Elon Musk announced support for OpenAI firing Sam Altman. Here’s why.


It seems like the entire tech industry is enamored with the drama that has been unfolding concerning OpenAI’s sudden firing of its CEO, Sam Altman. Over the weekend, OpenAI’s board appeared to do an about-face and try to bring Altman back. It is likely that it is now too late, though, as Altman has decided to go work with Microsoft. Many OpenAI employees, as well as a good deal of onlookers, disagree with OpenAI’s decision to oust Altman.

However, there is one person who appears to agree with OpenAI and its firing of Altman: Elon Musk.

According to reports, Altman was let go after OpenAI’s chief scientist, Ilya Sutskever, brought his concerns about Altman’s leadership to the board. Sutskever was allegedly worried about the speed Altman was moving at and how AI safety issues were taking a backseat. 

“I am very worried,” Musk posted to X on Sunday. “Ilya has a good moral compass and does not seek power. He would not take such drastic action unless he felt it was absolutely necessary.”

Musk was referring to a previous post he made in reply to Sutskever, in which the OpenAI chief scientist said, “if you value intelligence above all other human qualities, you’re gonna have a bad time.”

Over the years, Musk has voiced his concerns over the growing “artificial intelligence” sector. Musk appears to be part of the AI community that is worried about the creation of a doomsday product that actually harms humanity.

Musk was one of the founders of OpenAI back when it was strictly an open source, nonprofit organization. Since then, he’s completely cut off his ties with the company and has voiced his disagreements with how it is run and its partnership with Microsoft. 

On Sunday, even when David Sacks, a tech VC and friend of Musk, published a post stating that Altman should get his job back, Musk pushed back on the idea — at least without knowing more information first.

“Given the risk and power of advanced AI, the public should be informed of why the board felt they had to take such drastic action,” wrote Musk.

At the end of the day, though, Musk has his own AI startup in xAI, so he certainly realizes there is an opportunity if OpenAI can’t recover from all of this. In fact, it seems he’s already moved on from being “very worried” to sharing memes making fun of the whole OpenAI situation.