He’s back: Sam Altman and the chaos at the heart of the AI industry – podcast

Sam Altman has been a reassuring figure to anyone worried about the future of artificial intelligence. As the head of OpenAI, which started out as a non-profit organisation that aimed to ensure AI was used for the good of humanity, he has toured the world, speaking to world leaders about this new frontier of technology.

But last Friday, Altman was summarily sacked – seemingly without warning. And the result was uproar in one of the world’s most influential AI companies. More than 95% of staff signed an open letter demanding his return – including, confusingly, the interim CEO who was brought in to replace him, and a board member instrumental in his firing.

Altman was promptly hired by Microsoft – OpenAI’s biggest backer. But then, as swiftly as he was sacked, Altman was suddenly back at OpenAI.

Blake Montgomery explains to Hannah Moore what is known – and not known – about this extraordinary corporate drama. And why it suggests that the people who are creating the future of AI will now be more focused on profit than altruism.

Sam Altman. (Photo by Patrick T Fallon/AFP via Getty Images) Photograph: Patrick T Fallon/AFP/Getty Images

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