Sam Altman was in Las Vegas for the biggest party of the weekend, the Formula One race, when he opened the Google Meet link that would set off a whiplash-inducing corporate power struggle about the future of artificial intelligence.
In the moments before he clicked on the link in his hotel room, the 38-year-old CEO was living a charmed life. Ever since his company, OpenAI, ushered in the AI age a year ago with the release of ChatGPT, Altman had been jet setting around the world meeting with presidents and prime ministers, shaping the global agenda on AI policy. And he was nearing a fundraising that would value OpenAI at nearly $90 billion, roughly triple what it had been earlier in the year.
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