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Under 40 multi-billionaire Sam Altman and Oliver Mulherin have joined the Giving Pledge
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Under 40 multi-billionaire Sam Altman and Oliver Mulherin have joined the Giving Pledge

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and his husband, Oliver Mulherin, have joined the Giving Pledge, a campaign encouraging billionaires to donate their wealth to philanthropic causes.

In their pledge letter, Altman and Mulherin expressed gratitude for the societal contributions that enabled their success and committed to “pay it forward.”

Altman, worth at least $2 billion according to Bloomberg, accumulated much of his wealth from startup investments, including Reddit. Interestingly, he does not hold a stake in OpenAI.

The Giving Pledge, initiated in 2010 by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda French Gates, aims to inspire the ultra-rich to donate at least half of their fortunes. It currently includes over 245 signatories from 30 countries.

OpenAI was initially funded by Altman, Greg Brockman, Elon Musk, Jessica Livingston, Peter Thiel, Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Infosys and YC Research. When OpenAI launched in 2015, it had raised $1 billion.

In March 2019, Altman left Y Combinator to focus full-time on OpenAI as CEO. By the summer of 2019, he had helped raise $1 billion from Microsoft. Altman testified before the United States Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law on May 16, 2023, about issues of AI oversight.

After the success of ChatGPT, the company’s chatbot application, Altman made a world tour in May 2023, during which he visited 22 countries and met multiple leaders and diplomats, including British prime minister Rishi Sunak, French president Emmanuel Macron, Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez, German chancellor Olaf Scholz, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, South Korean president Yoon Suk-yeol and Israeli president Isaac Herzog.

In their pledge letter Altman and Mulherin wrote:

“We would not be making this pledge if it weren’t for the hard work, brilliance, generosity, and dedication to improve the world of many people that built the scaffolding of society that let us get here. There is nothing we can do except feel immense gratitude and commit to pay it forward and do what we can to build the scaffolding up a little higher. We intend to focus our giving on supporting technology that helps create abundance for people, so that they can then build the scaffolding even higher.”

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