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Sam Altman and Greg Brockman will lead AI team at Microsoft

Sam Altman and Greg Brockman will lead AI team at Microsoft

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella just announced on X that the two co-founders of OpenAI are joining Microsoft to lead a new advanced AI research team. With that, the OpenAI saga takes a different turn.

The plumes of smoke in OpenAI’s board of directors have yet to clear. A new chapter is now added to this developing story. What happened at OpenAI is not entirely clear, but it appears to have been a power struggle. Co-founder, Ilya Sutskever, seems to have staged a coup against his co-founders Sam Altman and Greg Brockman.

Also read: OpenAI removes Sam Altman as CEO, CTO Murati is now interim CEO

Sutskever is chief scientist at OpenAI and, along with the board of directors, fired Altman as CEO and then ousted Brockman as a member and chairman of the board. This happened on Friday afternoon. Brockman drew his own conclusion, immediately declared his solidarity with Altman, and resigned. Investors in OpenAI and many members of the AI research team expressed their support for Altman on Saturday. There was considerable pressure on the board of directors to give Altman his position back.

Altman seems to have been in the office at OpenAI on Sunday, talking to the board. Microsoft will no doubt also have been involved as the largest investor. Altman reportedly would only return if Sutskever left, who refused, so Altman did not return. Subsequently, the board resigned, and there is now a new board with Sutskever as chairman. With that, there is certainly no question of a return now.

Altman and Brockman to Microsoft

Microsoft will not be happy about the development at OpenAI, as will the other investors. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has acted quickly by bringing both OpenAI co-founders on board. Nadella gives Altman and Brockman the ability to build and lead a new advanced AI research team at Microsoft. Nadella also said they look forward to moving quickly to provide Altman and Brockman with the resources needed to be successful.

At OpenAI the saga continues. Many AI researchers declared their support for Altman on Saturday. With Altman and Brockman set to lead a new research team at Microsoft, they could probably use several or maybe dozens more AI researchers. We foresee an exodus of people at OpenAI towards Microsoft in the next couple days. In addition, companies like Amazon, Google and Salesforce will probably not complain if AI researchers apply to them. Since there is a huge shortage of good AI researchers, many headhunters will go after the AI researchers at OpenAI in the next few weeks.

What will be left of OpenAI?

The big question is going to be what remains of OpenAI. Satya Nadella revealed that Microsoft remains committed to the partnership with OpenAI, and they are confident in the roadmap. A roadmap that was made under Altman. Furthermore, Nadella looks forward to getting to know and working with the new board of directors and interim CEO, Emmett Shear. If this partnership will stay as good as it was, remains to be seen, now that Altman and Brockman are joining Microsoft.