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2023.12.01 06:16
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Why were you fired? And why did you come back? Altman's first interview after "returning to the palace" is here.

Sam Altman returns as CEO of OpenAI, and the new board will conduct an independent investigation into the dismissal incident. Altman expressed his love for OpenAI and his continued commitment to achieving the mission of "safe and beneficial artificial general intelligence." Altman and Murati did not disclose the specific reasons for his dismissal. Altman believes that there are governance issues within OpenAI, but it will take time to find a solution. This is a significant corporate event concerning executive changes and governance structure.

A five-day "palace fight" drama is finally coming to an end. Sam Altman officially returned to the post of OpenAI CEO on Wednesday, and Microsoft also won a non-voting seat. On the day of the return, the media conducted a telephone interview with Altman and Chief Technology Officer Mira Murati. This is the first time the two have been interviewed by the media since their return to OpenAI. In the interview, **Altman said bluntly that when the board asked him to return to the company a day after firing him, he initially felt disobedient, hurt and angry. **" It took me a few minutes to cheer up, overcome myself and emotions, and say, 'Yes, of course I want to do this '." Altman told the media, "I really like this company and have devoted all my heart to the last four and a half years of full-time work, in fact adding up to even longer. We're making very much progress on a mission that I care so much about, and that mission is 'Safe and Beneficial Artificial General Intelligence '." However, when asked why they were fired by the board, Altman and Murati were silent, according to him, the new board will conduct an independent investigation into the incident. "I welcome that," Altman said. Altman also pointed out that there are problems with OpenAI's governance structure, but it will take a while to find a solution. The following is the full media interview with OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and Chief Technology Officer Mira Murati:> Host: Sam, I want to address the main issue first, which is that we still don't know the exact reason why you were fired. In your opinion, why were you fired? >> Sam Altman: The board will conduct an independent review. I very much welcome that. I have nothing to say now, but I look forward to learning more.>> Moderator: Why do you think the board said it lost trust in you? >> Sam Altman: It's a better question for them.>> Moderator: You just said on X that there was "clearly a real misunderstanding" between you and the board members ". What are those misunderstandings?> > Sam Altman: I'm not ready to talk about that. I think it's very important to make this review process work. I'm happy to talk about anything forward-looking. I think one day I will be happy to talk about what happened here, but not now.>> Host: Can you tell me why you can't talk about it now?> > Sam Altman: I just want to let the process take its course and not interfere.>> Moderator: You talked about Ilya Sutskever (chief scientist at OpenAI) in your letter (to employees). Can you tell me why he changed his mind and decided to side with the others?> > Mira Murati: We don't know, you have to ask Ilya about that.>> Host: Sam, in hindsight, what was the main motivation that brought you back? >> Sam Altman: This is really interesting. On Saturday morning, some people on the board called me, Host: Would I like to talk about it. My first reaction was resistance. It's like, "Man, I'm hurt, I'm angry, I think this is bad.">> And then, pretty quickly, I started thinking, obviously, I really like this company and I 've poured all my life into it for the last four and a half years full time, but actually longer than most of my time. We 've made such tremendous progress on the mission that I care so much about, the mission of safe and beneficial general AI. And the people here and all the partners who have placed such a big bet on us, Mira and the leadership team and all the people here who have done an incredible job. It took me a few minutes to get out of it, to get over myself and emotions, and say, "Yeah, of course I want to do that.">> HOST: So the board asked you to come back?> > Sam Altman: Yes.>> Host: You hesitated at first?> > Sam Altman: Not for a long time. After that happened, I had a lot of feelings.>> Host: Obviously, the employees are on your side. Sam Altman: There is no doubt that we have come through this with a stronger, more united, more focused and committed team. I think we had a lot of belief and focus before, and now I think we have more, more, more. That's my silver lining to all of this.>> In the whole process, we did not lose any employee or customer. Not only did they keep the product going in the face of very unmanageable growth, but they also introduced new features. Research continues to make progress.>> Host: Do you want to go back to the board?> > Sam Altman: This sounds like a PR topic, it's not an area I'm focusing on right now. I have a mountain of very difficult, important and urgent work. I want to be able to do my job, but it's not the same as being on a board or not. This is not something I spend time thinking about right now.>> Moderator: What does "improve the governance structure" mean? Will the structure of the non-profit holding company change? >> Sam Altman: For board members, this is a better question, but it is not yet. The honest answer is they need time and we will support them to really start thinking. Clearly, there is a problem with our governance structure. The best way to solve this problem will take a while. I totally understand why people want answers right now. But I also think this expectation is completely unreasonable.>> Host: Why do you think that's unreasonable? I think people see a lot of vagaries about what's going on. It looks like this is just disagreement, not malfeasance or something like that.>> Sam Altman: Oh, just because designing a very good governance structure, especially for such an influential technology, is not something that can be solved in a week. People need to spend a lot of time thinking about this issue, debating it, getting external opinions, and performing stress tests. That will only take a while.>> Moderator: Due to the incident that just happened, has OpenAI's security working methods changed? >> Mira Murati: No, this has nothing to do with security.>> Moderator: What's going on with the recent reports about the breakthrough in the Q* model?> > Sam Altman: No specific comments on this unfortunate leak. But we have been saying-two weeks ago, today, a year ago, earlier-that we expect this technology to continue to advance rapidly, and we hope to continue to work hard to figure out how to make it safe and beneficial. That's why we used to get up every day. That's why we get up every day. I think we have been very consistent on this point.>> Without commenting on any specific thing or project or anything else, we believe that progress is research. You're always going to hit a wall, but we expect progress to continue to be remarkable. We want to talk to the world about this and find out how to do it in the best way possible.>> Host: Last question, I believe you are still thinking about all this. I know it's fresh. What lessons have you learned from this whole incident?> > Sam Altman: I don't think I have a concise, succinct answer yet. Obviously a lot, but I still stumbled through it all. I mean, there will definitely be a lot to say, but I don't think I'm ready yet... all I have at this point is a long and aimless answer.>> I learned that the company can function without me, which is a very good thing. I'm happy to be back, please don't get me wrong. But I came back without any pressure, "Oh my God, I have to do this or the company needs me or whatever." I selfishly feel good because either I have chosen great leaders or I have coached them well. It's great to feel like the company is doing well without me and the team is ready and upgraded.