Microsoft is one of the biggest investors in OpenAI, the parent company of viral AI chatbot ChatGPT. And now, the partnership has strengthened even more as Microsoft has now joined OpenAI's board.
According to a report in The Verge, the tech giant will occupy a "non-voting observer seat" on OpenAI's nonprofit board that controls the company. This happened after all the drama that unfolded at the company a couple of days back, when Sam Altman was fired as the CEO by the previous board members. Altman made a dramatic comeback to the company and the entire board was then changed.
Altman informed the OpenAI employees of the development through a memo.
As mentioned already, Microsoft has now joined the OpenAI board and has a non-voting means. This means that the tech giant can attend board meetings and get access to the company's confidential information. However, Microsoft doesn't have any right to vote in the board's decisions.
The Verge also reported that Altman sent a memo to employees, informing them about Microsoft joining the board. In the memo, he wrote that he has never been "more excited about the future" and that he is "grateful for everyone's hard work" in a situation that was "unclear and unprecedented." He added that he believes that their "resilience and spirit sets them apart in the industry." He also said that he "feels good" about OpenAI team's "probability of success in achieving their mission."
After Altman was reinstated as OpenAI CEO, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has addressed OpenAI as well as Microsoft employees in a tweet. He thanked them for their work on AI and also praised them for their resilience and determination.
Beginning his tweet on a thankful note, Nadella wrote that the greatest privilege of his job is working with people who are "driven by mission." Talking about all that happened at OpenAI in the last 5 days, the Microsoft CEO added, "I saw people across OpenAI remaining calm and resolute in driving their mission despite all that was happening around them."
Talking about how Microsoft employees remained focused despite all that happening at OpenAI, Nadella added, "And I saw people across Microsoft remain focused on our mission and serving our customers and partners, stepping up to help in every way. This is what I’m especially thankful for going into the Thanksgiving holiday."
Thanking both companies' employees for their work on AI, he added, "Thank you for your resolve and for the work you do each day to advance AI safely and responsibly and distribute its benefits to all of humanity."
On Wednesday last week, it was announced that Altman had been reinstated as OpenAI CEO and a new board has been formed. Nadella, who had offered a job to Altman, and other OpenAI employees who chose to leave the company following the young CEO's exit, also reacted to the news.
Nadella said in a tweet, "We are encouraged by the changes to the OpenAI board. We believe this is a first essential step on a path to more stable, well-informed, and effective governance."
Adding that he talked to both Altman and Brockman about the decision, he added, “Sam, Greg, and I have talked and agreed they have a key role to play along with the OAI leadership team in ensuring OAI continues to thrive and build on its mission. We look forward to building on our strong partnership and delivering the value of this next generation of AI to our customers and partners.”