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Mira Murati    

Chief Technology Officer at OpenAI

Mira Murati is chief technology officer at OpenAI, the startup behind ChatGPT—the most advanced AI chatbot ever to be deployed to a mass audience—and Fast Company’s Most Innovative Company of 2023.

Born in Albania and a veteran of Tesla, where she led development of the Model X, Murati has been with OpenAI since 2018. While the world gawks at the technology and argues about its potential, she and her team are focused on improving OpenAI’s products. After all, billions of dollars are riding on the success of their technology, which could be Silicon Valley’s most disruptive since the iPhone.

Murati’s interest in AI started back in 2013, when she joined Tesla. At the time, the company was releasing early versions of Autopilot, its AI-enabled driver-assistance software, and working on AI-enabled robots for its factories. That led Murati to consider other real-world applications.

She moved over to Leap Motion in 2016 to work on the startup’s augmented reality system to replace keyboards. As VP of product and engineering, she hoped to make interacting with a computer “as intuitive as playing with a ball,” but she soon realized the VR-based technology wasn’t close to being ready for a mass audience.

As Murati considered her next move, she came to the conclusion that a “massive advancement in technology” would have to play a role in solving the world’s biggest challenges. That led to her joining OpenAI in 2018, and her oversight of the rollouts of Dall-E and ChatGPT.

Murati is passionate about testing these products with the general public. “You could make technological progress in a vacuum without real-world contacts,” she tells Fast Company. “But then the question is, Are you actually moving in the right direction?”

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