Who owns ChatGPT? Unraveling The Whole Truth

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We all know about ChatGPT and have heard about OpenAI, the company behind it. But many of us don’t know about the whole story behind OpenAI. That’s what we’re gonna dig into in this article. We’re asking who owns ChatGPT and hope to go down the rabbit hole to see what we can uncover.

ChatGPT was created by OpenAI, an American AI research lab. It was founded in 2015 by a board of people with lots of experience in AI and deep learning, and the ones we hear the most about are Sam Altman and Elon Musk. Yes, You heard correctly. Elon Musk, the SpaceX and Tesla CEO, was involved in OpenAI as a board member. 

Why Is it important to know who owns ChatGPT and OpenAI

It’s crucial to understand that OpenAI’s ChatGPT could well be one of the most transformative technological innovations developed by mankind. Not because of what it is in its current state but rather because of what it has the potential to unleash. Which is a whole new paradigm of problem-solving innovation and discoveries.

Knowing who owns ChatGPT and OpenAI is important because, at the end of the day, whoever the owner has control of the most powerful AI in the world which has massive geopolitical, societal, and economic implications.

OpenAI is divided into two parts: OpenAI, Inc., a nonprofit, and OpenAI, L.P, the for-profit side of the company. OpenAI shared this chart to help understand its structure:

OpenAI Ownership Diagram  that shows Who owns ChatGPT
Image credit:

Here’s how it all started: At the end of  2015, OpenAI was born and the board of members we talked about earlier, along with some other companies that had interest in AI, managed to pledge over a billion USD.

Elon Musk left the board in 2018, fearing that Tesla’s AI development for self-driving cars could cause a conflict of interest. OpenAI kept working on developing AI with the help of investments from other companies until it transitioned to a for-profit company. At that time, Microsoft started to invest in OpenAI. 

In 2020, OpenAI announced GPT-3 and started to get even more attention from investors. In 2021 OpenAI released DALL-E the AI text-to-image generator. At the end of 2022, OpenAI let the public taste ChatGPT 3.5, and that’s when the widespread coverage of ChatGPT began. 

The story doesn’t stop there; Microsoft decides to invest even more into OpenAI, 10 billion USD this time, but the investment is scheduled to last for a few years. It’s not 100% clear if this means Microsoft owns OpenAI, can make big decisions or owns the rights to use ChatGPT as well.  After this big investment, Microsoft integrated ChatGPT in Bing and also released Bard.

open AI timeline to highlight Who owns ChatGPT

Who Owns ChatGPT? A Spotlight on Those Behind OpenAI?

Sam Altman

The current CEO and co-founder of OpenAI is Sam Altman. It’s not his first time leading a big company. Before his role at OpenAI, he held the position of president at the Y Combinator startup accelerator and co-founded Loopt, a location-based social networking app Altman was among the board members of OpenAI.

Image Credit Wikipedia

Elon Musk

Elon Musk needs no introduction; he is recognized as the Co-founder of Tesla, SpaceX, Neuralink, and The Boring Company. While many people mistakenly believe that Musk owns OpenAI, he was one of the board members alongside Altman. However, Musk stepped down from the board in 2018.

Elon Musk
Image Credit wikipedia

Greg Brockman

As OpenAI’s President and Co-Founder, Greg Brockman is in charge of technology and integration. He impacts how the organization’s vision is shaped and advanced. Brockman previously held the position of CTO of Stripe, a technology business that specializes in payment processing.

Greg Brockman
Image Credit wikipedia

Ilya Sutskever

Ilya Sutskever is the Chief Scientist at OpenAI, where he focuses on developing the field’s innovation and AI research. Sutskever has earned a reputation as a leading authority on education. Has substantially influenced the creation of numerous neural network topologies and artificial intelligence models.

Ilya Sutskever
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John Schulman’s

Robotics and reinforcement learning are two of John Schulman’s major interests at OpenAI. His collaboration with ChatGPT, an AI language model created by OpenAI, is notable for his contributions to intelligence models.

Image Credit Innovators under 35

Brad Lightcap

Brad Lightcap is the Chief Operating Officer at OpenAI, overseeing business operations and strategic alliances in areas like research, applied artificial intelligence, and go-to-market.

He also is in charge of the OpenAI Startup Fund. Brad previously belonged to Y Combinator Continuity before joining OpenAI. Participated in Dropbox’s financial and operational projects. He graduated from Duke University with degrees in history and economics.

brad Lightcap
Image Credit Milken Institue

Mira Murati

Mira Murati is the CTO of Open AI. She worked as an engineer and product manager, most notably in the development of the Tesla Model X. She joined OpenAI in 2018 as the VP of applied AI and partnerships and was eventually promoted to the role of CTO.

As CTO, she has helped bring AI products like ChatGPT. DallE and GPT-4 are public and closely steered the partnership with the Microsoft team to integrate the OpenAI technology into Microsoft Products.

Mira Murati
Image Credit Business Insider

Microsoft $10 Billion in OpenAI

With such a large investment in OpenAI, it is understandable to assume that Microsoft will be the name presented as the answer to the question of who owns ChatGPT. However, it should be noted that Microsoft has been in alliance with OPenAI for Some time and made $1 billion investment in 2019.

Microsoft’s current relationship with OpenAI is reported as being a long-term partnership, although Microsoft invested $10 billion into open AI in January 2023. This investment has afforded Microsoft exclusivity in access to integrate the OpenAI product suites like GPT-4 and Dall-E2 into Microsoft search engine and text-to-image generators. Who

Where is OpenAI headed next?

OpenAI has always been clear about its goals. The company wants to develop an AI that is useful to humanity while ensuring it poses no threat to anyone, but what do they have up their sleeve?

Sam Altman recently shared his thoughts on the question:

“Our mission is to ensure that artificial general intelligence—AI systems that are generally smarter than humans—benefits all of humanity. (…) Although we cannot predict exactly what will happen, and of course our current progress could hit a wall, we can articulate the principles we care about most:

We want AGI to empower humanity to maximally flourish in the universe. We don’t expect the future to be an unqualified utopia, but we want to maximize the good and minimize the bad, and for AGI to be an amplifier of humanity.

We want the benefits of, access to, and governance of AGI to be widely and fairly shared.

We want to successfully navigate massive risks (…) We believe we have to continuously learn and adapt by deploying less powerful versions of the technology in order to minimize “one shot to get it right” scenarios.”

To get an in-depth insight into who ons ChatGPT and the people behind OpenAI You can read OpenAI’s Charter.

In addition to improving ChatGPT, we could see a new version of DALL-E 2 or other AI tools to help people code, learn, or even create music.


Clearly, it’s only the beginning for OpenAI. The Company is motivated by developing AI until it can help humanity on a greater scale. OpenAI is also aware that things could take a bad turn if the correct safety railguards are not put in place They want to avoid this, of course. Containing an AI takes as much work as training it, and a lot of time and money will be needed to reach Artificial General Intelligence. 

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