Elon Musk once tried to buy ChatGPT parent OpenAI, but failed

Elon Musk reportedly tried to buy OpenAI, the creator of the ChatGPT AI bot, but his proposal was rejected by the co-founders.


Elon Musk tried to take control of OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, in early 2018 but Sam Altman and OpenAI’s other founders rejected Musk’s proposal. Musk, in turn, walked away from the company and reneged on a massive planned donation, reports Semafor. Also Read - ChatGPT app for iOS now available in more countries

Musk told Altman that he believed the “venture had fallen fatally behind Google”. But the Twitter CEO failed to convince OpenAI founders to take over the AI chatbot ChatGPT creator. When Musk walked away, he resigned from its board in 2018 citing a conflict of interest with his work at Tesla. Also Read - Ex-Google CEO says AI represents existential risk that could kill humans

According to a Semafor report, he also reneged on a promise to supply $1 billion in funding, contributing only $100 million before he walked. This left OpenAI with “no ability to pay the astronomical fees associated with training AI models on supercomputers”. Also Read - Google, European Union to create voluntary AI pact ahead of new regulations in Europe

In March 2019, OpenAI announced it was creating a for-profit entity so that it could raise enough money to pay for the computing power.

“We want to increase our ability to raise capital while still serving our mission, and no pre-existing legal structure we know of strikes the right balance,” the company wrote at the time.

Less than six months later, Microsoft infused $1 billion in OpenAI, and the rest is history.

They built a supercomputer to train massive models that eventually created ChatGPT and the image generator DALL-E. The latest language model, GPT-4, has 1 trillion parameters.

Musk has now raised questions over how a non-profit has become a $30 billion maximum-profit company for Satya Nadella-run tech giant. “I’m still confused as to how a non-profit to which I donated $100 million somehow became a $30 billion market cap for-profit. If this is legal, why doesn’t everyone do it?” he quipped.

Musk has also paused OpenAI access to the Twitter database.

The AI chatbot ChatGPT is now a rage and Microsoft has infused $10 billion into it to make it more useful across industries.


  • Published Date: March 26, 2023 11:22 AM IST
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