On Thursday night, Sam Altman showed up at a warehouse in Oakland to talk to a room full of artists about generative AI. It was a busy day; just hours before, he was onstage at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in downtown San Francisco speaking to world leaders.
At the Oakland warehouse, Altman was his usual self, cheering OpenAI’s work and coming across as relaxed, according to someone in the audience. He couldn’t linger, though. At about 7:40PM he told the room that he was running late to a meeting and bounced.
It would be his last public appearance as the CEO of OpenAI. On Friday, he was suddenly fired by the company’s board of directors for not being “consistently candid in his communications.” Employees found out about the news at the same time as everyone else. Even Microsoft, which has plowed billions of dollars into the company, found out only moments before.
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