Reid Hoffman, co-founder of Linkedin and venture capitalist, arrives at the annual Allen and Co. Sun Valley media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, U.S., July 9, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights
March 3 (Reuters) – LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman is leaving OpenAI's board to avoid conflicts of interest as he backs more artificial intelligence companies, he said in an online post.
Hoffman, who has invested in and advised the startup since its 2015 founding, said his venture capital firm Greylock is funding companies such as presentation generator Tome, which are paying for tools from OpenAI, the creator of chatbot sensation ChatGPT. Hoffman also co-founded Inflection AI, one of the highest profile startups working on technology similar to OpenAI's.
"By stepping off the board, I can proactively put to rest any downstream potential issues for both OpenAI and all Greylock portfolio companies I’ve backed," he said, noting OpenAI has avoided conflicts to date.
Hoffman's departure underscores competition among an increasing number companies aiming to reshape content production as well as entire industries through AI.
At the same time, Hoffman said he remained OpenAI's "ally" and wanted to work toward "elevating humanity" through technology including cross-industry partnerships if desired.
Sam Altman, OpenAI's chief executive, said in a Twitter post responding to Hoffman that he looks forward "to much more collaboration in the future!"
Hoffman remains on the board of Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O), itself a major partner to and investor in OpenAI.
Reporting By Jeffrey Dastin in Palo Alto, Calif.; Editing by Josie Kao
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Jeffrey Dastin is a correspondent for Reuters based in San Francisco, where he reports on the technology industry and artificial intelligence. He joined Reuters in 2014, originally writing about airlines and travel from the New York bureau. Dastin graduated from Yale University with a degree in history. He was part of a team that examined lobbying by Amazon.com around the world, for which he won a SOPA Award in 2022.
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