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Apple, Microsoft Exit OpenAI Board

The announcement follows Microsoft's substantial $13 billion investment in OpenAI last year

July 11, 2024 03:00 AM

Reading time: 1 minute, 46 seconds

TL;DR Microsoft and Apple have reportedly decided to step away from board positions at OpenAI. This move comes amid increasing regulatory scrutiny.

Microsoft and Apple Reconsider Board Roles

Technology giants Microsoft and Apple have reportedly decided not to take board seats at the artificial intelligence (AI) firm OpenAI.

This decision comes amid increasing regulatory scrutiny, raising questions about the future dynamics between these tech behemoths and the AI innovator.

Microsoft has taken a significant step back. According to a Bloomberg report on July 10, the company sent a letter to OpenAI announcing its withdrawal from the board.

This information was disclosed by an anonymous source familiar with the matter. The move is particularly notable given that just over a year ago, Microsoft made a massive $13 billion investment in OpenAI in April 2023.

"Over the past eight months, we have witnessed significant progress from the newly formed board and are confident in the company's direction," Microsoft reportedly wrote in its memo to OpenAI.

The company added, "We no longer believe our limited role as an observer is necessary." This suggests that Microsoft feels OpenAI is well-positioned to navigate its future independently.

In contrast to recent reports that Apple might also get an observer role on OpenAI's board as part of a landmark agreement announced in June, it now appears that OpenAI will have no board observers following Microsoft's departure.

OpenAI has reportedly stated, "We're grateful to Microsoft for voicing confidence in the board and the direction of the company, and we look forward to continuing our successful partnership."

The departure of these tech giants from OpenAI's board could have significant implications. It raises questions about the balance of power within the AI sector and how OpenAI will continue to innovate without the direct oversight of these major players. It also highlights the growing regulatory scrutiny that tech companies face, especially those involved in cutting-edge fields like AI.

This decision comes as regulatory bodies are increasingly vigilant about the influence and operations of major tech firms.

Microsoft and Apple likely aim to avoid potential conflicts and complications arising from their direct involvement in OpenAI's governance. The future of this partnership will be closely watched as OpenAI continues to make strides in AI development and innovation.

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