Helen Toner, a former board member of ChatGPT developer OpenAI, has publicly addressed the circumstances surrounding the brief dismissal of CEO Sam Altman, asserting that the decision was not driven by any intent to hinder the organization’s progress.
Business Insider reports that the tech community was recently rocked by the news of OpenAI CEO Sam Altman’s temporary dismissal and subsequent reinstatement, a move that raised many eyebrows and sparked widespread speculation. Helen Toner, a recently resigned member of OpenAI’s board and a director at Georgetown University’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology, provided insights into the board’s decision-making process.
OpenAI logo seen on screen with ChatGPT website displayed on mobile seen in this illustration in Brussels, Belgium, on December 12, 2022. (Photo by Jonathan Raa/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
To be clear: our decision was about the board's ability to effectively supervise the company, which was our role and responsibility. Though there has been speculation, we were not motivated by a desire to slow down OpenAI’s work.— Helen Toner (@hlntnr) November 30, 2023
Toner claims that the decision to temporarily relieve Altman of his duties was not motivated by a desire to slow down the company’s innovative efforts in AI. “Though there has been speculation, we were not motivated by a desire to slow down OpenAI’s work,” Toner tweeted.
The initial removal of Altman, who has been a key figure in steering OpenAI’s direction, was met with significant resistance within the organization. Most of OpenAI’s staff expressed their dissatisfaction, going as far as threatening to quit if Altman was not reinstated.
The situation was further complicated by Altman’s brief consideration of a leadership role in Microsoft’s advanced AI research team. However, following intense internal pressures and negotiations, Altman was reinstated as CEO of OpenAI. In the wake of these events, OpenAI has welcomed a new board, including prominent figures such as Bret Taylor, Larry Summers, and Adam D’Angelo, with Taylor being announced as the new board chair.
Read more at Business Insider here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship.