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Wednesday, Jul 24, 2024
Mugglehead Magazine
Alternative investment news based in Vancouver, B.C.

AI and Autonomy

Sam Altman wants to change OpenAI into a for-profit company

OpenAI’s board previously removed Altman due to issues surrounding transparency and governance

Sam Altman wants to change OpenAI into a for-profit company
Sam Altman, CEO of Microsoft-backed OpenAI and ChatGPT creator takes part in a talk at Tel Aviv University in Tel Aviv, Israel June 5, 2023. Image from Amir Cohen via Reuters.

Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, is thinking about restructuring his company into a for-profit company in order to better address his aspirations towards artificial general intelligence (AGI).

To date, OpenAI has been run using a hybrid model mixing for-profit and non-profit options called a capped-profit company, which basically meant it was a nonprofit company with a for-profit arm. The company originally announced in 2019 that it had made the shift from nonprofit to take advantage of opportunities to build AGI.

“We want to increase our ability to raise capital while still serving our mission, and no pre-existing legal structure we know of strikes the right balance,” OpenAI said in a press release.

Additionally, Altman’s leadership within the Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) supported AI startup has faced controversy, which may play into the present decision making.

In November, OpenAI’s board briefly ousted him regarding issues surrounding transparency and governance within the organization, sparking debate among industry observers and stakeholders. Despite the turmoil, Altman was reinstated within a month due to shareholder pressure.

Toner accused Altman of being a deceptive figure who lied and hid information from the board multiple times. He stated that Altman kept OpenAI’s board in the dark about ChatGPT’s release in November 2022, revealing the chatbot’s existence to the board only when the news began spreading after Altman posted about it on Twitter. Toner also claimed that Altman lied about his financial interests in OpenAI.

Read more: Robots take over 2024 World Artificial Intelligence Conference

Read more: Verses AI onboards chief product officer in push for AI product Genius

VERSES speaks directly to board of OpenAI

Vancouver-based AI tech firm VERSES AI Inc. (CBOE: VERS) (OTCQB: VRSSF) defines AGI as AI systems that go beyond narrow, specialized tasks and achieve a level of flexible, human-like intelligence. This general-purpose intelligence would allow AGI systems to learn and adapt to new situations, solve problems creatively, and reason about the world in a comprehensive way.

On December 19th, 2023, VERSES took a bold step. It placed a full-page ad in the New York Times featuring an open letter directly addressed to the board of OpenAI. The letter pointed to a specific clause in OpenAI’s charter, the “assist clause,” which states their commitment to collaborate with any company whose values and safety-conscious project approximated developing AGI before it did.

VERSES argued in the letter that its research had identified a new, and potentially more successful approach to achieving AGI. It acknowledged the significant progress made with deep learning, big data, and large language models (LLMs), which are all at the forefront of modern AI advancements. However, VERSES also highlighted a growing concern – a belief that this current mainstream path might not be enough to reach true AGI.

The letter went on to cite comments from OpenAI CEO Sam Altman himself. At a Cambridge University event on November 1st, 2023, Altman was directly asked if LLMs were a viable path to AGI. His response was that the technology required another breakthrough. He further clarified that simply training AI systems to mimic human text and behaviour wouldn’t be sufficient for achieving AGI.

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Verses AI is a sponsor of Mugglehead news coverage 

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