Who created ChatGPT – and who owns OpenAI?

Microsoft's $10 billion investment involves more than just Sam Altman and Elon Musk.

Who created ChatGPT, and who owns OpenAI? Sam Altman co-founded artificial intelligence research firm.

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ChatGPT has reached new heights of popularity in the last few months – and it is no surprise! The online language model can do some pretty mind-boggling stuff, but who created ChatGPT? For those who aren’t familiar, ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence model that has been available to the public since the end of November. The model is capable of understanding and responding to human dialogue in a very sophisticated and speedy manner. You can ask the model to do pretty much anything. It even has the ability to write poetry, summarize long texts, create code and so much more.

Who created ChatGPT?

ChatGPT was created by OpenAI, now the world’s most famous AI research and development company. The organization is headquartered in San Francisco and was founded by some prominent players – including Elon Musk, CEO of OpenAI Sam Altman, Peter Thiel, OpenAI chief scientist Ilya Sutskever, Jessica Livingston, and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman. The latter has since created an alternative AI chatbot of his own, Pi (short for Personal Intelligence) under Inflection AI which Hoffman co-founded in 2022.

OpenAI represents the non-profit OpenAI Incorporated, as well as the for-profit private subsidiary OpenAI LP. At launch, the company was entirely a non-profit venture with the ambitious mission of developing an artificial general intelligence (AGI) that benefits all of humanity. By combining reinforcement learning with the entire internet, we are at the point in history where that is actually possible. Since its launch in November 2022, ChatGPT has become a tiered software service, now offering both ChatGPT Plus and ChatGPT Enterprise in addition to the ever-present free version.

Which company owns ChatGPT?

The company’s website makes no mention of which entity has ownership of its natural language processing (NLP) GPT-4 (generative pre-trained transformer) technology. The same is also true of its other large language models. Also at the launch, the company’s board of non-profit OpenAI Inc included:

By contrast, the co-founders and senior executive board of for-profit OpenAI LP comprise:

  • CEO and co-founder of OpenAI, Sam Altman (prev. Y Combinator)
  • President and co-founder Greg Brockman (prev. Stripe)
  • Chief Scientist and co-founder Ilya Sutskever (prev. Google)
  • Chief Technology Officer Mira Murati (prev. Tesla)
  • Chief Operating Officer Brad Lightcap (prev. JP Morgan Chase)

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Who is the CEO of ChatGPT?

Elon Musk, one of those who created OpenAI in 2015, has since resigned from OpenAI’s board. This was to avoid conflicting developments occurring in his other company Tesla.

Since its introduction last year, the AI bot has been sparking various concerns about people using artificial intelligence to replace human writing.

The largest concern is around students using the model to compose essays and assignments. Universities and anti-cheating software firms are already playing a game of cat-and-mouse, trying to develop tools to combat this. GPTZero may be the solution, following the dissolution of OpenAI’s now-defunct AI text classifier.

Who wrote ChatGPT – and who designed it?

OpenAI Chief Scientist Ilya Sutskever wrote ChatGPT. This is a reductive answer, but while there are many engineers involved with the task of ML development, Sutskever is the most senior member of OpenAI with a hands-on role in the software engineering of Chat GPT. No one person designed Chat GPT, instead it was a a collective effort of OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, his co-founder Ilya and the OpenAI board. It’s not clear who wrote the first line of code, or the first line that is still present.

The first GPT model, GPT-1, was introduced in February 2018. This was followed by GPT-2 in February 2019, then by GPT-3 in June 2020, and most recently by GPT-4 in March 2023.

✓ Steve says

Why was ChatGPT created?

I love this question because to answer it I’d have to explain why people do anything. AI is one of the great scientific frontiers. With the power to alter the course of human history, artificial intelligence is an exciting field ripe for discovery. AI uniquely touches every other field, accelerating progress across most professions of today, and countless not yet invented. It is almost axiomatically the most powerful productivity tool ever invented.

Being at the forefront of that is, to put it lightly, attractive to entrepreneurs and investors alike.

ChatGPT was inevitable by any other name. If OpenAI didn’t create ChatGPT, someone else would have. Comparatively, if Sam Altman didn’t create OpenAI, someone else would have.

If you asked yourself why you love to create, I wonder what answer you would have. The same probably applies to creating something that can create something else.

Is OpenAI owned by Microsoft?

No, OpenAI is not a Microsoft-owned company or subsidiary. Instead, back in 2019, OpenAI joined forces with tech giant Microsoft making them a key strategic investor. Microsoft supported OpenAI’s efforts by providing a one billion dollar funding boost in exchange for an exclusive license to the AI firm’s technology.

In recent news, Microsoft announced they are increasing their investment by giving an additional ten billion dollars to the company! This partnership is likely to pose a large threat to Google’s AI firm, DeepMind. As a result, there is already talk that Google will release its version of an AI chatbot, Chinchilla AI, which is likely to be a direct rival to ChatGPT.

Why did Elon Musk leave OpenAI?

Elon Musk is one of the founding members of OpenAI. Despite still being listed as a sponsor of the company, Musk departed from the Board of Directors in 2018. This left CEO Sam Altman, who created ChatGPT, at the helm.

Unsurprisingly, Musk took to Twitter to explain why he left the AI company. He says in a tweet: “I had to focus on solving a painfully large number of engineering & manufacturing problems at Tesla (especially) & SpaceX.”

He also claims there were conflicting developments occurring at Tesla which made his role in the company difficult. Moreover, he quite simply states that he “didn’t agree with some of what (the) OpenAI team wanted to do”.

There are a lot of reasons there. But, most of them stem from his commitment to Tesla and perhaps a different vision for the future of OpenAI.

Who owns OpenAI?

OpenAI is an AI research and deployment company. Initially, a non-profit launched in December 2015, which transitioned to a “capped-profit” organization back in 2019. Major tech leaders Elon Musk and Sam Altman founded the firm, alongside other prominent Silicon Valley figures. Knowing who created OpenAI is the best way of knowing who created ChatGPT.

OpenAI LP is overseen by OpenAI’s board which consists of Greg Brockman, Ilya Sutskever, and Sam Altman alongside other non-employee members.

Final Thoughts

ChatGPT has become wildly popular with users across the globe. The tech firm, OpenAI, has done an outstanding job of delivering AI technology to the public. Now we know who created ChatGPT, what is next for the company?

Rumor has it that the organization is seeking to expand into robotics and has already formed partnerships with major players in the tech industry. Equally, it appears that OpenAI plans to utilize its capabilities for these companies, making its technology widespread.