Sam Altman celebrated his return to OpenAI with four “heavy” entrees from a diner.

Sam Altman said he was in an “adrenaline-charged state” when he was ousted as OpenAI CEO.Altman said he didn’t eat or sleep much, and wasn’t fazed by texts he received from world leaders. His takeaway from the experience is the “remarkable” human ability to adapt to new circumstances.

As the CEO of OpenAI, the last couple of years have been a whirlwind for Sam Altman.

Following the release of ChatGPT, Altman has been at the forefront of the AI race. He’s met with world leaders, feuded with Elon Musk, joined the billionaire club, and was fired from the company he cofounded before quickly securing his return.

If he had “a little bit more mental space to step back,” there would be something crazy to note every day, Altman said recently on the tech podcast “The Logan Bartlett Show.”

But if he had to choose a surreal moment that stuck out to him, he said it would be the four-day period when he was ousted from OpenAI — and not because of the actual ousting. On the contrary, the time was surreal because of how he navigated what, in hindsight, was a very unusual series of events.

Altman describes the time as an “insane super jammed” four and a half days where his body was in an “adrenaline-charged state.”

Within a day of his ousting, Altman said he received 10 to 20 texts from presidents and prime ministers around the world. At the time, it felt “very normal,” and he responded to the messages and thanked the leaders without feeling fazed.

“It was just like weird,” Altman told podcast host Logan Bartlett. “Like not sleeping much, not really eating, energy levels like very high, very clear, very focused.”

Once he secured his reinstatement as CEO a few days later, he said he stopped at a diner on the way to Napa the day before Thanksgiving and realized he hadn’t eaten in days. So naturally, he ordered four “heavy” entrées, including “two milkshakes just for me,” he said.

Altman said the celebratory meal was “very satisfying.”

But the CEO said the situation still didn’t really hit him until he received a text from a president who said they were happy everything was resolved.

“Then it hit me that like, oh yeah, like all of these people had texted me and it wasn’t weird,” Altman said.

Altman said the odd part was realizing that it should’ve been weird to have multiple world leaders texting him during this situation — but it wasn’t.

The CEO said the situation made him realize humans’ ability to adapt to any circumstance.

“My takeaway is human adaptability to almost anything is just like much more remarkably strong than we realize,” Altman said on the podcast. “And you can get used to anything as the new normal, good or bad, pretty fast.”

Altman said this wasn’t the first time he learned that lesson, and he’s learned it many times over the last couple of years.

“But I think it says something remarkable about humanity and good for us and good as we stare down at this like big transition,” he said.

Read the original article on Business Insider


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: