Who Owns OpenAI — And Why the Answer Could Cost Elon Musk Billions

who owns openai

Who Owns OpenAI — And Why the Answer Could Cost Elon Musk Billions

Artificial intelligence is set to make waves this year and into the foreseeable future — just like Elon Musk. While Elon is part of the group that launched OpenAI, things have changed since the project sprang to life in 2015.

ChatGPT has been a game changer, and the company behind the tech has made a transition from a nonprofit to a capped cooperation. A variety of decisions in that time may have cost Musk billions, but he’s set to get that back if new reports about an AI startup prove true.

What Is OpenAI?

OpenAI is a research program with the goal of creating a “friendly” AI. It’s an idea that picked up steam quickly and plenty of investors got on board, including Elon Musk, Ilya Sutskever, and Peter Theil, among others.

who owns openai
OpenAI is said to have doubled in value since 2021.

©Tada Images/Shutterstock.com

The lab has been closely tied to Microsoft and their Azure supercomputer systems, and Microsoft is certainly a fan. The company matched the original group’s $1 billion investment with a billion dollars of its own in 2019.

That was after Elon Musk stepped down and resigned from his board seat, however. In 2018, he decided to stand down due to a conflict of interest with his role at Tesla and their involvement with artificial intelligence. All in all, with OpenAI’s value shooting up dramatically, the company is now worth around $30 billion.

Who Owns the Company?

Wondering who actually owns OpenAI? Well, they are still controlled by the non-profit branch of the cooperation, and Sam Altman is their current CEO. He co-founded OpenAI alongside Elon, and the company has grown significantly in recent years. They recently received $10 billion from Microsoft for ChatGPT.

As you might suspect, Elon Musk already had plans of his own and has become critical of ChatGPT in recent years. You can hear some of his thoughts on artificial intelligence and the dangers of such technology in this talk from the World Government Summit 2023.

His recent take and OpenAI’s decision to switch to a for-profit company in 2019 have certainly gotten people’s attention. It’s also made people wonder how he truly feels about AI on the whole. Especially after he put his signature on an “open letter” calling for people to put a hold on any tech more powerful than GPT-4.

New Developments

Despite that letter and his recent comments, Elon Musk recently made his thoughts crystal clear. He has created a new company geared toward artificial intelligence, called X.AI. The newly formed company was recently incorporated in Nevada, according to the Wall Street Journal. Details are light, but very interesting if you’re keeping track of artificial intelligence.

Another report from the Financial Times also claims that Musk is purchasing 10,000 GPUs from NVIDIA and that he has hired researchers that had previously worked on the DeepMind project. The new company’s name lines up with Elon’s affinity for Xs, which includes changing Twitter to X Corp and incorporating it in Nevada instead of Delaware.

Stepping down from OpenAI and his role in things since that time may have cost Elon money, but X.AI could get that back quickly. At this time, little is known about this new endeavor, but rest assured that Elon will keep the world in the loop and use his favorite social media platform to spread the word.

Who Owns OpenAI — And Why the Answer Could Cost Elon Musk Billions FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Does Elon Musk currently own part of OpenAI?

Elon has said he no longer has an open stake in the company after stepping down from their board in 2018.

Can you run a local client of ChatGPT?

Yes, you can run the client program locally from your desktop or laptop computer.

How is OpenAI making money?

They earn money by licensing their tech to other companies and charging for access to its services.

Does Microsoft own OpenAI?

No, although they are a major shareholder in the company.

Can anyone use OpenAI for free?

OpenAI works off a token-based system that allows users to image, language, or audio models they need.

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