Apple Might Have an Observer Seat on OpenAI’s Board

GPT applications, openai, board of directors, observer, apple

Apple will be joining OpenAI’s board of directors in an observer capacity as per their AI agreement, possibly guiding future GPT applications.

  • Microsoft already fills a similar role.
  • Together, the giants might be able to steer OpenAI toward what ensures its longevity and success.

OpenAI will seat Apple on its board as a board observer alongside Microsoft as part of its AI agreement, possibly helping shape the future of GPT applications.

A company’s board of directors sets its strategy, oversees management, and protects the interests of shareholders and stakeholders. Sometimes, these boards have observer seats. These board observers may contribute to the board’s discussion but may not vote or attend executive sessions.

Border observers may seem pointless since they do not vote. However, they can still influence a company’s decision by offering their feedback and insights to the board. Now, imagine if those seated at the table as board observers were some of the biggest names in the industry with years of success under their belt. Their opinion and expertise would help steer the board’s decision toward whichever decision is best for the company.

And that’s what’s happening with OpenAI, and possibly its future ChatGPT apps, right now.

First, There Was Microsoft

At the tail end of last year, a scandal struck OpenAI when its board of directors fired its CEO, Sam Altman, for reportedly deciding the future of GPT applications without the board’s input. After some back- and forth, they reinstated him. However, he did not come back alone. On the new board of directors sat Microsoft as an observer. While this position allows Microsoft to view the company’s decision process, it also enables it to discuss said decisions with them, sharing its expertise.

Then, There Is Apple

Last month, Apple announced that it was partnering with OpenAI to bring GPT to its devices, much to Elon Musk’s dismay. The partnership also includes iOS apps powered by OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Fast-forward to now, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported that Apple will be joining Microsoft as an observer on OpenAI’s board as part of their AI agreement. According to people close to the matter, the tech giant chose its head of the App Store and former marketing chief, Phil Schiller, to fill this position.

Better GPT Applications

Many believe that both of their presences will place OpenAI in an awkward position, as the competition between the two giants goes back to their early days. However, the rest believe that this is exactly what OpenAI needs to elevate itself.

Users access GPT mostly through its application or its website. However, this formula is not exactly sustainable for OpenAI. The longevity of the startup highly depends on its AI models, not just GPT, expanding in applications. That’s where Apple and Microsoft come in.

Both of them have close to half a century of experience under their belts. Considering their immense success, they must be doing something right. But these companies haven’t always been at the top. In fact, before the AI boom, Microsoft was struggling to remain relevant, and in the 1990s, Apple almost filed for bankruptcy. They’ve risen from the ashes many times. So, who better than them to guide OpenAI through their next steps?

Their guidance will be key to ensuring that GPT applications are what benefit the company the most.

Final Thoughts

Is OpenAI going to add all the tech giants to its board like they’re the Avengers? Probably not. But one or two could make a difference between long-term success, short-term success, or no success. What’s even better is that each has its own niche within the tech sector, so OpenAI’s GPT applications could cater to a larger demographic.

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