OpenAI board learnt about ChatGPT from Twitter, former member says: Sam Altman ‘toxic’ - Hindustan Times
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OpenAI board learnt about ChatGPT from Twitter, former member says: Sam Altman ‘toxic’

May 29, 2024 08:43 AM IST

Helen Toner provided her first detailed account of the backstory behind the dramatic firing and rehiring of OpenAI's CEO Sam Altman.

OpenAI's board came to know about the existence of ChatGPT when they saw it on Twitter, a former board member claimed in an interview. Helen Toner provided her first detailed account of the backstory behind the dramatic firing and rehiring of OpenAI's CEO Sam Altman last November claiming that he created a “toxic atmosphere” at the company.

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman speaks during the Microsoft Build conference at the Seattle Convention Center Summit Building in Seattle, Washington.(AFP)
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman speaks during the Microsoft Build conference at the Seattle Convention Center Summit Building in Seattle, Washington.(AFP)

Read more: OpenAI's Sam Altman says AI is ‘safe enough’ after Scarlett Johansson row

Helen Toner said one of the reasons behind Sam Altman's ousting was when two OpenAI executives reported instances of "psychological abuse" to the board. She claimed, “They were really serious, to the point where they actually sent us screenshots and documentation of some of the instances they were telling us about.”

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OpenAI responded to Helen Toner's claims using a statement current OpenAI board chair Bret Taylor provided which said that a review had been conducted into the events of last November.

Read more: OpenAI sets up Safety and Security Committee featuring Sam Altman after row

OpenAI said, "We are disappointed that Miss Toner continues to revisit these issues...The review concluded that the prior board's decision was not based on concerns regarding product safety or security, the pace of development, OpenAI's finances, or its statements to investors, customers, or business partners."

Read more: Sam Altman wants ex employees to freely speak against OpenAI: ‘We're sorry’

Sam Altman was ousted from OpenAI but returned to the company four days after he was fired as nearly all of OpenAI's staff threatened to leave. Helen Toner said that Sam Altman's return was swift as employees were being told that the company would collapse without him. Employees also feared retaliation from Sam Altman if they did not support him, she said.

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