Musk: Why Elon Musk’s $100 million donation claim to ChatGPT maker OpenAI may be wrong

Elon Musk, in mid-March, tweeted that he donated around $100 million to ChatGPT-maker OpenAI and that once a non-profit, the company became “a $30B market cap for-profit” firm. His tweet was an attack on the then startup in which Microsoft infused billions for using the generative artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities in the chatbot. A new report has now claimed that Musk never donated $100 million to OpenAI and only $15 million can be traced.
Citing documents filed with the IRS and a state regulator, a report by TechCrunch said that Musk could not have given the non-profit the $100 million he originally claimed.
“In fact, while the source of much of OpenAI’s funding remains unclear, filings contain only around $15 million of donations that can be traced definitively back to Musk,” the report claimed.

The report said that in 2016, the Musk Foundation made a $10 million donation to a non-profit associated with current CEO Sam Altman, called, in turn, made a $10 million donation to OpenAI – which remains the only publicly disclosed cash contribution from Musk to OpenAI.

YC also gave OpenAI $16 million in 2017, of which at least $5 million was likely Musk’s, the report said.
Musk recently claimed he donated $50 million
Musk, in an CNBC interview this week, said that he donated $50 million — exactly half of which he claimed before – to OpenAI. When asked how much he had donated to OpenAI, Musk replied: “I’m not sure the exact number but it’s some number on the order of $50 million.”

Musk’s OpenAI connection
Musk was previously connected to OpenAI and tried to take control of the startup in early 2018. However, Altman and OpenAI’s other founders rejected Musk’s proposal. Musk then walked away from the company and has been claiming that he donated $100 million.

“I donated the first $100 million to OpenAI when it was a non-profit, but have no ownership or control,” he said in one of his tweets.

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