Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, along with his partner, Oliver Mulherin, has embraced the Giving Pledge, a philanthropic initiative started by Bill Gates, Melinda French Gates, and Warren Buffett in 2010. This pledge invites the wealthiest individuals to commit the majority of their wealth to charitable causes, either during their lifetime or in their wills.

Altman and Mulherin intend to direct their philanthropic endeavours toward advancing technology that fosters abundance and societal progress. This reflects their belief in the transformative power of technology to enhance lives and drive societal advancement.

In their pledge letter, Altman and Mulherin expressed profound gratitude for the collective efforts that enabled their success. "We would not be making this pledge if it weren't for the hard work, brilliance, generosity, and dedication to improve the world of many people that built the scaffolding of society that let us get here," they wrote. They underscored their commitment to giving back and enhancing society, vowing to pay it forward and help elevate the scaffolding of society a bit higher.

The Giving Pledge has attracted numerous high-profile signatories, including MacKenzie Scott, Reid Hoffman, Marc Benioff, Elon Musk, Larry Ellison, and Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan. These individuals have pledged significant portions of their fortunes to address global challenges through philanthropy.

Although Altman has no equity in OpenAI, his portfolio includes investments in companies like Reddit and Stripe, stakes in nuclear energy startup Helion, and longevity biotech startup Retro Biosciences. Additionally, Altman holds interests in YC funds and has been expanding his real estate holdings.

Altman's decision to join the Giving Pledge underscores his dedication to leveraging his wealth and influence for positive change. By focusing on technological innovations that benefit society, he aims to help create a future where resources are plentiful and opportunities are accessible to all.

The ‘Giving Pledge’ is not a legally binding contract but a moral commitment designed to "inspire conversations, discussions, and action, not just about how much to give, but also for what purposes and to what end," according to its website. The initiative has garnered support from over 245 couples and individuals across 30 countries.

On Tuesday, Melinda French Gates, one of the world’s leading philanthropists, announced a $1 billion donation through her organisation, Pivotal Ventures, to promote women’s rights globally by 2026. This comes shortly after her resignation from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, following her divorce from Bill Gates. As part of the divorce settlement, she received $12.5 billion for her philanthropic work from the Gates Foundation.

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