Mira Murati takes charge as Interim CEO OpenAI


WASHINGTON: In a surprising turn of events, OpenAI announced the departure of CEO Sam Altman on Friday, with Mira Murati, the company’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO), taking the reins as the interim CEO.

Expressing gratitude and humility in a memo, Murati, aged 34, is not just a CTO but a distinguished professional with a degree in mechanical engineering from Dartmouth College. Her career trajectory includes internships at Goldman Sachs and a tenure at French aerospace group Zodiac Aerospace.

Murati also served as the senior product manager for Tesla’s Model X and later held the position of Vice President of Product and Engineering at Leap Motion, a startup specialising in hand- and finger-tracking motion sensors for PCs.

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Joining OpenAI in 2018 as Vice President of Applied AI and Partnerships, Murati’s ascent continued, becoming the CTO in 2022.

Under her leadership, OpenAI made significant strides, including the development of the viral AI-powered chatbot ChatGPT, the text-to-image AI DALL-E, and the code-generating system Codex, which powers GitHub’s Copilot product.

As OpenAI searches for a permanent CEO, Murati envisions the future of the company lying in multimodal models like GPT-4 with Vision, capable of understanding both image and text context. She sees this as a promising path toward ultra-capable AI.

Notably, Murati advocates for openly testing such AI to identify bugs and explore new applications. In her words to Fast Company, she highlighted the importance of understanding how these models perceive the world and their impact on real-world problem-solving.

During a companywide meeting on Friday, Murati reassured OpenAI employees by conveying the “utmost confidence” in OpenAI’s direction from Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella and CTO Kevin Scott, prominent backers of the organization. Murati’s leadership style appears to be marked by strength and a commitment to advancing OpenAI’s innovative pursuits.

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