OpenAI Chair Says His AI Firm Won’t Compete With ChatGPT Maker – Yahoo Finance

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(Bloomberg) — OpenAI Chairman Bret Taylor dismissed concerns that his new enterprise AI chatbot startup Sierra could compete with the ChatGPT maker, one day after announcing the launch of the new company.


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“I really don’t think OpenAI and Sierra are competitive,” Taylor said in an interview on Bloomberg Technology. “We exist at a different layer of the stack. We’re customers of OpenAI, in addition to a number of other foundation models.”

Taylor said Tuesday he had co-founded Sierra with Clay Bavor, a former executive at Alphabet Inc.’s Google. The startup, which has raised $110 million in funding so far and currently has 30 employees, is developing conversational AI agents for businesses, entering a crowded field of AI chatbots.

Taylor, who was previously co-chief executive officer at enterprise software giant Salesforce Inc., became chair of OpenAI’s board late last year as part of a broader boardroom shakeup to help stabilize the AI startup following the brief ouster of CEO Sam Altman. In the interview, Taylor said his involvement with OpenAI is “more of a governance role, not an operational role.” Taylor said he would “simply recuse myself” if there was “ever an opportunity for conflict.”

Other OpenAI board members have faced questions about conflicts of interest. LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman stepped down from OpenAI’s board last year to avoid potential conflicts, citing his role as a backer in AI companies. Adam D’Angelo has raised eyebrows because his company Quora operates Poe, a platform that allows people to ask questions from various AI chatbots. D’Angelo remains on the board.

Sierra garnered interest from investors last year, with Benchmark leading an early investment in the company. In January, Bloomberg reported Sequoia Capital was expected to lead an $85 million investment in a deal that would value the company at nearly $1 billion.

“I think what we built with Sierra and conversational AI, it goes far beyond what I think most people will have experienced with chatbots,” Bavor said in the interview. Bavor said Sierra is already working with enterprise customers like WeightWatchers, Sonos Inc. and Sirius XM Holdings Inc.

In an interview with Bloomberg earlier this week, Taylor acknowledged that some industries like customer service will be more vulnerable to disruptions by AI, saying the technology will “displace jobs in the short term,” but also create new ones.

(Updates with new quote in final paragraph.)

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