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  Opinion   Edit  24 Nov 2023  AA Edit | Altman returns amid AI drama

AA Edit | Altman returns amid AI drama

Published : Nov 24, 2023, 12:03 am IST
Updated : Nov 24, 2023, 12:03 am IST

Altman returned in a matter of five days to the workforce

 Sam Altman, CEO of artificial intelligence company OpenAI. (Photo by JACK GUEZ / AFP)
  Sam Altman, CEO of artificial intelligence company OpenAI. (Photo by JACK GUEZ / AFP)

The tech guru Sam Altman staged the most amazing comeback in just a matter of days after being sacked as CEO by the OpenAI board. This is a triumph of capitalism over wrestling with their conscience that some of the non-profit board members may have attempted about the dangers of AI before giving in to a corporate need for the profit motive as its prime driver.

The strange drama at the mega start-up Open AI and 49 per cent owner tech behemoth Microsoft was a fascinating illustration of the fears that are rocking the world about how to control the march of AI and how they have been submerged by the view that AI is something that can transform society the same way that the personal computer once did to the modern world and must be allowed a free run.

Those on the OpenAI board who saw the working style of Altman as a potential disruptive force that might unleash all the deadly potencies of technology that could take over the world and kill all human beings were the ones that were given the sack. The sci-fi scenarios featuring the brilliance of writers and researchers down the ages were being played out, reality TV style, in the boardrooms of Silicon Valley.

Altman returned in a matter of five days to the workforce of 770 he heads, a majority of whom had threatened to walk out with their CEO and await appointment orders from a Microsoft lab that was being readied to sponsor fully the disruptor’s innovations with ChatGPT and so on that promise to change the world and bring billions to stakeholders, mainly Microsoft in its running battle with another tech behemoth in Google.

Altman’s victory, like that of Steve Jobs which had led to Apple becoming one of the first new economy corporations past the trillion-dollar mark, illustrates that there is little place for altruism in this sector of powerful technology that has changed the world forever. The question is whether an unbridled AI will make the planet a better place to live in or will AI take over everything and kill jobs while making trillions for corporations and endanger the very future of humans.

Eventful days at Open AI take us back to the delightful sci-fi tale in which a supercomputer is fed with every bit of knowledge known to man who asks it the one great philosophical question – Is there a God? And the machine whirrs before answering, “Yes, now there is one.” Realising the portents, man tries to switch off the machine, but is struck dead. Was this the tale of AI foretold - one wonders.

Tags: openai, aa edit, sam altman