Bedrock Capital’s Geoff Lewis Sparks Debate on Ex OpenAI Board Member’s Chinese Ties


  • Bedrock Capital’s founder, Geoff Lewis, speculates without evidence about former OpenAI board member Helen Toner being a possible “agent of the Chinese Communist Party.”
  • Lewis shifts focus from the reasons behind Sam Altman’s brief removal as OpenAI CEO to questioning Toner’s background and patriotism.
  • Toner, who voted against Altman’s reinstatement, faces scrutiny despite lacking clear ties to the Chinese Communist Party, prompting discussions on the motives behind such allegations.

In a turn of events surrounding the recent turmoil within OpenAI’s leadership, Geoff Lewis, founder of Bedrock Capital and an investor in the organization, has ignited controversy by casting doubts on the patriotism of a former OpenAI board member, Helen Toner. Without providing concrete evidence, Lewis speculates on Toner’s potential affiliation with the Chinese Communist Party, diverting attention from the intricate power dynamics that led to the temporary removal of former CEO Sam Altman.

Geoff Lewis’s speculative remarks took center stage during a Monday appearance on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” In a conversation with CNBC’s Rebecca Quick, Lewis suggested that the ousting of Altman was merely a “classic human power struggle” while insinuating a deeper concern about Toner’s background. Lewis, known for his previous comments critical of China, questioned whether Toner could be an undisclosed “agent of the Chinese Communist Party,” leaving the audience to ponder the implications of such a claim.

Examining Toner’s background

Rather than engaging in a discourse on Altman’s removal, Lewis emphasized the importance of scrutinizing Toner’s history. Acknowledging Toner as a “lovely human being,” Lewis expressed curiosity about her potential ties to the Chinese Communist Party. Toner’s brief stint in Beijing as a research affiliate of Oxford University’s Center for the Governance of AI became a focal point, although there is no substantial evidence linking her to the political entity.

It’s crucial to note that Toner has been vocal in her criticism of China’s approach to AI development. In an essay published in Foreign Affairs, she highlighted the country’s reliance on Western innovations and English language models, arguing against the notion that China is poised to surpass the US in AI innovation.

Lewis’s controversial track record

Geoff Lewis’s history of expressing concerns about China adds a layer of complexity to his speculative remarks. From suggesting China’s influence on US social media through TikTok to implying potential risks posed by China in a discussion about his investment in a defense contractor, Lewis has been consistent in his skepticism towards the Chinese government.

Despite Toner’s track record of criticism against China’s AI practices, Lewis’s unsubstantiated questions raise eyebrows, especially considering the lack of evidence connecting Toner to the Chinese Communist Party.

The fallout and OpenAI board restructuring

The removal of Altman as CEO initially sparked rumors about concerns related to the safe development of AI. Yet, internal OpenAI communications, as reported by Business Insider, indicated that his dismissal was unrelated to any malfeasance or issues within the realms of finance, business, safety, or security/privacy practices.

Toner, along with Tasha McCauley, the only two female board members, faced intense social media backlash following Altman’s departure. Their votes against Altman’s reinstatement led to their removal from the board, prompting the reshaping of OpenAI’s leadership. Negotiations are currently underway to determine the composition of the new nine-person OpenAI board, with major investor Microsoft vying for a prominent role.

As OpenAI navigates the aftermath of leadership changes, the spotlight on Geoff Lewis’s speculative questioning of Helen Toner’s alleged ties to the Chinese Communist Party adds a layer of complexity to an already intricate situation. Without concrete evidence, these allegations raise concerns about the motives behind diverting attention from the initial focus on Altman’s removal. As discussions on the new OpenAI board configuration unfold, the question lingers: Is Lewis’s speculation a genuine concern or a strategic move in the evolving narrative surrounding OpenAI’s leadership struggles?

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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Aamir Sheikh

Amir is a media, marketing and content professional working in the digital industry. A veteran in content production Amir is now an enthusiastic cryptocurrency proponent, analyst and writer.

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