According to news on November 21, local time in the United States on Monday, Ilya Sutskever, a board member and chief scientist of the artificial intelligence research company OpenAI, expressed his involvement in the firing of CEO Sam Altman. Expressing regret, doubts about the future of OpenAI have since intensified. To add insult to injury, OpenAI’s customers are looking for an exit, suggesting the company could be losing a lot of business and eventually decline.
Over the weekend, more than 100 OpenAI customers contacted OpenAI rival Anthropic, a startup that has raised billions in funding from Amazon and Google in recent months. Additionally, Google (Google Cloud) and OpenAI rival startup Cohere have been contacted. Many OpenAI customers are also considering switching to Microsoft’s Azure service, which provides copies of OpenAI models and other models, according to people familiar with the matter.
However, OpenAI investors on Monday remained hopeful that Altman would return to OpenAI, according to people familiar with the matter.
Meanwhile, another person familiar with the matter said that long before Altman was fired, OpenAI’s big customer Morgan Stanley planned to shift more artificial intelligence software to rely on Microsoft’s Azure, which hosts OpenAI’s version of ChatGPT. . Morgan Stanley had also been in regular contact with Anthropic before Altman was fired, according to two people familiar with the matter.
The ongoing crisis at OpenAI has put more pressure on the Wall Street firm to maintain a diversified selection from other artificial intelligence providers, people familiar with the matter said. Morgan Stanley is one of OpenAI’s earliest and most important enterprise customers, and this relationship was mainly brokered by Altman.
Just as customers are considering leaving, OpenAI employees are preparing to rebel against the board of directors. On Monday, most of OpenAI’s more than 700 employees, including Sutskefer, senior product lead Mira Murati and co-founder John Schulman, signed wrote an open letter threatening to resign and join Microsoft if the board did not reinstate Allman.
Companies in technology, finance and other industries that have tied their artificial intelligence product roadmaps to OpenAI’s technology were rattled when the startup’s leadership crisis surfaced over the weekend. Many are particularly concerned that OpenAI’s board of directors appears not to care about the startup’s business interests, including those of its customers or shareholders, but rather that it prioritizes “security” over rapid technological progress, according to people familiar with the matter. Nonprofit mission.
While some of OpenAI’s customers have previously been in talks with other artificial intelligence startups, recent discussions have focused on Altman’s firing and the potential impact on their businesses. Financial firms in particular have expressed concerns that their businesses could be harmed if Altman is ousted over possible data privacy issues, this person said.
Microsoft, which has invested more than $10 billion in OpenAI in exchange for access to the latter’s technology, will be a major beneficiary of the turmoil. Microsoft already sells copies of OpenAI models on its Azure cloud service, a product that directly competes with OpenAI. According to people familiar with the business, Microsoft salespeople have been working hard in recent months to persuade existing OpenAI customers to switch to Azure, saying it has more security and compliance guarantees.
Earlier media reports stated that Morgan Stanley signed an agreement with Microsoft last month to use Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI service. Morgan Stanley’s partnership with OpenAI dates back to 2021, when OpenAI began building a custom copy of its GPT-4 model trained on Morgan Stanley’s proprietary market intelligence data to build a chatbot that could quickly Answer financial staff’s questions and provide factual information about the market. OpenAI has previously identified Morgan Stanley as a prime example of how its technology can help a large, established company grow its business.
Competitors are doing everything possible to find ways to benefit from the huge changes that have occurred in OpenAI. On Friday afternoon, when OpenAI announced Altman’s firing, employees at AWS and Anthropic began discussing how to win business from OpenAI’s largest customer. Anthropic has received billions of dollars in investment from AWS.
AWS has established a dedicated team to work with Anthropic and respond to inquiries from OpenAI customers. Over the weekend, AWS and Anthropic discussed how to market their services to several of OpenAI’s customers, including Snap, Morgan Stanley and Wall Street trading firm Jane Street. At least one AWS salesperson said the companies have pressured OpenAI customers to act quickly. Anthropic did not respond to a request for comment, and Amazon had no immediate comment.
Smaller OpenAI customers are also starting to look for other options. Rabi Gupta, CEO and co-founder of EvaBot, a San Francisco-based AI sales startup, is using OpenAI to test new AI tools on behalf of large clients, including billions of dollars in revenue company of. He has begun exploring other options, and he will begin to diversify beyond the platform.
“We’re feeling very anxious and unsure of what’s going to happen,” Gupta said. The company has made an access request to Anthropic and plans to try out some open source models like Google Bard and Meta Llama 2. The entrepreneur used OpenAI’s GPT-4 to analyze unstructured data such as research reports and earnings meeting minutes, looking for information to improve the effectiveness of his sales prospecting calls.
The upheaval at OpenAI prompted Gupta to rethink the way he built his business, including not relying on a single technology platform. He said: “This is not our priority. Before, my whole idea was to get revenue, get customers, and then focus on training our own big language model. But now, training our own big model has become a top priority.”
Another customer, Waseem Daher, CEO of accounting startup Pilot, said over the weekend that people are concerned about Altman and Brockman (OpenAI co-founder, former president and chairman) leaving OpenAI. There are long-term questions about the impact, but there has been no immediate impact on his business. Pilot uses OpenAI’s technology to help customers with accounting and preparing financial statements.
“This upheaval is full of drama and has real-world impacts,” Dach said. “But drama is still the main factor right now. From a real-world impact perspective, OpenAI’s application programming interfaces are still accessible.”