Skip to main content

Tech Industry Shake-Up

ON THE JOB Sam Altman arrives on Capitol Hill, in Washington, D.C., to appear before the Senate on September 13. NATHAN HOWARD—GETTY IMAGES

Recently, the tech industry was shaken up. The CEO of OpenAI was fired. It was over a debate about how to safely build artificial intelligence.

OpenAI is the company that created the chatbot ChatGPT. Sam Altman ran the company. He was let go on November 17.

OpenAI is overseen by a board of directors. They make sure the company’s main goal is to benefit people. They may have fired Altman over concerns about AI’s risks. It can be used to spread harmful misinformation.

The company’s employees heard that Altman was fired. Many threatened to quit. The tech company Microsoft offered to hire them and Altman. Microsoft has invested billions of dollars in OpenAI. The board rehired Altman. Most of its members quit.

Johann Laux is an expert at the Oxford Internet Institute. Governments don’t have rules for developing AI, he says. Without these rules, “companies decide how a technology is rolled out.”

Stop and Think! Why do you think TFK has chosen to cover this story? How might you be affected by the decisions that tech companies make?