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Former OpenAI employee accuses Altman of "fraud and manipulation", and Musk calls for investigation

2024-06-20 Update From: SLTechnology News&Howtos shulou NAV: SLTechnology News&Howtos > IT Information >


Shulou( Report--

Thanks to netizen DKind for the clue delivery! November 22 news, just when you thought this noisy "OpenAI palace drama" plot could not appear more climax, it appeared.

Existing former OpenAI employees have come forward to file an allegation against Sam Altman, the former CEO who was recently ousted by OpenAI, for alleged "fraud and manipulation."

But most dramatically, the letters have fallen into the hands of Elon Musk, who is now calling for a thorough investigation. More ironically, Musk is currently being accused by Americans of being so-called "anti-Israel/anti-Semitic."

Musk posted the letter on GitHub, but it has been deleted as of

However, the letter has begun to circulate on major social media. The employees jointly claim they were pushed out for standing up to mr altman and his growing "mercantilism," an idea that almost all of the company's remaining employees are now adherents to. In their letter, they claimed that:

We believe that a significant number of employees have been kicked out of the company in order to drive OpenAI's transformation to a profitable model. This is evident from the fact that OpenAI experienced a high turnover rate of 50% between January 2018 and July 2020.

At the heart of these allegations, they further elaborate:

Many of us were initially hopeful about OpenAI's pie and chose to trust Sam and Greg. However, as their behavior has become increasingly alarming, those who dare to speak out have been silenced or kicked out of the company. This systematic suppression of dissent creates an atmosphere of fear and intimidation that completely stifles any meaningful discussion of the ethical implications of OpenAI's work.

In detail, the former OpenAI employees claimed that Altman delayed reporting on several secret projects that ultimately failed to deliver on his "accelerated timeline" and were axed, and that those who opposed the policy were summarily dismissed as "culturally incompatible."

Altman also allegedly authorized surveillance of key personnel such as OpenAI veterans, including chief scientist Ilya Sutskever.

The employees also complained that OpenAI co-founder Greg Brockman used discriminatory language against a transgender colleague, who was later fired for poor performance. These people believe that OpenAI's governance structure has obvious flaws:

OpenAI's governance approach, specifically the structure designed by Sam and Greg, deliberately isolates employees from overseeing for-profit operations precisely because of the inherent conflict of interest between them. This opaque structure allows Sam and Greg to walk free from accountability.

Finally, the letter also calls on OpenAI's board to stand firm against Sam Altman and Greg Brockman.

OpenAI investors are trying to persuade Altman to abandon Microsoft and return to the startup, and some investors are considering filing a lawsuit against OpenAI's board on the grounds that Altman was fired too arbitrarily.

In addition, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella also expressed "conditional consent"Sam Altman returned to his previous position at OpenAI.

The following is the full text of the open letter:

To the OpenAI Board:

We write to you today to express our deep concern about recent events at OpenAI, particularly allegations of misconduct by Sam Altman.

We are former OpenAI employees who left the company during a turbulent time. As you have now witnessed the consequences of daring to stand up to Altman, perhaps you can understand why so many of us remain silent out of fear. But right now, we can't stand by and watch.

We believe it is the responsibility of the Board to thoroughly investigate these allegations and take appropriate action. We urge you:

Expand the scope of the investigation by Emmett (OpenAI's new interim chief executive) to include a review of Altman's actions since August 2018, when OpenAI began its transition from a nonprofit to a for-profit entity.

A public appeal to former OpenAI employees who resigned, called in sick, or were fired during this period to issue a private statement.

- Protect the identity of those who come forward and ensure that they are not subjected to reprisals or other forms of harm.

We believe that a significant number of OpenAI employees were kicked out of the company in order to facilitate the company's transition to a profitable model. This is borne out by the fact that OpenAI had an employee turnover rate of approximately 50% between January 2018 and July 2020.

During this time at OpenAI, we have witnessed Altman and Greg Brockman (former president and chairman) in their never-ending quest to achieve general artificial intelligence (AGI), resulting in a disturbing pattern of deception and manipulation. However, their methods raise serious questions about their true intentions and the extent to which they truly prioritize the interests of all humanity.

Many of us, initially hopeful about OpenAI's mission, chose to bet on Altman and Brockman's skepticism. However, as their behaviour became more alarming, those who dared to voice their concerns were either silenced or thrown out. This systematic suppression of dissent creates an environment of fear and intimidation that effectively stifles any meaningful discussion about the ethical implications of OpenAI's work.

We provide specific examples of Altman and Brockman's dishonesty and manipulation, including:

--Altman asked researchers to delay reporting on the progress of specific "secret" research projects that were later canceled for failing to provide enough results quickly enough. Those who questioned the practice were deemed "culturally inappropriate" and even fired, some just before Thanksgiving 2019.

Brockman uses discriminatory language against transgender team members. Despite many promises to address the issue, no meaningful action was taken, except that Brockman simply avoided communicating with affected individuals, effectively creating a hostile work environment. The employee was eventually fired for poor performance.

--Instruct IT and operations to investigate employees, including Ilya Sutskever (co-founder, chief scientist, and board member), without knowledge or management consent.

Altman discreetly and regularly used OpenAI's nonprofit resources to achieve his personal goals, especially after their falling out, and resented Musk.

--The operations team defaults to special rules applicable to Brockman, passing complex requirements to avoid being blacklisted.

Brad Lightcap (COO) didn't deliver on his promise to disclose OpenAI's profit cap structure and per-investor profit cap.

- Altman's frequent contradictions in his research on projects to calculate quotas led to internal mistrust and infighting.

Despite mounting evidence of violations by Altman and Brockman, those who remain at OpenAI continue to blindly follow their lead, even at great personal cost. This unwavering loyalty stems from fear of retaliation and the temptation to reap potential financial gains through OpenAI.

OpenAI's governance structure was specifically designed by Altman and Brockman to intentionally isolate employees from oversight of for-profit operations precisely because of their inherent conflicts of interest. This opaque structure allows Altman and Brockman to run the company with impunity and without accountability.

We urge OpenAI's board to take a firm stand against these unethical practices and to launch an independent investigation into Altman and Brockman's actions. We believe OpenAI's mission is too important to be compromised by the personal agendas of a few.

We implore the board to remain steadfast in its commitment to OpenAI's original intent and not to succumb to profit-driven pressures. The future of AI and the well-being of humanity depend on your unwavering commitment to ethical leadership and transparency.

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