Sam Altman: 10 Things To Know About The Sacked OpenAI Founder

Sam Altman: 10 Things To Know About The Sacked OpenAI Founder

After OpenAI sacked Sam Altman, the founder of the Microsoft-backed firm behind ChatGPT, due to ‘losing confidence in him’, the Internet went into a frenzy with wild speculations as to what the future holds for Altman. There were reports doing rounds according to which Altman was offered to be rehired, however, he rejected and the organisation went on the lookout for a new interim CEO. What further garnered everyone’s attention was a piece of news on Monday morning. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced that Altman will be joining the tech giant to lead a new advanced AI research team. 

Let us get to know the ChatGPT founder a bit better and understand what significance he holds in the field of tech.

10 Things To Know About Sam Altman

  1. Samuel Harris Altman was born into a Jewish family on April 22, 1985. He grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, US. He had his first PC at the mere age of eight.
  2. 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 endeavours.
  3. At the age of 19, he co-founded location-based social media app Loopt. He raised $30 million in VC funds, however, the company failed to find its footing. Loopt was eventually bought by Green Dot Corporation for a price of $43.4 million back in 2012.
  4. He joined a tech startup accelerator Y Combinator as a part-time partner in 2011. Within 3 years, he became the president of Y Combinator.
  5. Altman made it to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in 2015.
  6. In 2016, he became the president of YC Group which comprised Y Combinator and other units.
  7. He then decided to focus on the AI research lab OpenAI in 2019 and hence stepped down from the president of the YC Group to just holding a chair on its board.
  8. In 2019, he co-founded Tools for Humanity, a company that built a cryptocurrency-based global iris-based biometric system, called Worldcoin. However, the company drew flak after the publication of a 2022 report by MIT Technology Review which revealed that it exploited the indigent workers of low-income countries in order to expand its network.
  9. He then made the complete transition to OpenAI as a CEO and co-founder in 2020. The company had already received funding from tech giants such as Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, and others.
  10. He was named one of the 100 most influential people by Time Magazine in 2023 based on his work with OpenAI and his investments in startups such as Airbnb, Stripe, Pinterest, Reddit, etc

Fun fact, he was also the the CEO of our beloved Reddit for a short span 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 their former colleagues at OpenAI who have also joined Microsoft.

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