Just a couple of hours ago, I sat down with the brilliant Karen Hao, whose reporting on OpenAI has been the light in the fog of the OpenAI crisis in the past week1.
She’s kept a close eye on AI developments over the past several years, most recently at The Atlantic, and is currently in the process of writing a book on AI.
Members of Exponential View can listen to the whole conversation and read the transcript below.
Karen and I explore:
The leadership dynamics at OpenAI,
The board dynamics and pressures on decision-making,
How OpenAI’s approach to AI developed—and how this drove its financial and structural changes,
The roots of the ideological divide at OpenAI and how it manifests today,
The impact of the success of ChatGPT on the organisation.
Azeem Azhar (00:01.206)
I'm so excited about the conversation we're about to have. We are recording this the week after the OpenAI situation, fracure, disagreement, prom school night, fallout. I don't know what it was, but it certainly made the headlines. And my guest today is somebody who I think really can talk to us in some great detail about that company. She is Karen Hao, contributing writer at The Atlantic. She has been reporting on the AI beat for several years. And unlike many journalists working in the field, she is also an MIT graduate, so she can bring her math and engineering chops to bear. She's also working on a book about AI, which we will dig into. Karen, thank you for breaking your Thanksgiving holiday to speak to me.
Not at all. Thank you so much for having me. It's very exciting to be here.