OpenAI fired Sam Altman, founder of the Microsoft-backed firm behind ChatGPIT, due to ‘losing confidence in him’, sparking speculation on the Internet about what the future holds for Altman. There were reports that Altman was offered re-hire, however, he declined it and the organization began searching for a new interim CEO. A news that came on Monday morning caught everyone’s attention. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced that Altman will be joining the tech giant to lead a new advanced AI research team.
Let’s get to know the ChatGPT founder a little better and understand what he means to the world of technology.
10 things to know about Sam Altman
- Samuel Harris Altman was born on April 22, 1985 in a Jewish family. He grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. He had his first PC when he was just eight years old.
- You guessed it, he was also a dropout. He enrolled at Stanford University to study computer science, however, he dropped out after a year. In 2005, he decided to pursue other endeavors.
- At the age of 19, he co-founded the location-based social media app Loopt. They raised $30 million in VC funding, however, the company failed to take root. Loopt was eventually purchased by Green Dot Corporation in 2012 for a price of $43.4 million.
- He joined Y Combinator, a tech startup accelerator, as a part-time partner in 2011. Within 3 years, he became the president of Y Combinator.
- Altman made the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2015.
- In 2016, he became Chairman of YC Group, which includes Y Combinator and other units.
- He then decided in 2019 to focus on AI research lab OpenAI and so stepped down as chairman of YC Group, taking up a chair on its board.
- In 2019, he co-founded Tools for Humanity, a company that created a cryptocurrency-based global iris-based biometric system called WorldCoin. However, the company came under criticism following the publication of a 2022 report by MIT Technology Review, which revealed that it exploited poor workers in low-income countries to expand its network.
- He then made a full transition to OpenAI in 2020 as CEO and co-founder. The company had already received funding from Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, Microsoft, Amazon Web Services and other tech giants.
- He was named one of the 100 most influential people in 2023 by Time Magazine based on his work with OpenAI and his investments in startups like Airbnb, Stripe, Pinterest, Reddit, etc.
Fun fact, he was also the CEO of our beloved Reddit for a short period of eight days in 2014, during the period when Yishan Wong stepped down and Steve Huffman returned as CEO.
Sam Altman is now all set to lead the new advanced AI research team at Microsoft along with Greg Brockman and some of his former colleagues at OpenAI who have also joined Microsoft.