San Francisco: Sam Altman-run OpenAI has come under fire for a 'glaring lack of diversity' and its new board now consists of just three white men, triggering debate over OpenAI's mission to "benefit all of humanity".
According to a CNN analysis, chorus is growing in the tech industry against OpenAI about how the ChatPT developer can achieve its "lofty goal without including people with diverse backgrounds on its overseeing body”.
OpenAI’s current board consists of Bret Taylor, former co-chief executive at Salesforce and former board chair at Twitter; former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers; and Adam D’Angelo, chief executive of online Q&A platform Quora. Among the board members, “two of them largely fit the mold of a Silicon Valley ‘tech bro.’
The third, an East Coast economist, has made controversial statements about women in the past,” the report mentioned.
The intense drama over OpenAI CEO Altman’s ouster and reinstatement resulted in the departure of the board’s only women directors, and it now consists of just three white men.
“The board’s lack of diversity appears to be at odds with OpenAI’s publicly-stated mission, which the company says is meant to ensure that artificial general intelligence 'benefits all of humanity',” said the report.
US lawmakers have begun to raise alarms over this issue.
“We strongly encourage OpenAI to move expeditiously in diversifying its board,” Representatives Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) wrote to Altman and the board in a letter seen by CNN.
“The AI industry’s lack of diversity and representation is deeply intertwined with the problems of bias and discrimination in AI systems,” the lawmakers wrote.
Taylor, the chair of the board, said in a statement that “Larry, Adam and I strongly believe diversity is essential as we move forward in building the OpenAI board.”
“We are committed to forming a diverse board,” the statement added.
Altman had said that one of the first goals of the current team includes the “extremely important task of building out a board of diverse perspectives.”
OpenAI’s current leadership team also includes a handful of women in leadership roles, like Mira Murati as its chief technology officer.