Sam Altman Returns To OpenAI: How The Chaos Changes The AI Field

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Not everything goes back to ‘normal’ after Altman return. Microsoft wins via stability.

Sam Altman OpenAI developer conference
Sam Altman (Credit: Getty Images)

Sam Altman is back. Improbably and dramatically, the ex-OpenAI CEO returned as CEO late Tuesday. Altman’s counter-coup swept out three board members who sparked his firing and included an agreement to investigate what went down this past weekend. The new board — which now includes Larry Summers and Bret Taylor — will expand to up to nine members, likely including someone from Microsoft. 

The AI field will not go back to ‘normal’ after this. OpenAI was already vulnerable coming into the chaos and will now have to work harder to maintain its lead while facing inspired competition. Though the narrative might frame this as a major win for OpenAI and Microsoft, the reality, as always, is a bit more nuanced.


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