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Leading artificial intelligence company, OpenAI, has experienced a whirlwind of changes over the past week. Amidst the upheaval, an all-white, male board of directors has emerged.

As a brief recap, the board removed CEO Sam Altman due to concerns with a lack of “being candid in his communication” and appointed CTO Mira Murati as interim CEO on November 17th. Then, on November 19, Microsoft announced the hiring of Altman and former-president and board chairman of OpenAI, Greg Brockman, to lead a new advanced artificial intelligence team. That same day, OpenAI announced a new interim CEO, Twitch CEO Emmett Shear, and over 95% of OpenAI’s employees signed a letter threatening to quit if Altman was not reinstated and the current board removed. This led to another announcement three days later: Altman’s return as CEO of OpenAI and the formation of a new board.


During this captivating chain of events, a notable change occurred: The board of OpenAI went from having two women board members to none.


However, there is an expectation that OpenAI will be adding more members. This means there is an opportunity to bring on some exceptional women to create gender diversity on the board and guide the organization towards a safe and ethical future.

Startup and innovation expert Elizabeth Scallon shared a LinkedIn post suggesting several outstanding women for OpenAI to consider in their board search. Drawing inspiration from her post, additional suggestions from the comments, and personal admiration for certain women leaders in AI, here are ten women that I’d recommend as potential independent OpenAI board directors.

  1. Dr. Fei-Fei Li is the co-director of the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, former chief scientist of AI/ML at GoogleGOOG +0.4% Cloud ​​and co-founder and board chair of AI4ALL. She would bring technical and entrepreneurial expertise and advocacy for diversity and inclusion to OpenAI's board.
  2. Dr. Timnit Gebru is the co-founder of Black in AI, former co-lead of the Ethical AI team at Google, and widely respected and accomplished AI researcher who specializes in the ethical and social implications of AI. Her expertise in fairness and ethics would help guide OpenAI in developing responsible AI systems.
  3. Alessya Visnjic is the CEO of WhyLabs, an AI monitoring and observability platform. Her technical insights and focus on AI reliability and transparency would bring a valuable perspective to the board.
  4. Dr. Latanya Sweeney is the founding editor-in-chief of the Journal of Technology Science, the director of the Public Interest Tech Lab at Harvard, and former chief technologist of the US Federal Trade Commission. Her technical knowledge, expertise in data privacy, and dedication to ethical and responsible AI would be incredibly impactful to the future of OpenAI.
  5. Professor Daphne Koller is an AI researcher who co-founded Coursera, Insitro, and Engageli. Prior to that she was a professor at Stanford in the areas of machine learning and probabilistic modeling. Her deep understanding of the technical, ethical, and practical aspects of AI and its real-world applications would help guide the future of OpenAI.
  6. Daniela Braga, Ph.D. is the CEO of Defined.AI, the largest marketplace of ethically-sourced training data for AI. She would bring extensive expertise in AI, natural language processing and data curation through an ethical lens to the OpenAI board.
  7. Professor Manuela Veloso is the head of J.P. Morgan AI Research and Herbert A. Simon University Professor Emeritus of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, known for her work in robotics and AI planning. Her expertise in both academia and industry would be instrumental in bridging the gap between research and real-world applications at OpenAI.
  8. Lisa Nelson is an investor, independent board member and former co-founder and managing director of Microsoft’sMSFT +1.1% venture arm, M12. Given her rich background of advising and investing in startups, she would bring valuable experience in strategy, innovation and business development to OpenAI.
  9. Rana el Kaliouby, Ph.D. is the co-founder and CEO of Affectiva, an AI platform that bridges the gap between humans and machines. As a pioneer in the field of Emotion AI, her commitment to humanizing technology would be a powerful addition to the board.
  10. Kieran Snyder is the co-founder and CEO of Textio, a language analysis platform that uses machine learning and natural language processing to help organizations create more effective and inclusive communications. Her background in computational linguistics combined with her commitment to creating more equitable outcomes through AI would be an impactful addition to OpenAI’s board.

These are just 10 of the many potential board members who could bring diverse perspectives and expertise to OpenAI's board.


in Forbes