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Screenshot of Sam Altman

Sam Altman is a highly influential entrepreneur and investor, best known for his association with the startup accelerator Y Combinator (YC). Born in 1985, Altman attended Stanford University but left after just a year to pursue his entrepreneurial dreams. He co-founded a location-based social networking company called Loopt when he was just 19, which was one of the first startups to go through the YC program. Loopt was eventually acquired by Green Dot Corporation in 2012.

In 2014, Altman took over as the President of Y Combinator, succeeding its co-founder Paul Graham. Under his leadership, YC expanded its reach and influence, nurturing startups like Airbnb, Dropbox, and Stripe. Altman emphasized the importance of software “eating the world” and pushed YC to diversify into areas such as biotech and healthcare. In 2019, he stepped down as the president but continued to be involved in the organization.

Sam Altman is also the co-founder of OpenAI, an artificial intelligence research organization established in 2015, aimed at ensuring that AI benefits all of humanity. OpenAI has made significant contributions to the AI field, including the development of the GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) series of language models.

Known for his vision and advocacy for ethical considerations in technology, Altman has become a leading voice in Silicon Valley and beyond. He is a prolific writer and speaker, discussing topics from startup culture to the ethical implications of AI. His work continues to shape the future of technology, startups, and ethical AI.

By 2020, Sam Altman had left Y Combinator to focus full-time on OpenAI as CEO.