Open AI’s Sam Altman signs pledge to give away most of his wealth

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and his husband have signed the Giving Pledge, vowing to donate most of their wealth to philanthropic causes.

In a letter published Tuesday, Altman and his husband Oliver Mulherin attributed the decision to the “hard work, brilliance, generosity, and dedication 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,” continued the letter, dated May 18. “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.”

Altman and Mulherin join the more than 240 signatories from 30 countries who have committed to the Giving Pledge, a nonprofit founded in 2010 by Bill Gates, Melinda French Gates and Warren Buffett. Signatories commit to donate at least half of their wealth to charities dealing with the most urgent issues.

The Giving Pledge is not a legally binding contract, and some critics argue there is little oversight to guarantee community members fulfill their promises.

The letter comes after a tumultuous few months for Altman, who was fired and quickly reinstated as OpenAI’s CEO amid a fallout at the artificial intelligence company behind the popular ChatGPT tool.

ChatGPT quickly surged in popularity last year and prompted other tech companies to develop their own AI-based products.

Altman appeared before a Senate Judiciary Committee last spring in the wake of growing concerns over AI, telling lawmakers the technology could “cause significant harm to the world.”

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