Microsoft poach Sam Altman and other OpenAI colleagues to form its own AI Research team

So, in the middle of all the OpenAI drama, Microsoft just pulled off a surprise move and snatched up Sam Altman and Greg Brockman after OpenAI said Altman wasn’t coming back. Microsoft’s big boss, Satya Nadella, spilled the beans on X, saying that Altman, Brockman, and their crew are set to lead a cool new AI research team at Microsoft. Nadella threw in the usual corporate talk about staying committed to the OpenAI partnership, but let’s be real – this hiring spree is shaking things up.

Altman, who got the boot from OpenAI on Friday, broke his silence to confirm he’s jumping ship to Microsoft, keeping the mission alive and kicking. Nadella, in a reply, was all pumped up, saying he’s “super excited” to have Altman as the new CEO of this fancy AI team. He even dropped some humble brag about Microsoft’s track record in letting innovators like Altman do their thing.

This whole twist comes after talks between Altman and OpenAI hit a dead end, leading to the official word that Altman and Brockman won’t be making a comeback. Instead, word on the street is that Emmett Shear, the co-founder of Twitch, is stepping into the CEO shoes at OpenAI.

Now, let’s unpack this. Microsoft dropped a whopping $13 billion in OpenAI and owns almost half of the for-profit part. They also recently flaunted their Copilot AI, all powered by OpenAI tech. But here’s the kicker – OpenAI’s got this funky “capped-profit” setup, throwing a curveball into Microsoft’s investment game. Despite Nadella’s assurances, having Altman lead Microsoft’s AI team, fresh from being OpenAI’s CEO, is bound to stir the pot.