For years, Mira Murati has worked behind the scenes at OpenAI, overseeing the development and delivery of revolutionary products like ChatGPT and DALL-E. Now, she’s stepping into the spotlight as its interim CEO.
Murati, 34, was elevated to the top job at the high-profile company on Friday when OpenAI’s board of directors ousted Sam Altman, the company’s co-founder and CEO. The company said Ms. Murati had a “unique skill set” and would provide “a seamless transition while a formal search for a permanent CEO is conducted.”
Although she has held the title of chief technology officer since last year, current and former employees said Murati had been functioning as the company’s chief operating officer. She ensured that her engineers developed versions of ChatGPT as planned. She also managed the company’s relationship with Microsoft, an investor and partner that has implemented OpenAI technology, and helped shape its artificial intelligence policy in Washington and Europe.
“She has a demonstrated ability to build teams with technical expertise, business acumen, and a deep appreciation for the importance of the mission,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella wrote in an article about her for Time magazine. “As a result, Mira has helped build some of the most interesting AI technologies we’ve ever seen.”
Born in Albania and educated in Canada, Ms. Murati is a mechanical engineer by training and built a hybrid racing car while she was an undergraduate at Dartmouth College. She joined OpenAI in 2018 after working at Tesla, where she played a key role in the development of the Model .
Mrs. Murati She said her work at Tesla exposed her to AI and inspired her to look for a job in that field. OpenAI hired her as vice president of applied AI and partnerships. At the time, the company was a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring that artificial general intelligence benefits all of humanity. It was later restructured as a for-profit company in order to raise the enormous amounts of money needed to develop its artificial intelligence technologies.
“I thought that, fundamentally, if you’re building intelligence, it’s such a central unit in the universe that it affects everything,” Murati said in August. during an event organized by Andreessen Horowitz, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm. “What else is there to do more inspiring than elevating and increasing the collective intelligence of humanity?”
OpenAI was overseen by a group of senior leaders that included Mr. Altman; Greg Brockman, its former president; and Wojciech Zaremba, a Polish-born AI researcher who was also among the company’s founders. Ms. Murati, who was a member of the leadership team, would execute the team’s decisions throughout the company.
It took responsibility for the distribution of the DALL-E image generator and the ChatGPT text generator, which attracted hundreds of millions of users after their introduction last year. When ChatGPT and DALL-E took off, she appeared in “The daily program” BloombergTV and in several conferences.
“It’s very important to engage the public, to bring these technologies into the public consciousness, but in a way that is responsible and safe,” Ms. Murati said. he told “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah last year.