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Why Sam Altman was fired: the inside story

Plus: ChatGPT with memory is now FREE

Welcome back to AI Odyssey!

Today’s edition is 553 words, a quick 3-minute read.

We’re diving deep into why Sam Altman was removed from OpenAI (leaked secrets from an insider) and shining light on the US Army’s latest AI project.

1 Big Thing: Former OpenAI board member explains why they fired Sam Altman

Sam Altman, the man overseeing one of the fastest-growing AI app launches in history with ChatGPT back in November 2023 left suddenly. So what happened? Turns out he was outright lying. 

  • Former board member Helen Toner is filling in blank spaces in an interview on The TED AI Show podcast.

  • One reason the board stopped trusting Altman was his failure to tell the board that he owned the OpenAI Startup Fund; providing inaccurate info about the company’s safety processes “on multiple occasions.”

  • Two other executives accused Sam of creating a toxic atmosphere involving psychological abuse, lying, and manipulation.

  • Toner cites the launch of ChatGPT itself as an example of how the board didn’t have real oversight over the company. “When ChatGPT came out November 2022, the board was not informed in advance. We learned about ChatGPT on Twitter,” says Toner.

Despite the alleged issues, it's interesting that the overwhelming majority of employees (95%) still wanted him back as CEO, reports the current OpenAI board chair Bret Taylor.


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2: Palantir wins $480 million AI computer vision deal with US army

The U.S. Army awarded $480M for a prototype called Maven Smart System. Palantir, co-founded by Peter Thiel, has grown from serving U.S. intelligence to working with government agencies in the U.S. and allied countries. 

  • The Maven project uses artificial intelligence and computer vision to help soldiers more quickly and accurately identify targets.

  • Palantir has been building the Maven technology for the Army since Google abandoned the contract in 2018.

  • The technology has matured to include data from radar systems, infrared sensors, geolocation tags from smartphones, and social media feeds.

The Maven deal was disclosed Wednesday as part of the Defense Department’s daily contract announcements. The contract has an expected date of May 2029. 


Best ChatGPT prompt for a business proposal:

“Write a business proposal for launching a new line of eco-friendly products [ideas of products you are thinking of], detailing the market demand, competitive analysis, and sustainability benefits..”

Source: Great AI Prompts


Everything you need to know today

  • OpenAI signs 100K PwC workers to ChatGPT’s enterprise tier as PwC becomes its first resale partner. [Link]

  • Opera adds Google’s Gemini to its browsers: Users can access Gemini through the Aria AI assistant on Opera browsers. [Link]

  • Mistral debuts a coding assistant called Codestral: trained in more than 80 coding languages, including “legacy code” like Fortran and COBOL.  [Link]

  • Vox Media and The Atlantic sign content deals with OpenAI: Locking down established media partnerships to avoid lawsuits. [Link]

  • Custom GPTs open for free ChatGPT users: features like data analytics, vision, and Memory are also available for free now. [Link]

  • OpenAI appears to have closed its deal with Apple into iOS 18. [Link]

  • Microsoft’s Copilot is now on Telegram: The bot can be accessed by searching its username, @CopilotOfficialBot. [Link]

That’s a wrap! See you on Monday for a fresh dose of AI Odyssey.