Published on November 17, 2023, 7:51 pm

In a surprising turn of events, OpenAI has made a significant change in its leadership. Today, they announced the sudden departure of CEO Sam Altman and the appointment of CTO Mira Murati as interim CEO. This unexpected move has left many wondering who Murati is and what this means for the future of OpenAI.

Murati brings an impressive background to her new role. She holds a degree in mechanical engineering from Dartmouth College and has previously worked as an intern at Goldman Sachs and Zodiac Aerospace, the French aerospace group. She also spent three years at Tesla, where she served as a senior product manager for the Model X, focusing on Tesla’s AI-enabled driver-assistance software, Autopilot.

In 2016, Murati joined Leap Motion, a startup that develops hand and finger-tracking motion sensors for PCs. As VP of product and engineering, she aimed to create a more intuitive computing experience. However, she realized that the technology was too early for widespread adoption as it relied on virtual reality (VR) headsets.

Two years later, in 2018, Murati joined OpenAI as VP of applied AI and partnerships. In her time there, she played a crucial role in several groundbreaking projects, including ChatGPT (an AI-powered chatbot), DALL-E (a text-to-image AI model), and Codex (a code-generating system used by GitHub’s Copilot product).

As interim CEO, many speculate about what kind of leader Murati will be during this transitional phase. It remains uncertain whether she will maintain the current course or introduce new strategies. However, based on interviews with Murati, it is clear that she believes multimodal models like GPT-4 with Vision hold great promise for OpenAI’s future. These models can understand both text and images and are seen as essential for advancing ultra-capable AI.

Murati also emphasizes the importance of testing this type of AI in real-world scenarios to uncover flaws and explore novel use cases. She believes that by bringing technology into contact with reality, OpenAI can learn from its limitations and further develop the technology based on real-world insights.

During a recent company-wide meeting, Murati reassured OpenAI employees that Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, and CTO, Kevin Scott, who are both major backers of OpenAI, have “utmost confidence” in the direction the company is taking. She also confirmed that OpenAI has begun the search for a new CEO.

As OpenAI moves forward under Murati’s interim leadership, it will be interesting to see how she leverages her expertise and vision to steer the company towards its goals. With a strong belief in multimodal models and an emphasis on testing AI in real-world applications, Mira Murati appears poised to lead OpenAI into an exciting future.

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