OpenAI shocks tech world with firing of ChatGPT CEO Sam Altman

© Patrick T. Fallon, AFP

OpenAI, the company that launched ChatGPT a year ago, said Friday it had dismissed CEO Sam Altman in a shock firing of a central figure in the AI revolution.

Altman became a tech world sensation with the release nearly a year ago of ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot with unprecedented capabilities, churning out human-level content like poems or artwork in just seconds.

His dismissal caught the tech world by surprise, with rumors rife on social media as to the cause of the sudden sacking.

A statement about the firing by OpenAI referred to its stated mission of making sure AI benefits everyone, and said that new leadership is needed for the company to move forward.

Fellow OpenAI cofounder Greg Brockman was pushed from the company's board in the shakeup and put out late in the day that he quit.

"I'm super proud of what we've built... but based on today's news, I quit," Brockman said in a post at X, formerly known as Twitter.

"I continue to believe in the mission of creating safe AGI (artificial general intelligence) that benefits all of humanity."

Analysts scrambled to interpret the shakeup, and the sacking of 38-year-old Altman, a Stanford University dropout, entrepreneur and computer coder.

"It sounded as though there were some ethical concerns which pushed the board to do something," said Creative Strategies analyst Carolina Milanesi.

"If he is being ousted because of ethical concerns, that is only going to be good for the company."

In a post on X, Altman said he "loved my time at OpenAI."

Read more on FRANCE 24 English

Read also:
UN chief Guterres calls for 'united' response to AI threats at UK summit
World leaders gather at UK summit aiming to tackle 'frontier AI' risks
Google launches ChatGPT rival Bard in Europe and Brazil