The AI King Returns

Sam Altman is back in the saddle at OpenAI, which is good... probably.

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and were able to carbo load appropriately the deal-world sprint that happens between now and mid-December. For those of us that are trying to not be as addicted to tech news, the break was a real test of will. Sam Altman got pushed out of OpenAI. Then he joined Microsoft. Then he got reinstated as CEO of OpenAI. And now everything is back to normal… maybe? Lots to share and will do my best to consolidate worthwhile reads below. Oh, and Elon told Bob Iger (advertisers) to “Go Fuck Yourself” - so that’s fun.

From King to Exile to King Again: The Inside Story of Sam Altman’s Whiplash Week

For more than a year, OpenAI had been on a glide path to AI dominance—then came 120 hours of self-inflicted chaos that shook an industry.

Friday Afternoon Massacre: Friday, Nov. 17 (Altman Fired)
Into the Fog: Saturday, Nov. 18 (Everyone Scrambles)
The Counter-Offensive: Sunday, Nov. 19 (Altman Joins MSFT)
Rallying the Troops: Monday, Nov. 20 (Employees Revolt)
The Return of the King: Tuesday, Nov. 21 (Altman Reinstated)

Following the news, hundreds of employees—including Altman and Brockman—gathered at the OpenAI offices in San Francisco, hugging and drinking. Brockman gave a speech toasting to the cathartic end of a rollercoaster week, and later posted a team selfie on X with the words, "We are so back." Sutskever was notably absent from the festivities.

At one point, the building’s fire alarm went off, sending everyone spilling out into the courtyard where celebrations continued as two fire trucks roared onto the scene.Firefighters made their way through the throngs of revelers and into the building, where they confirmed that there wasn’t a fire at all—just a lot of smoke from a fog machine that had been set up in the office.

They gave the all clear and the party raged on, as if nothing had happened.

- The Information (who I should mention did a really great job covering this in general)

Interview: Sam Altman on being fired and rehired by OpenAI

“I totally get why people want an answer right now. But I also think it’s totally unreasonable to expect it.”

- Sam Altman via The Verge

OpenAI Will Add Microsoft as Board Observer, Plans Governance Changes

OpenAI said that Sam Altman was officially reinstated as chief executive officer and that it has a new initial board of directors, with Microsoft Corp. joining as a nonvoting observer.

The announcement Wednesday, a blog post penned by Altman, comes two weeks after the CEO’s shock firing from the artificial intelligence startup, followed by an operatic boardroom power struggle.

- Bloomberg

What do you think of Sam Altman?

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Elon Musk sits down with Andrew Ross Sorkin at the 'New York TImes' DealBook Summit' on a wide-ranging interview including anti-semitism, an advertiser boycott, Tesla, AI and more.

- Video from CNBC’s YouTube

Musk’s Bombshell Warning to Advertisers, and Other Summit Highlights

Artificial intelligence, antisemitism, the 2024 presidential election, war in the Middle East and other big topics that made headlines at this year’s DealBook Summit.

- New York Times

To stay on the Elon theme (busy week for him)…

Tesla Cybertruck delivery event: Elon Musk hands over the first trucks to customers

After four years of delays and missteps, the Tesla Cybertruck has finally arrived. Tesla CEO Elon Musk hosted a delivery event at the company’s factory in Austin, Texas, touting its towing abilities, bulletproof doors, and straight-line speed. Several customers took delivery of their Cybertrucks at the event — opening the door proved to be a little tricky — before the company released updated details about the vehicle’s specs, price, and more on its website.

- The Verge

Is Elon doing too much?

Will share results next week :)

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