How non-profit OpenAI became $30 bn profit-making firm, questions Musk

Elon Musk has also paused OpenAI access to Twitter database

Elon Musk

As Microsoft-owned OpenAI rakes in big moolah after its ChatGPT AI conversational chatbot became a rage globally, Elon Musk on Thursday again raised questions over how a non-profit has become a $30 billion maximum-profit company for Satya Nadella-run tech giant.

Musk had donated $100 million to OpenAI. He stepped down from OpenAI's board of directors in 2018 and no longer owns a stake in the company.

"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.

He has also paused OpenAI access to Twitter database.

OpenAI was founded as a non-profit artificial intelligence research company in 2015.

Its research director was Ilya Sutskever, one of the world experts in machine learning and CTO was Greg Brockman, formerly the CTO of Stripe.

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OpenAI's co-chairs were Sam Altman and Musk.

The Twitter CEO in February this year also raised the same question, saying OpenAI was created as an open source (which is why I named it "Open" AI), a non-profit company to serve as a counterweight to Google.

"But now it has become a closed-source, maximum-profit company effectively controlled by Microsoft. Not what I intended at all," he posted, criticising Microsoft for making profits via OpenAI.

The AI chatbot ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI which is now a Microsoft company, has become a rage and the tech giant has infused $10 billion into it to make it more useful for across industries.

First Published: Mar 16 2023 | 10:55 AM IST