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Directors at OpenAI are negotiating with Sam Altman to allow him to return to the board, just four days after the decision to remove him caused upheaval at the generative artificial intelligence start-up.
An agreement to reinstate the former CEO and co-founder would be a compromise, as more than 95% of OpenAI employees signed a letter calling for the board to resign and Altman to be reinstated. However, a group of directors remains resolute in their view that Altman’s firing was justified, according to sources familiar with the negotiations.
Despite the turmoil, OpenAI, known for its ChatGPT chatbot, has become a prominent Silicon Valley start-up, attracting attention to its AI innovations.
The firing of Altman and his co-founder Greg Brockman led to internal and external pressure for answers, with Ilya Sutskever, another co-founder, apologizing for his participation in the board’s actions. However, as of now, three directors remain opposed to Altman’s return.
With few details about the specific reasons for Altman’s dismissal, investors in the company have also called for an independent investigation into the decision-making process.
The appointment of an interim chief executive and ongoing negotiations highlight the challenges and uncertainties facing OpenAI as it navigates its way forward.