At a glance.
- OpenAI's continuing turmoil.
- Konni campaign phishes with a Russian document as bait.
- LockBit's third-party compromise of Canadian government personnel data.
- Crypto firm sustains API attack.
- Ukraine removes senior security officials under suspicion of graft.
Seven-hundred-thirty-eight of OpenAI's seven-hundred-seventy employees--about ninety-six percent, as close to all of them as makes no difference--have now signed a letter demanding the restoration of ousted CEO Sam Altman and his co-founder Greg Brockman and the resignation of the board that fired them. WIRED reports that the letter includes a threat to quit the company (possibly to join a new venture headed by Altman). OpenAI was founded with the mission "to ensure that artificial general intelligence benefits all of humanity,” and Friday's dismissal, couched as a response to what the board characterized as Altman's lack of candor, suggests that the board believed Altman's leadership had drifted from that mission.
The organization's structure--a not-for-profit research institution self-consciously animated by an idealistic humanitarian vision that simultaneously oversaw a "capped" for-profit company characterized by the aggressive and fast-moving optimism typical of Silicon Valley startups--was probably unstable from the outset. The Atlantic has an account, based on discussions with insiders who spoke on condition of anonymity, that suggests OpenAI was riven by two rival futurist visions: one utopian, the other dystopian, but both in their own way representing an extreme picture of artificial intelligence's potentialities.
Shortly after firing Altman, OpenAI's board approached rival Anthropic about a possible merger, an approach, the Information says, that Anthropic quickly declined. Subsequent reports indicated that a number of OpenAI customers were considering moving to competitors, including Anthropic, Microsoft, and Google. For now, and pending further developments, Microsoft looks like the winner. Redmond hired both Altman and Brockman to run a "new, advanced AI research team," and the former OpenAI leaders seem likely to attract much of the talent that may defect from their old company. As recently as yesterday afternoon, however, the Verge was reporting that Altman's return to OpenAI remained an open possibility, and according to Bloomberg, that would be agreeable to Microsoft as well. “Irrespective of where Sam is, he’s working with Microsoft,” Microsoft CEO Nadella said.