Will most people see Sam Altman being fired as the right move in a months time?
Dec 18

Will be judged by me based on this comments section and sentiment on Twitter.

“Right move” means the right move for the company, based on the reasoning for the move that comes to light.

I will not bet on this market.

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firstuserhere avatar
LukeShadwell avatar
Luke Shadwell

For both @TheBayesian and @IsaacKing:

Clarification on resolution criteria

  • the question is about whether ultimately the move turns out to be positive for the laid out goals of the OpenAI non profit (which in theory at least includes the goals of the for-profit company, because it exists under their purview)

  • it does not matter whether the board goes back on their decision, or sees that they themselves made the wrong decision, what’s important is the overall impact

  • I agree that “most people” is not good enough, I believe in the spirit of the question, this should represent my analysis of information and viewpoints from people who are informed on the situation, this can really be from anywhere, but feel free to post in the comments if you think something points toward yes or no

Joshua avatar
Joshua 🦚bought Ṁ50 of YES

@LukeShadwell If you're the tiebreaker between Twitter being more pro-sam and Manifold being more anti-sam (I think that's an accurate summary of public sentiment), I'm happy to try to convince you as someone who spent a lot of time on twitter and was pro-sam and now having read a lot of post-mortum coverage is feeling pretty anti-sam.

I think a lot of people have moved on from this issue, but I'm still reading the articles as they come out and it sure sounds to me like Sam really was being frequently dishonest!

These are the articles covering how he tried to get Toner thrown off the board, and how he was manipulative in dong so:

New York Times

The New Yorker




That seems like really bad conduct for a CEO to me! If he wanted Toner out, he should have been straightforward about it. I think the Board was stupid for not explaining all of this when they fired Sam, the secrecy was not the right move. But I think trying to fire Sam was.

LukeShadwell avatar
Luke Shadwell

@Joshua Thanks for the research & links, there seems to be good emerging evidence that there was good justification for the move, but the question is specifically about whether it was the right move for the company itself, so it needs to be clear that board bickering aside, Sam being fired was the right move for OpenAI as an entity and it's mission. Under 'OpenAI', I'm talking about the ultimate parent entity - the non-profit, but of course the goals and mission of the for-profit entity that comes under that entity should theoretically be aligned.

So, examples of what would resolve this to Yes would be things like:
- OpenAI has no need to continue it's for profit mission as it already has significant enough funding/ existing investment to carry on it's non-profit core mission at the same or better impact level as it can continuing the for profit entity
- It comes to light that the successes of the for profit entity weren't a result of Sam's efforts, and would be achieved with or without him
- OpenAI performs worse than former board members, media or analysts agree it would've with a new CEO, or a new structure that did not include Sam, in line with whatever the board intended to do without him

Edit: Should clarify that I'm not deciding the resolution here, the examples would be potential scenarios that public sentiment may sway toward it being the wrong move for the company, independent on my view. Will try as hard as I can to remove my own opinion from the resolution.

Joshua avatar
Joshua 🦚sold Ṁ84 of YES

@LukeShadwell Hmmmm reasonable things to take into consideration. One could argue that firing him was a bad move because even though he was comfortable with lying, he was a very effective CEO and this made up for it.

I definitely think the for-profit side of OpenAI is important, and I think the board would agree. When they hired Shear, he was very explicit that he asked before being hired if the the board was anti-commercialization and that they weren't.

So I don't think it was at all about profit-vs-non-profit, it was just that Sam had been dishonest with the board. I think that if they had explained the situation in detail to the staff, there would not have been the threats of mass resignation and the company could have continued operating just fine under either Mira or Shear's leadership.

Ah, but seeing your edit I see that your judgement may be less critical to this than I thought, so I'll focus on the other markets. I don't see twitter changing its mind anytime soon, but if you want to see a gauge of manifold's opinion you can check out the version of the firing market I made which resolves to a poll of manifold users:

LukeShadwell avatar
Luke Shadwell

@Joshua I get your point here entirely but I also have to stay true to the spirit of the question, so if sentiment on manifold and twitter align with your reasoning I will resolve true, and your comments do play into that sentiment analysis. Personally I think you have a lot of good points, but I'm not yet seeing the sway in public opinion more generally (among people qualified to have an opinion here, so not just everyone), but I see the start of a sway so perhaps that will materialize!

But yes, if you want to trade on a more direct logical analysis this market may not be for you, as by nature it will factor in the biases of public sentiment

Joshua avatar
Joshua 🦚bought Ṁ0 of NO

@LukeShadwell Right, I'm trying to figure out how much you weigh twitter vs manifold here. There's literally thousands of times more people on twitter, so does manifold even matter much? Or are you weighing them equally?

LukeShadwell avatar
Luke Shadwell

@Joshua I'll weigh them equally - I do see manifold as a good guide for public opinion, especially informed public opinion, so if you can send polls that are talking specifically about whether it was the right move for the company, not only whether it was justified, these would play heavily into the resolution.

In the case where for e.g. the general consensus on twitter is heavily on the side that they should never have brought him back in as CEO (e.g. trending hashtags clearly expressing that sentiment), it would be difficult to resolve this as a No even if manifold sees it entirely conversely, as I think this is where the difference between public [facing] opinion and logical public [actual] opinion come in - but I don't think that's likely to happen as there is usually some amount of similarity between them, generally manifold is good at removing the noise you get from twitter and seeing direct opinion.

I think overall you can see this in the way that I will not weigh this based on how much is at risk behind the opinion, rather the prevalence of the opinion itself. With manifold, you are betting a currency so there is the incentive to be correct (and this incentive depends on solid evidence to back this up coming out), twitter is more blind, deep rooted opinions, there is no risk in expressing it - those blind deep rooted opinions are really the basis for this.

Joshua avatar
Joshua 🦚bought Ṁ100 of YES

@LukeShadwell Seems reasonable across the board! I'll try to keep an eye on public opinion on both sites.

IsaacKing avatar
Isaac King

I have no idea who "most people" refers to here. You say that you'll be looking at both Manifold and Twitter, but those are very different crowds; Manifold is much more likely to resolve this YES than Twitter.

TheBayesian avatar
TheBayesian 🦚bought Ṁ10 of YES

"apparent sentiment on twitter" might depend on your circles, do you personally lean more toward the e/acc, ai xrisk, or neither, on this topic?

TheBayesian avatar
TheBayesian 🦚predicts YES

(Not saying you're biased, the algorithm certainly is)

Shump avatar
Shumpbought Ṁ15 of NO

There's going to need to be something big revealed to change public opinion enough for this to resolve YES. Not just the board politics that this seems to be right now. People seem to be supportive of Sam currently.

LukeShadwell avatar
Luke Shadwell

@Shump Agreed but I love to entertain it as a possibility.