OpenAI: Permanent CEO Needed

November 17, 2023

green-dino_thumb_thumb_thumbThis essay is the work of a dumb dinobaby. No smart software required.

My rather lame newsreader spit out an “urgent alert” for me. Like the old teletype terminal: Ding, ding, ding, and a bunch of asterisks.

Surprise. Sam AI-Man allegedly has been given the opportunity to find his future elsewhere. Let me translate blue chip consultant speak for you. The “find your future elsewhere” phrase means you have been fired, RIFed, terminated with extreme prejudice, or “there’s the door. Use it now.” The particularly connotative spin depends on the person issuing the formal statement.


“Keep in mind that we will call you,” says the senior member of the Board of Directors. The head of the human resources committee says, “Remember. We don’t provide a reference. Why not try the Google AI system?” Thank you, MSFT Copilot. You must have been trained on content about Mr. Ballmer’s departure.

OpenAI Fires Co-Founder and CEO Sam Altman for Lying to Company Board” states as rock solid basaltic truth:

OpenAI CEO and co-founder Sam Altman was fired for lying to the board of his company.

The good news is that a succession option, of sorts, is in place. Accordingly, OpenAI’s chief technical officer, has become the “interim CEO.” I like the “interim.” That’s solid.

For the moment, let’s assume the RIF statement is true. Furthermore, on this rainy Saturday in rural Kentucky, I shall speculate about the reasons for this announcement. Here we go:

  1. The problem is money, the lack thereof, or the impossibility of controlling the costs of the OpenAI system. Perhaps Sam AI-Man said, “Money is no problem.” The Board did not agree. Money is the problem.
  2. The lovey dovey relationship with the Microsofties has hit a rough patch. MSFT’s noises have been faint and now may become louder about AI chips, options, and innovations. Will these Microsoft bleats become more shrill as the ageing giant feels pain as it tries to make marketing hyperbole a reality. Let’s ask the Copilot, shall we?
  3. The Board has realized that the hyperbole has exceeded OpenAI’s technical ability to solve such problems as made up data (hallucinations), the resources to cope with the the looming legal storm clouds related to unlicensed use of some content (the Copyright Shield “promise”), fixing up the baked in bias of the system, and / or OpenAI ChatGPT’s vulnerability to nifty prompt engineering to override alleged “guardrails”.

What’s next?

My answer is, “Uncertainty.” Cue the Ray Charles’ hit with the lyric “Hit the road, Jack. Don’t you come back no more, no more, no more, no more. (I did not steal this song; I found it via Google on the Google YouTube. Honest.) I admit I did hear the tune playing in my head when I read the Guardian story.

Stephen E Arnold, November 17, 2023








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