A recent article from Semafor seems to indicate that back in early 2018, Elon Musk was looking to take control of OpenAI and run it himself, which may have made it quite different to the company we know today for ChatGPT.
During the time when Musk originally walked away from the OpenAI Board, there was a proposal from the Tesla and SpaceX founder to take over the company. Musk confided in OpenAI's chief Sam Altman that he felt that it had fallen behind Google's progress in the area, which we are now seeing with the launch of Google Bard.
Following this conversation and Musk's proposal, other OpenAI founders as well as Sam himself rejected the idea, which led to Musk's departure and withdrawal of a planned sizable donation of funds to the project, creating a divide between the two.
At the time Musk left, many within the project believed the true reason for the departure was that Tesla was working on its own autonomous driving program, known as Autopilot. However, it seems that this was not the case.
I’m still confused as to how a non-profit to which I donated ~$100M somehow became a $30B market cap for-profit. If this is legal, why doesn’t everyone do it?— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 15, 2023
The withdrawal of funds by Musk resulted in costs for OpenAI, originally a non-profit organisation, that could not be paid. This led it to pivot to being a for-profit company to raise funds for development of AI projects. The firm later accepted a $1 billion investment from Microsoft which then allowed for the infrastructure to be built that trained the models for both ChatGPT and DALL-E.
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