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What is OpenAI? Here's what you need to know about the company behind ChatGPT
Artificial intelligence has become massively popular over the past few years, with AI chatbots and image-generation software popping up left and right. Out of all of the AI chatbots that have been popularized, perhaps the most popular of all has been ChatGPT. OpenAI, the company behind it, has had a lengthier history than most realize.
In this short guide covering the basics, we’ll be going over what OpenAI is, its founders, ownership, main products, frequently asked questions, and dispel some common misconceptions about the company.
What is OpenAI?
OpenAI is an artificial intelligence research lab and company that has made significant contributions to the field of AI and has most notably created the AI chatbot ChatGPT.
Short for Open Artificial Intelligence, OpenAI is an organization that focuses on advancing artificial intelligence research and development. It was founded to ensure that artificial general intelligence (AGI), which refers to highly autonomous systems that outperform humans in most economically valuable work, benefits all of humanity.
Who founded OpenAI?
OpenAI was established in December 2015 by a group of prominent individuals in the tech and AI industry. Notable co-founders included Elon Musk, Sam Altman, Greg Brockman, Ilya Sutskever, John Schulman, and Wojciech Zaremba. The organization was founded back in 2015 with a mission to create AI technologies that would have a broad positive impact on society and to make these technologies accessible to everyone.
Who owns OpenAI?
OpenAI operates as a research and development organization, and its primary fiduciary duty is to humanity as a whole. OpenAI is funded by a group of philanthropic organizations, including but not limited to the Open Philanthropy Project, as well as donations from individuals. It doesn’t have traditional shareholders, and it does not operate for profit. As such, it is not owned by any single individual or corporation.
OpenAI has developed several cutting-edge AI products, some of which include:
GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) models
GPT-3: ChatGPT, one of OpenAI’s most famous models, is based on GPT-3, a language model capable of understanding and generating human-like text.
DALL·E is an AI model that generates images from textual descriptions, opening new creative possibilities in the field of art and design. DALL-E 3 was recently released, with the newest version of the AI image generator built directly into Microsoft’s search engine, Bing.
CLIP is a model that understands images and text together, enabling a wide range of applications, from visual search to natural language understanding.
OpenAI has other products and research projects, including Whisper (automatic speech recognition system) and Codex (a language model for code generation). These products have applications in various industries, from healthcare to software development.
No, OpenAI is not a publicly traded company. It is an independent research organization with a mission to ensure that artificial general intelligence benefits all of humanity. It operates as a non-profit entity.
No, OpenAI is not open to public investment. However, because of the company’s hybrid structure, it is composed of both nonprofit and profit-orientated companies, so it is possible to invest in stocks and ETFs that are associated with OpenAI.
No, Microsoft does not own OpenAI. While OpenAI has partnered with Microsoft to develop and deliver AI technologies, they remain separate entities with their own missions and operations.
OpenAI releases some of its research and code as open source to promote transparency and collaboration within the AI community. However, not all of its technology is open source, and there may be restrictions on the use of some of their models and data.
Elon Musk was one of the co-founders of OpenAI and played a significant role in its early development. However, Musk left the company in 2018 due to a potential conflict of interest with his ownership of Tesla, the electric vehicle company. As a result, he is no longer directly involved with the organization’s operations. OpenAI operates independently with its own governance structure and funding sources.