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Previous OpenAI board was not notified about ChatGPT launch in 2022, says former member

The OpenAI logo on glass windows

Helen Toner, one of the OpenAI board members behind the temporary ouster of Sam Altman has revealed in a TED Talks podcast that the board was not notified about the imminent launch of ChatGPT in November 2022. Instead, Toner claims that the board only found out about ChatGPT’s launch on Twitter.

In an interview with Bilawal Sidhu, host of The TED AI Show, Helen Toner said:

“The OpenAI board was not a normal board. It’s not a normal company. The board is a non-profit board that was set up explicitly for the purpose of making sure that the company’s public good mission was primary, was coming first over profits, investor interests, and other things. When ChatGPT came out in November 2022, the board was not informed in advance about that. We learned about ChatGPT on Twitter.”

A year after this incident Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, was ejected from the company by the board and replaced by the chief technology officer Mira Murati. However, just a few days later, Sam Altman, backed by Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, was back at the helm and a new board was brought in to replace the previous one, which included Helen Toner, who is now publicly airing what had gone on at the company.

It’s not only the former board members who are unhappy with the direction the company has decided to take. Earlier this month, co-founder Ilya Sutskever as well as safety researcher Jan Leike departed the company and criticised the company’s decision to shut down the superalignment work.

In response to the criticisms, OpenAI has formed a Safety and Security committee which will scrutinise the company’s safety procedures related to product development.

It seems that OpenAI’s move to chasing profit is playing out to be a messy affair. Given how important the company has been to advancing AI, hopefully, it manages to reorient itself without major fallout that seriously impacts the development of further GPTs.

Source: X | Image via Depositphotos.com

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