The recent upheaval at OpenAI has ignited a significant shift in the tech industry, with a large number of employees expressing their intent to move to Microsoft. This dramatic turn of events follows Microsoft’s recruitment of former OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and co-founder Greg Brockman, marking a pivotal moment in the intersection of two tech giants.
Over 500 OpenAI staff members have reportedly prepared to leave the company in favor of joining Microsoft‘s newly established advanced AI research team. This decision comes in the wake of a refusal by OpenAI’s board to reinstate Altman and Brockman. In an open letter, these employees have highlighted their disappointment with the board’s decisions, accusing it of jeopardizing their mission and undermining the company’s core objectives.
The controversy began with the abrupt termination of Altman, followed by a swift reaction from Microsoft. The tech behemoth has offered to accommodate all OpenAI employees in its advanced AI research division, an offer that seems to be resonating with many. This gesture is seen as a significant move by Microsoft, diverging from its typical approach towards acquisitions and division leadership.
Amidst this turmoil, OpenAI’s chief scientist, Ilya Sutskever, expressed regret over his role in the board’s decision-making process, indicating a complex internal dynamic within the company. His comments add another layer to an already intricate narrative of corporate maneuvering and employee response.
This unfolding story is further complicated by Microsoft’s recent announcement of a custom AI chip. This development positions Microsoft as a potential rival to Nvidia in the AI hardware sector, a space that Altman himself has shown interest in through separate venture initiatives. Thus, according to The New York Times, Altman was recently presenting a new startup idea to investors, aimed at creating custom AI tensor processing unit (TPU) chips that could compete with Nvidia.
As the number of OpenAI employees considering the transition to Microsoft continues to grow – according to OpenAI safety leader Lilian Weng, about 650 and 770 people have signed the petition – the tech community keenly watches how this partnership will shape the future of AI. With the combined expertise and resources of OpenAI and Microsoft, this collaboration could lead to groundbreaking advancements in AI technology and its applications.