June 19, 2024

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Some OpenAI customers are thinking about switching to rivals amid chaos

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When there was a companywide protest at OpenAI after its CEO Sam Altman was ousted, software startup CEO Arjun Bansal began fielding increased calls from customers asking for help to lessen their use of OpenAI’s GPT large language models.

At his startup Log10, Bansal oversees the production of tools that third-party developers can use to build LLM-powered applications. Since the OpenAI drama unfolded, Bansal told CNBC the startup’s instability was a reason customers cited.

“People have been reaching out on how they would go through that process of being able to fine-tune different models or try out different providers with minimal disruption to how their code is set up,” Bansal told CNBC. “It is a very unprecedented situation, that a company of this size with this very unusual governance structure has gone through so much change in just over a weekend.”

A spokesperson for OpenAI declined to comment but said the startup’s services are working again following three hours of issues.

OpenAI’s board of directors fired Altman Friday after determining he was “not consistently candid in his communications” with them, according to a statement.

After a long weekend of negotiations that appeared to result in reinstating Altman at the company, ex-Twitch CEO Emmett Shear announced he had been appointed interim head, and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said the software maker would hire Altman, along with fellow OpenAI co-founder Greg Brockman and their colleagues.

However, more than 90% of OpenAI employees signed a letter to the company’s board demanding that they resign, or staffers might choose to leave. Now, Shear is reportedly considering leaving if the board doesn’t provide evidence of their reasoning for firing Altman in the first place.

Bansal is one of several startup entrepreneurs who told CNBC they or their customers are considering relying less on OpenAI’s GPT family of LLMs in the days since the board pushed out Altman.


2023-11-21 21:58:00

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