So check this out, OpenAI’s non-profit arm only reported revenues of $44,485 in their latest US tax filing. That’s pocket change compared to the likely millions they’re making from ChatGPT, their for-profit business. They started in 2015 as a non-profit, all about developing AI for humanity. But in 2019, they switched it up and started a for-profit side, making people wonder if they’re now more about the money than building safe AI.
Here’s where it gets interesting – their non-profit side made so little that they’re exempt from paying income tax and have fewer reporting requirements. Meanwhile, their for-profit side is reportedly worth $90 billion! Microsoft even dropped $10 billion for almost half of it earlier this year, and OpenAI says they’re still governed by their non-profit side, even though they’re swimming in cash.
No one really knows how much the for-profit side is raking in, but they reportedly made $28 million last year. And with GPT-4 out, they’re probably making bank selling it to subscribers and businesses.
But get this – unlike other tech companies run by a non-profit, OpenAI is taking billions from private investors. That’s got some people calling them out, saying they need to be more transparent about what’s going on.
Even regulators are getting in on this – the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority and the US Federal Trade Commission are thinking about investigating if OpenAI’s deal with Microsoft breaks any antitrust laws. Sounds like OpenAI’s got some explaining to do!
No comment yet from OpenAI, but we’ll see how this all plays out.