looked like he played an instrumental role in firing Altman from the company. However, his latest post on X, formerly known as Twitter, has changed the narrative altogether. He wrote, “I deeply regret my participation in the board’s actions. I never intended to harm OpenAI. “I love everything we’ve built together, and I will do everything I can to reunite the company.” He even signed a letter alongside 500 OpenAI employees saying that they may quit OpenAI and join Microsoft if Altman is not reinstated.
Two facts at OpenAI?
As per the company, in addition to Sutskever, OpenAI board also includes Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo, an independent director, technology entrepreneur Tasha McCauley and Helen Toner, Georgetown Center for Security and Emerging Technology.
Sustskever seems to be part of the faction of the board that believes that AI will soon surpass humanity in terms of intelligence and it could be a major survival threat.
In a Guardian documentary, Sutskever said, “AI is a great thing. It will solve all the problems that we have today. It will solve unemployment, disease, poverty. But it will also create new problems. The problem of fake news is going to be a million times worse. Cyber attacks will become much more extreme. “We will have fully automated AI weapons.”
So far, the board hasn’t revealed the specific instance where Altman “was not consistently candid in his communications.” However, looking at the trail of events it is clear that Sutskever sided with the board’s decision to remove Altman who is more optimistic about the growth of AI. Notably, it is the board’s duty to ensure that product being developed using AI is being created responsibly.
In the latest memo, OpenAI told employees that because of Altman’s “behavior and lack of transparency in his interactions with the board undermined the board’s ability to effectively supervise the company in the manner it was mandated to do.”
Elon Musk has also asked Sutskever the reason behind taking such a “drastic action.” He wrote, “If OpenAI is doing something potentially dangerous to humanity, the world needs to know.”
His change of heart comes at a time when OpenAI seems to be in a dire state. Over 500 of the 700 employees at the AI company have threatened to quit the company and join Altman at Microsoft. This could spell doom for the leading AI brand of the world. Ilya’s apology can turn out to be the OpenAI pivot required for survival.
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