Former NSA director joins OpenAI’s Safety and Security Committee

The appointment follows notable departures from OpenAI, highlighting safety concerns within the organisation.

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OpenAI has announced the appointment of retired US Army General Paul M. Nakasone, former head of the National Security Agency (NSA), to its board of directors. Nakasone, who led the NSA from 2018 until earlier this year, will join OpenAI’s Safety and Security Committee. This committee, prioritised by CEO Sam Altman, focuses on enhancing the company’s understanding of how AI can be leveraged to improve cybersecurity by swiftly identifying and countering threats.

The addition of Nakasone follows notable departures from OpenAI related to safety concerns, including co-founder Ilya Sutskever and Jan Leike. Sutskever was involved in the controversial firing and reinstatement of CEO Sam Altman, while Leike has publicly criticised the company’s current focus on product development over safety measures.

OpenAI board chair Bret Taylor emphasised the importance of securely developing and deploying AI to realize its potential benefits for humanity. He highlighted Nakasone’s extensive experience in cybersecurity as a valuable asset to guiding the organisation toward this goal.

The current OpenAI board comprises Nakasone, Altman, Adam D’Angelo, Larry Summers, Bret Taylor, Dr Sue Desmond-Hellmann, Nicole Seligman, and Fidji Simo, with Microsoft’s Dee Templeton holding a non-voting observer position.