Our comprehensive take on the players, the drama, and the potential longer-term implications for OpenAI and the broader sector

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OpenAI Saga: UNO Game and What it Means For AI

Authors:  Yang Wang, Senior Analyst; Wei Sun, AI Senior Analyst

2,000 words


The ongoing disruption at OpenAI highlights fundamental issues with how AI is being developed and managed, and indeed technology management more broadly. What has been exposed are the philosophical tensions between the ideas of Superalignment and Effective Accelerationism (e/Acc). Or to put it in blunter terms – ‘Doomers’ versus ‘Boomers’.


The Game: Sam Altman, the board, the firing
First ‘reverse’ card: Altman tries to fire back
Second ‘reverse’ card: Sutskever regrets decision to vote against Altman
Third ‘reverse’ card: Board hires new CEO
Fourth ‘reverse’ card: Altman hired by Microsoft
The Wild Card #1: Anthropic
The Wild Card #2: Adam D’Angelo
‘UNO!’ – The final card is played…or is it?


Mismatch between “non-profit” and “for-profit”
Conflict between Superalignment and E/Acc
The paradox of the Superalignment problem
Doomer vs Boomer
Role of Regulation
“Chaos is a ladder”: Microsoft’s master move
AI companies are nothing without their talent; hiring wars surface
Agent X and the role of the public square


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