Apple and Microsoft Stepped Down From OpenAI Board Observer Roles

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Microsoft and Apple have stepped down from their observer positions on the OpenAI board, as ‘The Financial Times’ reported. This move comes amid intensified regulatory scrutiny over the involvement of major tech companies in AI startups.

Microsoft, which has invested heavily in OpenAI, immediately withdrew from the observer role. This decision was communicated through a letter to OpenAI, expressing satisfaction with the progress made by the newly formed board.

Apple, similarly, expected to take up an observer role as part of integrating ChatGPT into its devices but has decided against it. While Apple declined to comment, sources suggest it will not participate in the OpenAI board observer position.

OpenAI responded by revising its strategy for engaging with strategic partners and investors. The organization plans to hold regular meetings with partners like Microsoft and Apple and investors such as Thrive Capital and Khosla Ventures. This approach tries to grow a more inclusive and collaborative governance model.

Recently, the board of OpenAI saw the addition of Phil Schiller, Apple’s former marketing chief, as an observer. However, Schiller’s role was short-lived, highlighting the dynamic and possibly tense environment within OpenAI’s boardroom.

Analysts speculate that Microsoft and Apple’s withdrawal could be because of strategic considerations or internal dynamics within OpenAI. Concerns over antitrust scrutiny or strategic disagreements have been suggested, but the exact motivations remain unclear.

Key Takeaways:

  • Microsoft and Apple have exited their observer roles on OpenAI’s board.
  • Apple declined to comment but will not take an observer position as expected.
  • The company plans to engage with partners through regular meetings, encouraging collaboration.
  • Analysts suggest strategic considerations or concerns over regulatory scrutiny might be behind these decisions.
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