Microsoft has given up its non-voting observer position on the OpenAI board

Chat GPT
Image credit: OpenAI

The non-voting observer seat on OpenAI’s board previously held by Microsoft has now been vacated.

According to reports, Microsoft's Deputy General Counsel Keith Dolliver conveyed in a letter to OpenAI that the observer role had become "no longer necessary" due to the "significant progress" seen in OpenAI’s board. This correspondence was sent at the beginning of the week.

Microsoft took on this observer status in November following the temporary removal and subsequent reinstatement of Sam Altman as CEO.

In the letter reviewed by Axios, Dolliver stated that over the last eight months, they had observed substantial development under the new board and felt confident in OpenAI’s direction.

With Microsoft stepping back, OpenAI is considering eliminating all board observer roles, including one initially intended for Apple’s Phil Schiller.

This move helps to alleviate the antitrust and regulatory issues both companies face due to their involvement with ChatGPT and generative AI technologies.

OpenAI has announced that, despite removing board observers, it will be "developing a new strategy to keep strategic partners like Microsoft and Apple, as well as investors such as Thrive Capital and Khosla Ventures, informed and engaged."

Back in 2019, Microsoft invested $1 billion in OpenAI to support the development of artificial general intelligence.

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