OpenAI, the startup behind ChatGPT, has hired numerous ex-employees of tech giants Google and Meta, according to a Business Insider report. According to the report, 59 ex-Google staff members and 34 ex-Meta employees are on OpenAI’s payroll, according to information from Lead Genius and Punks & Pinstripes. With its innovative chatbot ChatGPT, OpenAI burst onto the tech scene. The ability of Microsoft-backed ChatGPT to generate finely crafted text messages such as essays or poems in seconds using technology known as large language models has taken the world by storm.
According to Greg Larkin, CEO of Punks & Pinstripes, data on the number of ex-Google and Meta employees now employed by OpenAI should serve as a “wakeup call” for big tech. “If nothing else, OpenAI demonstrates that Big Tech, particularly Google, is not maximising its investment opportunities in its staff members,” Larkin said. “Many AI experts have been working on byproducts in innovation labs such as Alphabet X. For many, this means that their work has little effect on the firm’s core product lines or profits.”
According to the Insider report, OpenAI’s leadership comprises primarily of former Big Tech employees, including former Google, Meta, and Apple employees. Both Meta and Google announced mass layoffs recently, citing the global recession. Microsoft also intends to reduce its workforce. Meanwhile, Microsoft has expanded its collaboration with OpenAI, the originator of ChatGPT, and announced earlier this month that the technology would be incorporated into its Bing web browser and the Edge search engine.
Seeing a rapid threat to its search engine dominance, Google quickly announced that it would soon release its own linguistic AI, Bard. However, reports of disturbing interactions with Microsoft’s Bing chatbot went viral, including it issuing threats and expressing desires to steal nuclear code or lure one consumer away from his wife, raising concerns that the technology was not ready.
LAID OFF WORKERS
There appears to be a financial reason behind the decision to invest a sum equivalent to $1 million per laid-off worker in an AI company. Meta recently laid off approximately 11,000 employees, or 13% of its workforce, as it grapples with rising costs and slow advertising revenue.
Elon Musk and Sam Altman co-founded OpenAI as a ‘non-profit company’ in 2015. However, the billionaire exited the company in 2018 and now has no stake in OpenAI. OpenAI released ChatGPT for public testing in 2022, and the AI chatbot’s popularity grew by the day.