OpenAI CEO Sam Altman Pledges to Giving Away Majority of His Wealth to Charity

By Trisha Andrada

May 29, 2024 04:41 AM EDT

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OpenAI CEO Sam Altman speaks during the Microsoft Build conference at the Seattle Convention Center Summit Building in Seattle, Washington on May 21, 2024.
(Photo : JASON REDMOND/AFP via Getty Images)

Sam Altman, CEO of artificial intelligence (AI) research firm and ChatGPT maker OpenAI, and his spouse have signed the Giving Pledge, pledging to give away the majority of their wealth.

A humanitarian initiative called The Giving Pledge is trying to get rich individuals to give most of their money to charity.

Sam Altman, Spouse Commit to Donating Majority of Their Fortune

In a letter published on Tuesday, May 28, Altman and his spouse Oliver Mulherin expressed their gratitude to the individuals whose kindness, generosity, and perseverance laid the groundwork for the society.

The May 18 letter states that the couple is very grateful and pledges to repay the favor to people trying to improve the world. It goes on to say that they want to use their philanthropic efforts to bolster technology.

According to a Bloomberg report in March, Altman's net worth is at least $2 billion, which is not attributable to OpenAI but rather to his many investments in startups. Forbes said in April that he has invested in two companies: Fusion power firm Helion Energy and biotech company Retro Biosciences. Additionally, since 2014, he has invested more than $60 million into Reddit.

The letter follows a turbulent few months for Altman, who was both ousted and reinstated as CEO of OpenAI after a disagreement inside the business. Just this week, he was accused of developing a toxic culture of deceit and psychological abuse at OpenAI.

READ NEXT: OpenAI's Sam Altman Accused of Toxic Leadership, Psychological Abuse by Ex-Board Members

Critics: Giving Pledge Lacks Oversight

Bill Gates, Melinda Gates, and Warren Buffett established the nonprofit Giving Pledge in 2010. Altman and Mulherin are among the more than 240 signatories from 30 nations who have made commitments to support it. The signatories promise to give at least half of their fortune to organizations that are fighting the most pressing problems.

The Giving Pledge, however, is not a legally binding contract. Some have argued that there is little supervision to ensure that community members carry out their vows, according to The Hill.

READ MORE: OpenAI Sets Up Security and Safety Committee, Begins Development of 'Next Frontier Model'

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