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ChatGPT Creator OpenAI in Talks to Sell Shares at $29 Billion Valuation

The artificial intelligence venture has quickly become attractive to high-profile venture capital investors. It’s likely only a matter of time before the floodgates open.

Five weeks after launching the revolutionary ChatGPT— an AI chatbot that mimics complex human conversation and language and provides nuanced answers to user-generated questions — research company OpenAI is exploring selling existing shares in its business at a $29 billion valuation, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Thrive Capital and Founders Fund are reportedly pursuing an investment of at least $300 million in share sales in the form of a tender offer, with the two venture capital companies purchasing existing shares from stakeholders that may include employees. Despite revenues only in the tens of millions of dollars mostly from selling its AI software to developers, this infusion would more than double the startup’s previous tender offer completed in 2021 at a $14 billion valuation.

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Microsoft invested $1 billion in OpenAI in 2019 and was previously in advanced talks to put even more money into the company, WSJ said. Earlier this week, reports emerged of Microsoft integrating ChatGPT into a newly launched version of its Bing search engine, which could be released by the end of March.

ChatGPT’s abilities are so advanced that New York City’s public schools blocked access to the chatbot on network devices due to academic integrity concerns regarding both cheating and the accuracy of content provided by the new technology, as it has the ability to present false information as plausibly truthful. Earlier this week, The International Conference on Machine Learning banned ChatGPT and other AI language models due to “unanticipated consequences [and] unanswered questions.” 

No final deal has been reached and terms can change, the Wall Street Journal said, but suffice to say that ChatGPT has generated a ton of interest and commotion in just over a month, potentially making OpenAI the next groundbreaking technology startup as 2023 begins.

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