Altman: Tech Community Needs Empathy for Arabs, Muslims

The OpenAI chief posted about the need to support Muslim and Arab members of the tech community amid the ongoing war in Gaza.

  • Publish date: Wednesday، 10 January 2024 Last update: Wednesday، 13 March 2024
Altman: Tech Community Needs Empathy for Arabs, Muslims
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Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, called on the tech community to support Muslim, Arab, and Palestinian tech workers, many of whom are afraid to speak out about their experiences for fear of potential retaliation and damage to their career prospects, as per a recent post on the platform X.

OpenAI, a prominent player in the tech industry, is the organization behind ChatGPT.

Altman called for greater empathy from the tech sector towards Arab and Muslim colleagues, particularly in the context of the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

Expressing solidarity, Altman stated, "Our industry should be united in our support of these colleagues; it is an atrocious time."

His comments come nearly three months into an ongoing war in Gaza, which has killed an estimated 22,600, according to the latest count from the Hamas-controlled Health Ministry. [1] The war came in response to an attack by Hamas on Israel on 7 October, which resulted in approximately 1,200 casualties in Israel.

Responding to a query about the well-being of his Jewish colleagues, Altman--who identifies as Jewish--acknowledged the growing problem of anti-Semitism worldwide, and expressed gratitude for the support he receives. He noted a disparity in the industry's support for Muslims, saying, "I see much less of that for Muslims."

Altman is not the first tech worker to speak out about the lack of support for Arabs and Muslims in tech amid the Israeli assault on Gaza. Last week, tech entrepreneur Paul Biggar launched Tech for Palestine, a coalition of 40 founders, engineers, product managers, community builders, investors, and tech employees, which aims to promote a free Palestine and end tech's support for the Israeli war on Gaza and the West Bank. The coalition was launched after Biggar's LinkedIn post about the war in Gaza, titled I can't sleep, went viral in December. The post prompted people and projects working to raise awareness about Palestine and the genocide in Gaza to reach out to Biggar about potential collaboration. 

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