OpenAI Recruits Former NSA Mass Surveillance Chief

OpenAI announced on Thursday that Paul M. Nakasone, a retired U.S. Army general and former director of the National Security Agency, has joined its board of directors.

Nakasone, who holds the distinction of being the longest-serving leader of both the U.S. Cyber Command and the Central Security Service, brings a wealth of experience in cybersecurity and intelligence.

OpenAI Recruits Former NSA Mass Surveillance Chief

In a blog post, OpenAI highlighted the value of Nakasone’s expertise, stating, “Mr. Nakasone’s insights will also contribute to OpenAI’s efforts to better understand how AI can be used to strengthen cybersecurity by quickly detecting and responding to cybersecurity threats.”

The company announced that Nakasone will also join OpenAI’s newly established Safety and Security Committee.

This committee is tasked with spending 90 days assessing the company’s processes and safeguards before providing recommendations to the board and later updating the public on their findings.

Nakasone joins existing board members Adam D’Angelo, Larry Summers, Bret Taylor, and Sam Altman. He also joins recently announced members from March: Dr. Sue Desmond-Hellmann, former CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Nicole Seligman, former executive vice president and general counsel of Sony; and Fidji Simo, CEO and chair of Instacart.

OpenAI is enhancing its board and executive team as its large language models become increasingly vital in the tech sector, amid rising competition in the fast-growing generative artificial intelligence market.

Since the launch of ChatGPT in late 2022, the company has experienced significant growth, but it has also faced controversies and high-profile employee departures.

On Monday, OpenAI announced the addition of two top executives and revealed a partnership with Apple, which includes integrating ChatGPT with Siri.

The company announced that Sarah Friar, formerly CEO of Nextdoor and CFO at Square, is joining OpenAI as the chief financial officer.

According to a blog post by OpenAI, Friar will lead the finance team to support the company’s mission by ensuring continued investment in core research capabilities and scaling operations to meet the needs of a growing customer base in a complex global environment.

OpenAI has also appointed Kevin Weil, the former president of Planet Labs, as its new chief product officer. Weil previously held senior roles at Twitter as a senior vice president and at Facebook and Instagram as a vice president.

OpenAI stated that Weil’s product team will focus on “applying our research to products and services that benefit consumers, developers, and businesses.”

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