Elon Musk says the risk of advanced AI is so high that the public needs to know why OpenAI fired Sam Altman

  • OpenAI fired its CEO Sam Altman on Friday.

  • Elon Musk said OpenAI should explain why it fired Altman, citing AI's potential dangers.

  • Musk previously said he left the OpenAI board in 2018 over safety concerns.

Elon Musk said the potential danger of artificial intelligence is so great that OpenAI, the most powerful AI company in the world right now, should disclose the reason it fired CEO Sam Altman.

OpenAI announced Altman's firing Friday, saying only that the company, which makes ChatGPT, "no longer has confidence in his ability to continue leading."

Musk, responding to a post on X from former Yammer CEO David Sacks, said that "given the risk and power of advanced AI, the public should be informed of why the board felt they had to take such drastic action."

Musk is a former OpenAI board member but left the company in 2018, citing a conflict of interest with Tesla. Musk later told CNBC, however, that he had become concerned with the company's possible impact on society. It's worth noting, though, that Musk's own AI company will probably only benefit from the current chaos at OpenAI.

One reason for Altman's ouster may have been growing tension among the company's leadership over the dangers AI poses for humanity. Altman has aggressively sought funding to expand the technology's development, while several other board members have called on the company to do more to mitigate any threats.

OpenAI's cofounder Ilya Sutskever — who played a role in Altman's dismissal — for example, has preferred to tread more carefully given AI's potential to harm society.

The New York Times reported that Sutskever created a "Super Alignment" team within the company before Altman's ouster to ensure that future versions of GPT-4, the technology behind ChatGPT, wouldn't be harmful to humanity.

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