In the aftermath of the dramatic dismissal of Sam Altman, OpenAI's board is reportedly engaged in discussions to bring him back as the CEO. Despite being ousted via a video call, Altman is reportedly uncertain about returning and would only consider it with substantial governance changes, as per sources cited by The Verge.
According to insiders, the board initially agreed to resign and allow Altman and Greg Brockman, OpenAI's President and co-founder, to resume their roles. However, there's uncertainty now, with the board missing a crucial deadline for the potential resignation, leading to possible staff resignations.
The stakes are high, as if Altman chooses to depart and establish a new venture, several employees may follow suit. Following Altman's removal and Brockman's resignation, at least three senior researchers have already left, and more are contemplating departures.
Jakub Pachocki, OpenAI's research director, along with AI risk evaluation head Aleksander Madry and seasoned researcher Szymon Sidor, have resigned, signaling widespread disappointment among employees post-Altman's exit. The departures underscore deep-seated divisions within OpenAI regarding AI safety practices.
The Information's report indicates that OpenAI's current board, comprising figures like chief scientist Ilya Sutskever, Quora CEO Adam D'Angelo, Tasha McCauley, former GeoSim Systems CEO, and Helen Toner, director of strategy at Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology, has not commented on Altman's potential return discussions.
Notably, Sutskever, a co-founder of OpenAI, played a pivotal role in Altman's removal, according to reports.
(With agency inputs)