Elon Musk said that the potential danger of AI is so great that OpenAI, the most powerful artificial intelligence company in the world right now, should disclose the reason it fired CEO Sam Altman.
OpenAI announced Altman’s firing on Friday, saying only that the company, which makes ChatGPT, “no longer has confidence in his ability to continue leading.”
Musk, responding to a post on X from former Yammer CEO David Sacks, said that “given the risk and power of advanced AI, the public should be informed of why the board felt they had to take such a drastic decision.”
Given the risk and power of advanced AI, the public should be informed of why the board felt they had to take such drastic action
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 19, 2023
Musk is a former OpenAI board member, but left the company in 2018, citing a conflict of interest with Tesla. Musk later told CNBC, however, that he had become concerned with the company’s possible impact on society. It’s worth noting, though, that Musk’s own AI company will likely only benefit from the current chaos at OpenAI.
A possible reason for Altman’s ouster may have beeen growing tension among the company’s leadership over the dangers AI poses for humanity. Altman has aggressively sought funding to expand the technology’s development, while several other board members have called on the company to do more to mitigate the potential threats.OpenAI’s cofounder Ilya Sutskever — who played a role in Altman’s dismissal — for example, preferred to tread more carefully given AI’s potential to harm society.
Sutskever created a “Super Alignment” team within the company to ensure that future versions of GPT-4, the technology behind ChatGPT, would not be harmful to humanity before Altman’s ouster, according to The New York Times.