GNSS & Machine Learning Engineer

Month: November 2023

OpenAI fired and then rehired Sam Altman

Nov 17, 2023:
Sam Altman was fired from OpenAI. Greg Brockman was first removed as chairman of the board, and later he announced to quit. Chief technology officer Mira Murati was appointed interim CEO.

From OpenAI’s announcement: “Mr. Altman’s departure follows a deliberative review process by the board, which concluded that he was not consistently candid in his communications with the board, hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities. The board no longer has confidence in his ability to continue leading OpenAI. “

Some early discussions on Youtube: SVIC Podcast, Matt Wolfe.
Early details of what happened: Wes Roth.

No details are known as to why Sam Altman was fired, only speculations.

Nov 18, 2023:
More senior departures from OpenAI.
Some summaries of what is known a day later: [Matt Wolfe][AI Explained][MattVidPro AI][Yannic Kilcher].
Reports that the OpenAI board is in discussions with Sam Altman to return as CEO.

Still, no details are known as to why Sam Altman was fired, just more speculations.

Nov 19, 2023:
Emmett Shear (Twitch co-founder and former Twitch CEO) becomes OpenAI’s interim CEO (his tweet).

Still, no details are known as to why Sam Altman was fired, just more speculations.

Nov 20, 2023:
Announcement that Sam Altman and Greg Brockman go to Microsoft and lead a new Microsoft subsidiary.
Ilya Sutskever declared his regret for his participation in the board’s actions.
Employee Letter to OpenAI’s board signed by more than 700 of the 770 employees (including Ilya Sutskever and one-day CEO Mira Murati) to request the resignation of the whole board and reappointment of Sam Altman as CEO, otherwise they will resign and join the newly announced Microsoft subsidiary.
OpenAI’s board approached Anthropic about to merge [1].
Summaries of the latest news: [Matt Wolfe][AI Explained][Bloomberg].

Still, no details are known as to why Sam Altman was fired, just more speculations.

Nov 21, 2023:
Summary of the latest status: [Wes Roth].

Instead of taking OpenAI’s merger offer, Anthropic announced a massive update with Claude 2.1 and 200K context window.

Nov 22, 2023:
Sam Altman is back at OpenAI.
Summaries of the whole soap opera: [Matt Wolfe][AI Explained].

Still, no details are known as to why Sam Altman was fired, just more speculations.

Nov 23, 2023:
New rumors about Sam Altman’s ouster: Mira Murati told employees on Wednesday that a letter about the AI breakthrough called Q*, precipitated the board’s actions.

Background of why Sam Altman may have been fired:
There is much speculation about safety concerning people (like Ilya Sutskever) acting against people trying to accelerate AI commercialization (Sam Altman, Greg Brockmann). As more and more money is poured in, there may be a concern about losing control over OpenAI’s mission to achieve AGI for the benefit of all of humanity. Interesting in this context is a statement [1][2] by Sam Altman at the APEC summit in San Francisco on November 16, 2023 (where US President Biden met Chinese President Xi Jinping) that OpenAI recently made a major breakthrough. In addition, he made a statement [1][2] about the model’s capability within the next year. Does this mean that AGI was achieved within OpenAI? This is important in the context of OpenAI’s structure as a partnership between the original nonprofit and a capped profit arm. The important parts of the document describing the structure are:

  • First, the for-profit subsidiary is fully controlled by the OpenAI Nonprofit…
  • Second, … The Nonprofit’s principal beneficiary is humanity, not OpenAI investors.
  • Fourth, profit allocated to investors and employees, including Microsoft, is capped. All residual value created above and beyond the cap will be returned to the Nonprofit for the benefit of humanity.
  • Fifth, the board determines when we’ve attained AGI. Again, by AGI we mean a highly autonomous system that outperforms humans at most economically valuable work. Such a system is excluded from IP licenses and other commercial terms with Microsoft, which only apply to pre-AGI technology.

This means that once AGI is achieved (and the board decides when this is the case) investors can no longer benefit from further advancements. Their investment is basically lost.

Another speculation is that the OpenAI’s board member Adam D’Angelo is behind Sam Altman’s ouster. Adam D’Angelo is co-founder and CEO of Quora, which built the chat platform Poe whose recently introduced assistant feature on October 25 is in direct competition with OpenAI’s custom GPTs made public on OpenAI’s DevDay on November 06, 2023. However, this reason becomes less likely as Adam is also part of the new board after rehiring Sam.

GitHub Universe 2023 Announcements

There were two major announcements about GitHub Copilot at the GitHub Universe 2023 conference on Nov 08, 2023.

GitHub Copilot Enterprise account:

  • Copilot personalized for your organization
  • Contains everything in Copilot Business
  • Chat personalized to your codebase
  • Documentation search and summaries
  • Pull request summaries
  • Code review skills
  • Fine-tuned models
  • available in Feb 2024 for 39$ per user/month

Copilot Workspace: [1]

  • Copilot workspace automatically proposes a solution based on its deep understanding of the code base.
  • Builds a step-by-step plan to implement the changes; if something isn’t quite right, the spec and plan are fully editable.
  • With the approval of the plan, Copilot automates the implementation of changes across the repository.
  • Copilot not only synthesizes code but also builds, tests, and validates the success of these changes.
  • This workspace is designed for collaboration. You can edit any of the suggested changes and if you accidentally introduce an error along the way, Copilot will automatically catch it, repair it, and rerun the code.
  • Easy to create a pull request with generated summary of the work to merge and deploy fast.
  • Available in 2024.

OpenAI DevDay Announcements

OpenAI rolled out on its DevDay an array of transformative updates and features [blog post, keynote recording]. Here’s a succinct rundown:

  • Recap: ChatGPT release Nov 30, 2022 with GPT-3.5. GPT-4 release in March 2023. Voice input/output, vision input with GPT-4V, text-to-image with DALL-E 3, ChatGPT Enterprise with enterprise security, higher speed access, and longer context windows. 2M developers, 92% of Fortune 500 companies building products on top of GPT, 100M weekly active users.
  • New GPT-4 Turbo: OpenAI’s most advanced AI model, 128K context window, knowledge up to April 2023. Reduced pricing: $0.01/1K input tokens (3x cheaper), $0.03/1K output tokens (2x cheaper). Improved function calling (multiple functions in single message, always return valid functions with JSON mode, improved accuracy on returning right function parameters). More deterministic model output via reproducible outputs beta. Access via gpt-4-1106-preview, stable release pending.
  • GPT-3.5 Turbo Update: Enhanced gpt-3.5-turbo-1106 model with 16K default context. Lower pricing: $0.001/1K input, $0.002/1K output. Fine-tuning available, reduced token prices for fine-tuned usage (input token prices 75% cheaper to $0.003/1K, output token prices 62% cheaper to $0.006/1K). Improved function calling, reproducible outputs feature.
  • Assistants API: Beta release for creating AI agents in applications. Supports natural language processing, coding, planning, and more. Enables persistent Threads, includes Code Interpreter, Retrieval, Function Calling tools. Playground integration for no-code testing.
  • Multimodal Capabilities: GPT-4 Turbo supports visual inputs in Chat Completions API via gpt-4-vision-preview. Integration with DALL·E 3 for image generation via Image generation API. Text-to-speech (TTS) model with six voices introduced.
  • Customizable GPTs in ChatGPT: New feature called GPTs allowing integration of instructions, data, and capabilities. Enables calling developer-defined actions, control over user experience, streamlined plugin to action conversion. Documentation provided for developers.

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