Mira Murati, the newly appointed interim CEO of OpenAI, has a rich history with the company and a substantial vision for its future. Her appointment follows the surprising removal of Sam Altman from the CEO position. Murati’s background includes a mechanical engineering degree from Dartmouth College, prior work at Tesla as a senior product manager for the Model X, and a stint at Leap Motion, a startup focused on hand- and finger-tracking motion sensors for PCs.
Joining OpenAI in 2018, Murati initially served as the Vice President of Applied AI and Partnerships before being promoted to CTO in 2022. In this role, she led the development of major projects like ChatGPT, DALL-E, and the code-generating system Codex, which powers GitHub’s Copilot product. Her tenure at OpenAI has been marked by her critical involvement in the company’s evolution into a global AI leader, overseeing research, product, and safety functions.
Murati’s vision as interim CEO includes a focus on multimodal models, which understand the context of images as well as text, such as OpenAI’s GPT-4 with Vision. She believes in the potential of these technologies and advocates for testing them openly to identify flaws and discover novel use cases. This approach aligns with her goal of achieving a more robust understanding of the world through AI, leveraging real-world applications to enhance technological development.
During a recent companywide meeting, Murati assured OpenAI employees of the continued confidence of Microsoft’s CEO and CTO—major backers of OpenAI—in the company’s direction. She emphasized the start of the search for a new permanent CEO, indicating her role as interim CEO is part of a transition phase. This decision by OpenAI’s board reflects their appreciation for internal leadership and continuity, with Murati being seen as a key figure in shaping OpenAI’s immediate future and keeping it aligned with its mission to ensure that artificial general intelligence benefits humanity.
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