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Microsoft relinquishes its position on the OpenAI board as an observer.

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Microsoft has decided to relinquish its observer status on the OpenAI board as a response to increasing regulatory scrutiny surrounding generative artificial intelligence in both Europe and the United States. The tech giant’s Deputy General Counsel, Keith Dolliver, conveyed in a letter to OpenAI that while the position had provided valuable insights, it was no longer necessary due to the significant progress made by the board since its inception.

The European Commission had previously hinted at a potential antitrust probe against Microsoft, focusing on aspects related to virtual environments and generative AI. In January, the Commission disclosed that it was investigating agreements between major digital players and AI developers, specifically highlighting the collaboration between Microsoft and OpenAI for scrutiny.

Despite the European Union confirming that Microsoft’s observer role didn’t compromise OpenAI’s autonomy, regulatory bodies are actively seeking external opinions on the matter. The Competition and Markets Authority in Britain continues to lodge concerns regarding this partnership.

Back in November, Microsoft assumed a non-voting board position at OpenAI in an effort to address concerns about its involvement with the startup, following a tumultuous period marked by the dismissal and subsequent rehiring of OpenAI CEO Sam Altman.

OpenAI gained substantial recognition after the launch of its ChatGPT chatbot in late 2022, enabling users to engage in detailed and intelligent conversations by inputting simple text queries. Microsoft has heavily invested in OpenAI, reportedly pouring billions of dollars into the company, solidifying its standing as a driving force behind foundational AI models.

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