Sam Altman Joins Microsoft After OpenAI Ousting

    Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News via Getty Images (Nov. 6, 2023)

    The Facts

    • Just three days after being ousted as CEO of OpenAI, Sam Altman is joining Microsoft to lead a new advanced artificial intelligence (AI) research team. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced on X that Altman and other OpenAI employees are joining the company.

    • The OpenAI board fired its co-founder and CEO on Friday in a dramatic turn of events that also saw President and Chairman Greg Brockman removed from his position. The ChatGPT maker claims that Altman’s lack of candid communication with the board had been affecting its performance.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    The past 72 hours have been a whirlwind in the artificial intelligence space, but one thing is abundantly clear amid the chaos — Microsoft is the winner of the fallout between Sam Altman and OpenAI. In addition to hiring one of the most prominent names in the AI field, Microsoft has also brought many of his colleagues and stocked up in the AI arms race against Google and Amazon. Microsoft will still work to get returns on its massive investment in OpenAI, but the company just gained an enormous amount of human capital. Microsoft headquarters is celebrating on Monday.

    Narrative B

    Everything about the Sam Altman/OpenAI saga seems off, and there is so much unclarity that it is impossible to make any declarations about the parties involved. While Microsoft appears like it scored a major victory, it still needs to make sure that OpenAI can remain successful — and there is very little information about Altman’s new endeavor with the company. The past three days are full of confusion, and there's a lot to untangle before any winners are declared.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 20% chance that Sam Altman will return as the CEO of OpenAI before 2026, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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