NEW DELHI: A day after being sacked as CEO of OpenAI, Sam Altman has been mulling a possible return to the company behind the ChatGPT bot, even as he considers launching a new artificial intelligence (AI) venture, a person briefed on the matter told a news agency Reuters.
Altman, who ouster took the tech world by surprise, was talking with OpenAI executives about improving the company’s governance structure.
He also discussed with some “core OpenAI researchers and others loyal to Altman how they could start a new AI company”, the person told the news agency.
The prospects for a comeback or a relaunch for Altman, widely regarded as a prominent figure in generative AI, are uncertain, according to an anonymous source who requested confidentiality as they were not authorized to speak on behalf of the parties involved.
Investors in OpenAI, Microsoft being its major supporter, are in talks about damage control measures. This includes the possibility of urging the board to reinstate Altman as CEO, as there are concerns of a potential “mass exodus of talent” without his leadership, reported the agency.
Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures, and an early supporter of OpenAI, expressed a desire to see Altman return to OpenAI. In a post on X on Saturday, Khosla mentioned that the fund would support Altman in his future endeavours regardless of the outcome at OpenAI.
Microsoft, which reportedly owns 49% of the company, declined to comment.
Sam Altman, who is considered by many as the poster boy of the new wave of AI, was replaced as CEO by the OpenAI board. Altman was replaced by the company’s chief technology officer Mira Murati.
“Mr. Altman’s departure follows a deliberative review process by the board, which concluded that he was not consistently candid in his communications with the board, hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities. The board no longer has confidence in his ability to continue leading OpenAI,” the board said in a statement.
OpenAI’s board of directors consists of OpenAI chief scientist Ilya Sutskever, independent directors Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo, technology entrepreneur Tasha McCauley, and Georgetown Center for Security and Emerging Technology’s Helen Toner.
Following the sacking, strong emotions were evident on Saturday among current and former employees who were upset by Altman’s dismissal. Concerns mounted about the potential impact of the abrupt management upheaval on an upcoming $86 billion share sale.
Co-founded by billionaire Elon Musk, OpenAI introduced ChatGPT on November 30 last year, triggering a worldwide sensation around generative AI technology.
Rapidly becoming the fastest-growing software application globally, it spurred a wave of investments and announcements spanning various industries. The efforts were aimed at leveraging AI for improvements in areas ranging from financial services and healthcare to entertainment and media.