In a recent letter addressed to the Board of Directors of OpenAI, a group of former employees has raised serious concerns regarding the allegations of misconduct against Sam Altman, the company’s prominent figure.
The letter sheds light on a series of troubling events that have transpired at OpenAI, prompting the employees to break their silence and demand a thorough investigation.
The former employees, who departed the company during a period of significant upheaval, express their apprehension about the repercussions faced by those who dared to challenge Sam Altman.
They call upon the Board of Directors to expand the ongoing investigation and examine Altman’s actions since August 2018, when OpenAI began its transition from a non-profit organization to a for-profit entity.
Furthermore, the employees urge the Board to invite private statements from former colleagues who resigned, were placed on medical leave, or were terminated during this transformative period.
They emphasize the importance of protecting the identities of those who come forward to ensure they are shielded from potential retaliation or harm.
The letter suggests that a substantial number of OpenAI employees were compelled to leave the company as part of its transition to a for-profit model.
Citing statistics that indicate an attrition rate of approximately 50% between January 2018 and July 2020, the former employees imply a deliberate effort to facilitate the company’s transformation.
The authors of the letter paint a troubling picture of their time at OpenAI, accusing Sam Altman and Greg Brockman, another prominent figure within the organization, of deceit and manipulation.
They assert that Altman and Brockman’s relentless pursuit of artificial general intelligence (AGI) has raised doubts about their true intentions and their commitment to prioritizing the benefit of humanity as a whole.
The former employees recount instances of dishonesty and manipulation, including Altman’s insistence on delaying progress reports on secretive research initiatives that ultimately failed to deliver results.
Those who questioned this practice were labeled as “bad culture fits” and faced termination, some even right before Thanksgiving in 2019.
Additionally, the letter highlights Brockman’s use of discriminatory language towards a team member undergoing gender transition.
Despite promises to address the issue, no meaningful action was taken, creating a hostile work environment. The affected team member was eventually terminated for alleged under-performance.
The letter also reveals Altman’s unauthorized investigations into employees, exploiting OpenAI’s non-profit resources for personal motives, and the Operations team’s compliance with special rules to avoid consequences for Brockman.
It further mentions unfulfilled promises regarding transparency in OpenAI’s profit structure and compute quotas, causing internal distrust and conflicts.
The former employees argue that the governance structure established by Altman and Brockman isolates employees from overseeing for-profit operations, enabling the duo to operate with impunity and evade accountability.
They call upon the Board of Directors to launch an independent investigation into the allegations and take a firm stand against unethical practices.
The former employees emphasize the importance of OpenAI’s original mission and implore the Board not to be swayed by profit-driven interests. They stress that the future of artificial intelligence and the well-being of humanity depend on the Board’s unwavering commitment to ethical leadership and transparency.
As concerns continue to mount over the alleged misconduct and unethical practices at OpenAI, the Board of Directors faces the crucial task of addressing these allegations and ensuring that the organization’s mission remains untainted by personal agendas.