Saturday, November 18, 2023
OpenAI on Friday made a surprising decision to terminate CEO Sam Altman which led to the resignation of the company's president Greg Brockman, and the appointment of chief technology officer (CTO) Mira Murati, as the interim CEO.
Murati, in a memo, said that she was “honoured and humbled” to step into the leadership role at the company, according to Bloomberg.
But who is Murati, exactly?
Murati holds a degree in mechanical engineering from Dartmouth College and began her career as an intern at Goldman Sachs, followed by a stint at Zodiac Aerospace, the French aerospace group, according to TechCrunch.
Murati previously spent three years at Tesla as the senior product manager for Model X, the company's crossover SUV, and had served at Leap Motion, a startup that develops hand- and finger-tracking motion sensors for PCs, as the Vice President of Product and Engineering.
She joined OpenAI in 2018 as vice president of applied AI and partnerships and was promoted to CTO in 2022.
She led the company’s work on the viral AI-powered chatbot ChatGPT, the text-to-image AI DALL-E and the code-generating system Codex, which powers GitHub’s Copilot product.
While the company is in search of a new permanent CEO, OpenAI's interim chief, Murati, believes multimodal models, such as GPT-4 with Vision, which can understand image and text context, are the future of the company and a promising path to ultra-capable AI.
Furthermore, Murati seems to be a firm believer in openly testing this kind of AI to identify bugs and maybe uncover new applications.
"One of the reasons that we wanted to pursue DALL-E was to get to a more robust understanding of the world, to have these models understand the world the way that we do," Murati told Fast Company.
“You put the technology in contact with reality; you see how people use it, what the limitations are; you learn from that; and you can feed it back into the technology development.
"The other dimension is that you can actually see how much [the technology is] moving the needle in solving real-world problems or whether it is a novelty."
Additionally, Murati is already projecting strength as, during a companywide meeting on Friday, she assured OpenAI employees that Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella and CTO Kevin Scott — one of OpenAI’s biggest backers — had “utmost confidence” in OpenAI’s direction.