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Illustration depicting the announcement of a new board member joining OpenAI, focusing on cybersecurity and AI safety. The scene includes AI-related imagery such as neural networks, cybersecurity elements, and digital protection symbols. The background features the OpenAI logo, emphasizing the collaboration for enhancing AI security and safety. The overall mood is professional and forward-looking

Author: Alicia Shapiro

Estimated Read Time: 3 minutes

Former NSA Head Paul Nakasone Joins OpenAI Board

Paul M. Nakasone, a retired US Army general and former director of the National Security Agency (NSA), has been appointed to OpenAI's board of directors, the company announced on Thursday.

Nakasone's Background

Nakasone led the NSA from 2018 until his retirement in February 2023. He was appointed by former President Donald Trump and played a key role in advocating for the renewal of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which was reauthorized by Congress in April.

Role at OpenAI

Nakasone will join the Safety and Security Committee at OpenAI, which was formed in May and is headed by CEO Sam Altman. His focus will be on improving cybersecurity measures using AI to rapidly detect and address threats.

Recent Safety Challenges at OpenAI

OpenAI has recently faced internal challenges regarding safety. Key figures like co-founder and chief scientist Ilya Sutskever and Jan Leike have departed, citing concerns about the company’s focus on safety and processes being overshadowed by product development.

Leadership Statements

Bret Taylor, chair of OpenAI’s board, stated, “Artificial intelligence has the potential to significantly benefit people’s lives, but this can only be achieved if innovations are developed and deployed securely. General Nakasone’s extensive experience in cybersecurity will guide OpenAI in ensuring that AI benefits all of humanity.”

OpenAI Board Composition

With Nakasone's addition, OpenAI's board members now include:

  • Sam Altman

  • Adam D’Angelo

  • Larry Summers

  • Bret Taylor

  • Dr. Sue Desmond-Hellmann

  • Nicole Seligman

  • Fidji Simo

Microsoft’s Dee Templeton also holds a non-voting observer seat on the board.

Focus on Cybersecurity and AI Safety

Nakasone's cybersecurity expertise is expected to greatly enhance OpenAI’s efforts to secure its AI technologies. His appointment is part of OpenAI’s ongoing commitment to building and deploying AI innovations that are safe and beneficial for everyone.