Sam Altman officially returned as the CEO of OpenAI last week and is now working alongside a revamped board of directors. Not only that, but the AI company may even alter its entire non-profit structure as part of its governance changes, reports Axios.
Altman informed Axios that the central objective of the new board is to investigate various modifications aimed at enhancing the governance framework. This entails evaluating whether OpenAI should continue to operate under the supervision of a non-profit entity.
Presently, the company functions under a framework where the for-profit activities carried out by its subsidiaries are overseen by a non-profit board. This board is responsible for ensuring that advanced artificial intelligence contributes to the overall betterment of humanity.
But such a major change in governance is going to take significant time, as Altman told Axios: “But that takes real time and consideration. We’re going to need some patience there.”
For now, OpenAI is focused on overhauling the company’s current board of directors, which was one of the demands of hundreds of employees who had threatened to quit amid Altman’s ouster. The board is now going to introduce new members.
As part of the changes, the board now includes Bret Taylor, the former co-CEO of Salesforce, and Larry Summers, former Treasury Secretary, and Adam D’Angelo, CEO of Quora. Microsoft, a major partner to OpenAI with a 49% share in the company, will now have a representative on the board as an observer with no voting rights.
Mira Murati, who had been working as OpenAI’s CTO and the interim CEO during Altman’s firing, clarified that the discord within the company’s board was not triggered by safety concerns or a substantial new breakthrough in AI research, but also did not reveal what the real reason was.
Altman, however, assured that this will not affect the progress of AI development at the company. He said: “What we have been saying as clearly as we know how all year is that we expect progress to continue. We’ve said that consistently even when people accused us of all sorts of fear-mongering or marketing or regulatory capture.”
At the same time, Altman is also hoping to investigate the real reason behind its ouster and is unconcerned about not having a seat on the board. He has said that he has a lot of work to take care of already.
He added: “I have a mountain of very important and urgent work in front of me. I imagine plenty of scenarios where I’m not [on the board], even though I think CEOs usually are.”