Amidst a rebellion by its staff and top executives, OpenAI's chief scientist and board member Ilya Sutskever has folded. He said that he regrets the board's actions that led to Sam Altman being fired from the company he co-founded.
What Happened: Sutskever, who led OpenAI's board in firing Altman and removed Greg Brockman as the company's president, has said that he will try to reunite the company facing a widespread employee revolt.
"I deeply regret my participation in the board's actions. I never intended to harm OpenAI," Sutskever said.
Sutskever, along with Helen Toner and two other board members, is said to be behind the dramatic firing of Altman, which has been likened to a palace coup.
He is also one of the world's leading AI academics, renowned for his contributions to the field of machine learning. Sutskever has also been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society and was a former scientist at Google Brain
Interestingly enough, Sutskever acknowledged these allegations over the weekend, saying, "You can call it this way."
However, with Microsoft Corp.
"I love everything we've built together and I will do everything I can to reunite the company," he said.
Sutskever has also been backed by Elon Musk, who has been openly critical of OpenAI's recent decisions.
Altman immediately posted a message supporting Sutskever's statement with a triple "heart" emoji.
Why It Matters: Sutskever led the dramatic ousting of Altman, likely over moral disagreements with his fellow co-founder. While Microsoft has now tied up with Altman, OpenAI is facing a mutiny.
Mira Murati, the company's CTO and the original replacement for Altman has repeatedly posted messages of support for Altman. The company's COO, other high-level executives, engineers, and research staff have also rallied behind Altman earlier in the day.
All the protesting employees repeated the same message: "OpenAI is nothing without its people."
It's not clear yet if Sutskever is backpedaling because of concerns that rivals like Alphabet Inc.'s Google, Anthropic, and others will raid whatever's left of OpenAI or because he really does want to keep the flock together and get the original team back.
For now, though, the developments at OpenAI are coming in thick and fast.