OpenAI Whistle-Blowers Describe Reckless and Secretive Culture

A group of OpenAI insiders is blowing the whistle on what they say is a culture of recklessness and secrecy at the San Franc isco artificial intelligence company, which is racing to build the most powerful A.I. systems ever created.


The group, which includes nine current and former OpenAI employees, has rallied in recent days around shared concerns that the company has not done enough to prevent its A.I. systems from becoming dangerous.

The members say OpenAI, which started as a nonprofit research lab and burst into public view with the 2022 release of ChatGPT, is putting a priority on profits and growth as it tries to build artificial general intelligence, or A.G.I., the industry term for a computer program capable of doing anything a human can.

They also claim that OpenAI has used hardball tactics to prevent workers from voicing their concerns about the technology, including restrictive nondisparagement agreements that departing employees were asked to sign.

“OpenAI is really excited about building A.G.I., and they are recklessly racing to be the first there,” said Daniel Kokotajlo, a former researcher in OpenAI’s governance division and one of the group’s organizers.

The group published an open letter on Tuesday calling for leading A.I. companies, including OpenAI, to establish greater transparency and more protections for whistle-blowers.

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