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OpenAI's Board Set Back the Promise of Artificial Intelligence

Original source (on modern site)


 |  Nov. 20, 2023 7:53 AM PST

Photo: Sam Altman, former CEO of OpenAI. Photo by Graeme Sloan/Sipa USA via AP.

I was the first venture investor in OpenAI. The weekend drama illustrated my contention that the wrong boards can damage companies. Fancy titles like "Director of Strategy at Georgetown's Center for Security and Emerging Technology" can lead to a false sense of understanding of the complex process of entrepreneurial innovation. OpenAI's board members' religion of "effective altruism" and its misapplication could have set back the world's path to the tremendous benefits of artificial intelligence. Imagine free doctors for everyone and near free tutors for every child on the planet. That's what's at stake with the promise of AI.

The best companies are those whose visions are led and executed by their founding entrepreneurs, the people who put everything on the line to challenge the status quo—founders like Sam Altman—who face risk head on, and who are focused—so totally—on making the world a better place. Things can go wrong, and abuse happens, but the benefits of good founders far outweigh the risks of bad ones.

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