What happens next is anyone's guess.
Ill, Not Sick
OpenAI's on-again CEO Sam Altman is back with a vengeance — or, perhaps, a lack thereof.
In a statement to staff published on the firm's website, Altman was all love for his coworkers. Including those who, just a few weeks prior, pushed him out over some murky claims about dishonesty towards the board of directors before reversing course and moving to have him return.
The newly-reinstated CEO had particular rapprochement when addressing chief scientist Ilya Sutskever, his fellow OpenAI cofounder who both orchestrated his initial ouster and broke the bad news to him (over a video call, no less).
"I love and respect Ilya, I think he's a guiding light of the field and a gem of a human being," Altman wrote. "I harbor zero ill will towards him."
Sutskever's position at the company sounds hazy, though he's definitely no longer on the board.
"While Ilya will no longer serve on the board," Altman continued, "we hope to continue our working relationship and are discussing how he can continue his work at OpenAI."
Whether he is simply paying lip service to Sutskever's role in building the company or betraying further internal struggle in the wake of the dramatic (and ultimately failed) coup is anyone's guess, but there's certainly no shortage of secrets behind the green curtain that is OpenAI.
Adding to the mystery of what the heck is happening at OpenAI is the fact that Sutskever has long been a strange figure within the already bizarre firm.
Months before OpenAI released ChatGPT, the researcher cryptically tweeted that "it may be that today's large neural networks are slightly conscious," and in the weeks leading up to Altman's ouster was quoted in a documentary saying he was worried that artificial general intelligence (AGI), which the company is explicitly looking to build, may treat humans like animals.
In the wake of Altman's initial firing, reports about Sutskever's strange behavior — which involves, among other claims, acting as OpenAI's "spiritual leader" and having employees chant "feel the AGI" — were dwarfed by the man himself admitting that he was regretful of his "participation in the board's actions" to sack the CEO.
More recently, he quote-tweeted the company's announcement of Altman's triumphant return with his own effusive declaration.
"There exists no sentence in any language that conveys how happy I am," Sutskever tweeted, deepening the mystery of what the future holds for OpenAI — and whether it will include the Brutus to Altman's Caesar.
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