Sam Altman tightens grip over OpenAI as he strikes deal with Apple

May 31, 2024

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has consolidated his grip on power at the tech firm that briefly ousted him last fall by striking a deal with Apple to incorporate artificial intelligence into its products, reports the New York Post.

The 39-year-old tech mogul has pushed out his rivals from the company’s board and is moving full steam ahead with plans to overhaul its nonprofit structure.

With the Apple deal, Altman is now hoping bring the company closer to its goal of one day replacing Google as the iPhone maker’s search partner for its Safari web browser, according to The Information.

What’s more, Altman’s ambitions extend beyond OpenAI. He is working on building several factories that will make AI chips. Altman is also partnering with former Apple designer Jony Ive on a personal device that would be powered by AI.

But Altman’s plans face potential roadblocks. Microsoft, which has invested billions of dollars in OpenAI, is reportedly concerned about how the deal with Apple could affect its own AI ambitions. Altman recently held a meeting with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to discuss Microsoft’s concerns.

Altman also has been at loggerheads with some of his employees, who have publicly questioned his commitment to install safeguards and mitigate risks associated with AI-powered technology.

Altman received some bad publicity recently after actress Scarlett Johansson blasted OpenAI for using a voice that sounded similar to hers for a new ChatGPT feature—this after she refused the firm’s overtures to use her voice.

OpenAI was founded by Altman, Elon Musk, and other tech luminaries in December 2015.

Research contact: @nypost