As Microsoft leaves its observer seat, OpenAI says it won’t have any more observers


Months after Microsoft gained an observer seat on OpenAI’s board, the company is leaving the position of the non-voting seat.

In a letter sent to OpenAI on Tuesday, Microsoft said that the company has seen enough progress being made in the AI company and is confident in its direction, according to Axios.

OpenAI said that after this change, there won’t be any more observers on the board. That likely rules out reports of Apple gaining an observer seat.

“We’re grateful to Microsoft for voicing confidence in the Board and the direction of the company, and we look forward to continuing our successful partnership,” OpenAI said in a statement sent to TechCrunch.

“Under the leadership of CFO Sarah Friar, we are establishing a new approach to informing and engaging key strategic partners – such as Microsoft and Apple – and investors – such as Thrive Capital and Khosla Ventures.”

Microsoft took the observer position after Sam Altman was fired and eventually rehired by OpenAI last year, with most of the board — bar Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo — being reshuffled. The new board at OpenAI consists of former Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor, former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, Instacart CEO Fidji Simo, ex-Sony Corp EVP Nicole Seligman, former Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation CEO Dr. Sue Desmond-Hellmann, ex-NSA head Paul Nakasone, and Sam Altman apart from D’Aneglo.

Since changes at OpenAI last year, some top researchers, such as Andrej Karpathy and Ilya Sutskever, have left the company. After his departure, Sutskever founded a new AI company called  Safe Superintelligence Inc. (SSI), focusing on improving AI safety.



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