Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Linda Yaccarino defends X following Elon Musk’s controversial tweet, a new report outlines how women are vulnerable to the effects of climate change, and the OpenAI turmoil briefly swirled around its 34-year-old CTO Mira Murati. Have a great Monday!
– OpenAI saga. Anyone read the news this weekend? It’s been, you could say, an eventful few days. Dominating the business news cycle is the ouster of CEO Sam Altman from OpenAI, the influential startup behind ChatGPT and the mainstreaming of generative AI.
On Friday, the company’s board fired Altman, saying he was “not consistently candid” in his communications with the board. The shocking move was spearheaded by OpenAI chief scientist Ilya Sutskever; he reportedly disagreed with Altman over the issue of AI safety—including AI extremists’ worries that super-intelligence could overtake humanity—and how quickly to bring OpenAI products to the public.
With Altman’s ouster, a longtime OpenAI exec was tapped to step in as interim CEO: Mira Murati. Murati joined the startup in 2018 after working on AI at Tesla and has served as OpenAI’s chief technology officer. The 34-year-old, originally from Albania, is responsible for ChatGPT and DALL-E, the system that creates art from text.
Over the weekend, OpenAI’s investors negotiated with the board to reinstate Altman and president Greg Brockman, who left with Altman. (OpenAI’s origins as a nonprofit gave it an unusual board structure, which means many of its biggest investors—like Microsoft—are not represented on the company’s board and were not involved in the decision to terminate Altman.)
At one point, Bloomberg reported that Murati herself was negotiating to bring back Altman and Brockman in a different capacity, but that effort fell through. Late Sunday, Sutskever told OpenAI staff that Altman would not be returning and that Twitch cofounder Emmett Shear would serve as OpenAI’s new interim CEO, seemingly replacing Murati.
In another twist, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said before markets opened early Monday that the tech giant had hired Altman and Brockman “to lead a new advanced AI research team.” When Brockman tweeted out the “initial leadership” of the new Microsoft team, Murati wasn’t included.
Regardless of where Murati ultimately ends up—the situation is very much in flux—she’s likely to remain a critically important leader to know in the generative AI community. She was among the many OpenAI employees who tweeted “OpenAI is nothing without its people” after the latest news broke and reportedly among the three-quarters of employees who signed a letter calling for the board to resign and threatening to leave for Microsoft if they don’t.
Murati was on the cover of Fortune just last month. In an interview, she shared with Fortune‘s Kylie Robison and Michal Lev-Ram her views on competition in the field, governmental regulation, and, yes, the doomsday question.
“I think they’re both possibilities,” she said of the chance that AI leads to either a utopia or an existential threat. “There is also the existential threat that, you know, it’s basically the end of civilization. I think there is [only] a small chance of that happening, but there is some small chance, and so it is very much worth thinking about.”
She expressed concerns that competition between major tech companies building this technology could lead to a “race to the bottom on safety.” But, overall, she called herself “optimistic” that the technology will have positive outcomes for society.
Follow Fortune‘s coverage of the ongoing story here and re-read Fortune‘s October interview with Murati here.
The Broadsheet is Fortune’s newsletter for and about the world’s most powerful women. Today’s edition was curated by Joseph Abrams. Subscribe here.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
– Defending X. X CEO Linda Yaccarino is trying to reassure users and brands that the platform is against antisemitism after ads appeared alongside pro-Nazi content and X owner Elon Musk endorsed an antisemitic trope. Yaccarino, who’s focused on wooing back advertisers who left X when Musk took over, posted on Thursday that “X’s point of view has always been very clear that discrimination by everyone should STOP across the board.” Fortune
– Uneven heat. U.S. Global Change Research Program released its fifth annual report on the real-time impacts of climate change in the U.S. last week, this time with a section outlining the ways women and LGBTQ+ people are particularly vulnerable. The report touched on pollution’s link to pregnancy risks, the increased likelihood of women developing genital and urinary problems when living near oil and gas factories, and how caregiving roles and a general lack of health care access put women at personal and financial risk during and after climate disasters. The 19th
– Change of form. The shut-down of feminist publication Jezebel last week follows the rise and fall of similar outlets that captured the feminist zeitgeist over the past few decades. In their place, women are turning to a more fractured array of podcasts, content creators, and social media communities. New York Times
– Remembering Rosalynn. Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter died on Sunday at the age of 96. She was with her husband, former President Jimmy Carter, at their home in Georgia. Carter was an advocate for mental health treatment during her husband’s only term as president and often sat with him in meetings and briefings. NBC
– Power trip. The Rebelle Rally gathers women from diverse walks of life to compete in an eight-day long motorsports challenge. It’s an opportunity to make electric vehicles more sustainable. The event powers its facilities with solar energy and acts as a testing ground for off-grid sustainable electric vehicle chargers. The Verge
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: 50/50 Women on Boards appointed Heather Spilsbury as chief executive officer.
ON MY RADAR
She went after Epstein fortune and JPMorgan. Then she got fired Bloomberg
Dr. Jessie Christiansen wants to help you discover the next exoplanet WIRED
The director tackling the dark side of millennial desire The Atlantic
“We are seeing a movement that is helping to change the face of women in sports.”
—Race-car champion Jamie Chadwick on the W Series, a women-only race she’s won three years in a row
Credit: Source link