What is the Relationship Between OpenAI and ChatGPT?

ChatGPT was created by Anthropic, an AI safety startup founded by former OpenAI researchers. However, ChatGPT’s underlying AI architecture is based on groundbreaking work originally done at OpenAI.

OpenAI pioneered large language model research that paved the way for systems like ChatGPT today. The close technical connection between the two organizations continues to shape ChatGPT’s ongoing evolution.

OpenAI Background

  • Founded in 2015 with backing from Sam Altman, Elon Musk, and others
  • Mission is to ensure AI benefits humanity
  • Developed large language models like GPT-2 and GPT-3

Anthropic Spinout

  • Formed in 2021 by ex-OpenAI researchers like Dario Amodei and Daniela Amodei
  • Leveraged OpenAI’s work on GPT-3 to later create ChatGPT at Anthropic

How Does OpenAI’s Work Relate to ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is heavily based on architectural foundations and learnings built up at OpenAI:

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Leverages Transformer Networks

  • ChatGPT uses the transformer architecture pioneered in papers by OpenAI researchers

Scales GPT-3 Principles

  • Its model scales key principles of OpenAI’s GPT-3, released in 2020

Applies OpenAI Research

  • Papers published by OpenAI inform ChatGPT’s training

Aligns with OpenAI’s Mission

  • Anthropic upholds OpenAI’s ethos of developing safe and beneficial AI

What are the Main Differences Between ChatGPT and OpenAI’s Models?

While closely related, ChatGPT differs from OpenAI models like GPT-3 in some key aspects:

Larger Model Size

  • ChatGPT has over 175 billion parameters vs GPT-3’s 175 billion

Heavily Curated Training Data

  • Meticulously filtered dataset to minimize toxic content risks

Specialized for Dialog

  • Reinforcement learning optimized its conversational abilities

Targets Mainstream Accessibility

  • Designed for broad public use rather than research

More Control Against Misuse

  • Anthropic implemented stronger controls over dangerous outputs

How Does OpenAI’s Ongoing Research Influence ChatGPT?

As a leader in AI, OpenAI’s latest research provides valuable insights for ChatGPT’s continued improvement:

Model Scaling Laws

  • OpenAI papers on optimizing scale help advance ChatGPT architecture

Training Techniques

  • Innovations like supervised fine-tuning integrate into ChatGPT training

Safety Practices

  • OpenAI guidance on risks helps Anthropic prioritize safeguards

Ethics Research

  • Work on AI alignment helps ensure models benefit humanity


  • Ideas like InstructGPT could enhance ChatGPT’s capabilities

What are the Key Benefits OpenAI Provides to ChatGPT?

Some major benefits ChatGPT gains from standing on OpenAI’s shoulders:

Proven Foundation

  • GPT models provided a thoroughly tested base for language AI

Validation of Viability

  • Success of GPT-3 demonstrated capabilities of large language models

Mainstreaming Conversation

  • Familiarity with GPT-3 prepared the public to embrace conversational AI
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Accelerated Innovation Cycles

  • OpenAI’s research speeds advancement of the entire field

Established talent pipeline

  • OpenAI cultivated top AI researchers later recruited by Anthropic

Responsible AI Culture

  • OpenAI helped establish practices for safe, ethical AI development

What Future Collaboration is Likely Between OpenAI and Anthropic?

As leaders shaping the future of AI, potential areas of collaboration include:

  • Knowledge sharing around safety best practices
  • Licensing OpenAI’s data assets to enhance Anthropic training
  • Partnering to align AI systems with human values
  • Co-developing standards for measuring AI capabilities
  • Policy initiatives to develop responsible AI guidelines
  • Conferences bringing together experts across organizations
  • Open discourse on the challenges and opportunities of advanced AI
  • Consulting on systems design, auditing, and improvements


The connection between OpenAI and ChatGPT highlights the cumulative nature of progress in AI. Building on OpenAI’s pioneering work on safe and capable language models, ChatGPT represents an ambitious demonstration of AI’s potential to positively transform lives. Continued cooperation and openness between these leaders promises to further unlock AI systems that empower society with knowledge, creativity and opportunity.