Who owns ChatGPT? Everything about the chatbot’s Microsoft-backed developer


AI bots that can converse with humans and imitate their writing are nothing out of the ordinary, but ChatGPT takes it to a new level with its ability to solve problems, write essays, and even code. The newly launched chatbot is not only capable of conversing but also “answers follow-up questions, admits its mistakes, challenges incorrect premises and rejects inappropriate requests”.

ChatGPT made headlines after it garnered 1 million users within five days of its launch – a rare feat for a prototype of software that is yet to be finalized. The preview of ChatGPT is currently free to use but the final version is likely to be monetized in the future. Moreover, ChatGPT’s developer plans on releasing the updated version in early 2023.

ChatGPT is owned and developed by OpenAI, an artificial intelligence research lab founded by Sam Altman and Elon Musk

On November 30, 2022, OpenAI launched the preview of ChatGPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) to test it for weaknesses and strengths based on users’ feedback.

OpenAI is an artificial general intelligence (AGI) research and deployment laboratory that aims to generate AI that benefits humanity. It was founded on December 11, 2015, by Sam Altman (the former president of tech startup Y Combinator) and Elon Musk.

Other co-founders of the lab include some of Silicon Valley’s biggest names such as Peter Thiel, Jessica Livingston, Greg Brockman, and LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman. Furthermore, companies like YC Research, Amazon Web Services, and Infosys invested in the project. A total of $1 billion was pledged to the creation of OpenAI.

Based in San Francisco, OpenAI operates a for-profit corporation (OpenAI LP) and a non-profit organization (OpenAI Inc).

In 2018, Musk resigned from the board of directors of the lab to avoid a potential conflict of interest with the development of his Tesla AI company. However, he remains a donor to OpenAI while Altman serves as the CEO and Brockman as the Chairman and President.

Microsoft joined and partnered with OpenAI in 2019 with a $1 billion investment

In July 2019, Microsoft Corporation invested $1 billion in OpenAI and obtained an exclusive multiyear partnership with the lab. The two companies aim to build artificial general intelligence (AGI) and supercomputing technologies.

“We are working with Microsoft to build the supercomputing foundation on which we will build AGI. We believe it’s crucial that AGI is deployed safely and securely and that its economic benefits are widely distributed,” said Altman.

The Matthew Brown Companies and Khosla Ventures are other leading investors of OpenAI. The lab is valued at $20 billion and projects revenue growth of $1 billion by 2024 with the future launch of ChatGPT.

“We will run a very tight feedback loop for improvement, and try to make our mistakes while the stakes are low. But it’s impossible to get this right with no contact with reality. We are learning so much from ChatGPT; it’s going to get a lot better, less annoying, and more useful fast,” wrote Altman on Twitter.

Also, ChatGPT is not the first product developed by OpenAI as it previously launched similar software such as the AI text-generator GPT-3, DALL-E (digital image generator), and Codex (code generator).