ChatGPT launched in November 2022, and it already seems like every other headline talks about this OpenAI chatbot. But what do you really know about it and its creator, Sam Altman

  • Sam Altman was a co-founder of Loopt, a startup that was eventually acquired for $43.4m 
  • Altman then joined Y Combinator and eventually became its president 
  • OpenAI was founded by Sam Altman, Ilya Sutskever, Greg Brockman, Wojciech Zaremba, John Schulman, and Elon Musk in December 2015 
  • Altman cofounded OpenAI in 2015 while still serving as YC’s president  
  • OpenAI has launched several products in addition to ChatGPT. They include Gym, RoboSumo, Debate Game, Dactyl, DALL-E, CLIP, GPT, GPT-2, GPT-3, Music, Whisper, API, Microscope, OpenAI Five, Codex, and GYM Retro 
  • In 2019, Altman transitioned to Chairman at YC in order to focus full-time on OpenAI 
  • Later in 2019, Microsoft invested $1b in OpenAI, and another $2b since then 
  • In 2020, OpenAI gave Microsoft an exclusive license for OpenAI’s GPT-3 language model 
  • In 2022, Altman created ChatGPT, built on top of GPT-3 
  • And thanks in large part to ChatGPT, OpenAI is now valued at $29b and recently announced it would be selling partial ownership 
  • Microsoft is considering investing another $10b 

But what is it, and why has it skyrocketed in valuation so quickly? 

The best summary we found of what ChatGPT is from Hackernoon’s Maximilliano Contieri… 

ChatGPT is a natural language processing (NLP) tool. It is a variant of the GPT (Generative Pre-training Transformer) model. ChatGPT uses a combination of advanced NLP techniques and a neural network. A Neural Network is a type of machine learning model that is designed to process and analyze large amounts of data. 

ChatGPT is a sophisticated tool that is capable of holding engaging and natural conversations with humans. 

It is a valuable asset in a variety of applications, including customer service, virtual assistants, and chatbots. 

And as for its valuation being so high? 

While it isn’t quite ready to start taking people’s jobs, it has proven to be able to generate code, blogging, ideation, write essays, create songs, assist with interview prep, serve as a knowledge base (well, if you are only looking for data up to 2021), etc. Most importantly, it has proven content retention ability. In other words, in the right hands, it could already assist with increasing efficiency and automation as it will continue to learn from interactions and will give whoever owns the rights to it a leg up in the AI race. 


*Image Source: Forbes: Here’s What To Know About OpenAI’s ChatGPT—What It’s Disrupting And How To Use It 

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