LinkedIn Founder Reid Hoffman Leaves OpenAI’s Board Over Conflicts of Interest

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LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman is leaving OpenAI’s board to avoid conflicts of interest as he backs more artificial intelligence companies, he said in an online post.

Hoffman, who has invested in and advised the startup since its 2015 founding, said his venture capital firm Greylock is funding companies such as presentation generator Tome, which are paying for tools from OpenAI, the creator of chatbot sensation ChatGPT. Hoffman also co-founded Inflection AI, one of the highest profile startups working on technology similar to OpenAI’s.

“By stepping off the board, I can proactively put to rest any downstream potential issues for both OpenAI and all Greylock portfolio companies I’ve backed,” he said, noting OpenAI has avoided conflicts to date.

Hoffman’s departure underscores competition among an increasing number companies aiming to reshape content production as well as entire industries through AI.

At the same time, Hoffman said he remained OpenAI’s “ally” and wanted to work toward “elevating humanity” through technology including cross-industry partnerships if desired.

Sam Altman, OpenAI’s chief executive, said in a Twitter post responding to Hoffman that he looks forward “to much more collaboration in the future!”

Hoffman remains on the board of Microsoft, itself a major partner to and investor in OpenAI.

Meanwhile, OpenAI, in its latest update, has made ChatGPT tool available to companies to incorporate into their own apps as it seeks commercial uses for the wildly popular chatbot.

The company is now offering paid access for businesses and developers who want to use the software’s ability to answer questions and generate text in their own applications and products. Customers will be able to hook their apps into ChatGPT’s application programming interface, giving them the same version of the GPT 3.5 model that OpenAI itself uses at a cost 10 times lower than OpenAI’s existing models.

© Thomson Reuters 2023


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