The artificial intelligence (AI) world was rocked last week when Sam Altman, the high-profile CEO of OpenAI, was abruptly fired from the company he helped start. The news sent shockwaves across the tech industry, but few have had more interesting reactions than leaders in the crypto space.
Charles Hoskinson, founder of the blockchain platform Cardano, saw an opportunity in the turmoil. He reached out to the ousted Altman on Twitter with a tantalizing offer: come build a decentralized large language model on the Cardano network.
A large language model (LLM), like ChatGPT created by OpenAI, is an advanced artificial intelligence system that uses deep learning to comprehend, generate, and respond with human-like text.
Hoskinson floated the idea of a “fun Cardano partner chain” for Altman’s next venture, opening the door for collaboration between the AI expert and the crypto space.
Other industry leaders in blockchain have been circumspect about the potential for the two technologies to mix. Earlier this year, Andre Cronje, founder of Fantom, expressed skepticism about combining AI and blockchain, comparing them to oil and water. Hoskinson clearly feels differently.
Meanwhile, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong pulled no punches in blasting OpenAI’s decision. He expressed deep concern over Altman’s firing in a series of tweets, suggesting conflicts within OpenAI’s leadership led to jettisoning one of AI’s brightest stars. Armstrong argued the move potentially destroyed over $80 billion in value and undercut a pillar of American innovation.
Moreover, Armstrong encouraged all OpenAI employees to quit and join a new Altman venture, if he starts one. He advised Altman to avoid OpenAI’s “woke non-profit board model” and ensure founder control over decision-making. Armstrong sees excessive regulation and “decel thinking” as hampering technological progress. He specifically called out OpenAI for abandoning its original mission.
Armstrong also cited perceived ideological threats like Marxism as justifications for purging companies of certain schools of thought.
While Armstrong’s controversial tweets ignite debate, Hoskinson’s offer symbolizes an intriguing bridge between AI and crypto. As the dust settles from Altman’s exit, all eyes turn to his next move.
In a surprise twist, Microsoft announced on November 20 that it is bringing Altman on board. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella revealed Altman will lead a new advanced AI research team, quashing speculation about Altman’s next move after his chaotic OpenAI ouster. There had been rumors over the weekend that Altman would make a quick return back to OpenAI.
Nadella expressed Microsoft’s eagerness to work with Altman and his colleagues on pioneering new AI systems. He also reaffirmed Microsoft’s commitment to its partnership with OpenAI amid the leadership shakeup. Altman offered a minimal response, quoting Nadella’s post with “the mission continues.” It most certainly does.