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Microsoft hires former OpenAI CEO Sam Altman

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Microsoft is hiring former OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and co-founder Greg Brockman.

Altman was fired from OpenAI on Friday, after the board mentioned it “not has confidence in his potential to proceed main OpenAI.” After a weekend of negotiations to doubtlessly carry Altman again to OpenAI, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced that each Sam Altman and Greg Brockman shall be becoming a member of to guide Microsoft’s new superior AI analysis group.

“We’re extraordinarily excited to share the information that Sam Altman and Greg Brockman, along with colleagues, shall be becoming a member of Microsoft to guide a brand new superior AI analysis group,” says Nadella. “We look ahead to shifting rapidly to supply them with the sources wanted for his or her success.”

In a post on X (previously Twitter), Altman acknowledged he was becoming a member of Microsoft by reposting Nadella with the message “the mission continues.” Nadella responded by offering some hints at how he sees Altman’s function at Microsoft. “We’ve discovered quite a bit over time about how one can give founders and innovators area to construct impartial identities and cultures inside Microsoft, together with GitHub, Mojang Studios, and LinkedIn, and I’m wanting ahead to having you do the identical.”

Altman’s hiring comes simply hours after negotiations with OpenAI’s board did not carry him again as OpenAI CEO. As a substitute, former Twitch CEO and co-founder Emmett Shear has been named as interim CEO, in accordance with a supply talking to The Verge. He’ll take over from Mira Murati, who was named interim OpenAI CEO following Altman’s shock firing on Friday. OpenAI hasn’t confirmed Shear’s appointment, however given Microsoft’s hiring of Altman it will possibly’t be distant from saying a brand new management construction.

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Altman had been negotiating to return as OpenAI CEO, however OpenAI’s four-person board refused to step down and let him return, according to multiple sources talking to The Verge. He had reportedly been pitching a separate startup to construct customized, Nvidia-rivaling AI Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) chips to traders lately, in accordance with The New York Times. The TPU mission was codenamed “Tigris,” attracting a number of prominent venture firms and even curiosity from Microsoft.

Microsoft has now fashioned a brand new superior AI analysis group to be lead by Altman and Brockman. It comes only a week after Microsoft introduced it has built its own custom AI chip that can be utilized to coach massive language fashions and doubtlessly keep away from a expensive reliance on Nvidia. Microsoft has additionally constructed its personal Arm-based CPU for cloud workloads. Each customized silicon chips are designed to energy its Azure information facilities.

Microsoft’s new customized AI chip.
Picture: Microsoft

Altman and OpenAI had been working with Microsoft to refine and take a look at the Maia AI chip. Microsoft was fast to downplay its the chip’s impression on its shut Nvidia partnership, however the Maia GPU is a part of a sequence and the corporate is already engaged on a second technology.

Microsoft nonetheless has a “multibillion dollar investment” in OpenAI, rumored to be price round $10 billion. Microsoft is the unique cloud associate for OpenAI, and Microsoft’s cloud providers energy all OpenAI workloads throughout merchandise, API providers, and analysis. 

“We stay dedicated to our partnership with OpenAI and believe in our product roadmap, our potential to proceed to innovate with the whole lot we introduced at Microsoft Ignite, and in persevering with to help our clients and companions,” Nadella mentioned in his assertion. “We look ahead to attending to know Emmett Shear and OAI’s new management group and dealing with them.”

Replace, November twentieth 3:28AM ET: Article up to date with further particulars from Satya Nadella on Altman’s hiring.

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