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Sam Altman Receives Indonesia’s First Golden Visa

Tech in Asia looks at Altman's OpenAI success as a model for Indonesia's talent attraction.

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co-founder Samuel Altman has become the first recipient of Indonesia's newly-launched “Golden Visa,” as confirmed by the Directorate General of Immigration in its official announcement. This new visa system is part of the country's initiatives to attract foreign investors and talented individuals to its shores.

According to an article from Time, the decision to award Altman the visa underscores his prominence in the tech world and the potential his presence might bring to Indonesia's technology and innovation sectors. 

The Benefits of the Golden Visa

The “Golden Visa” offers its holders numerous benefits, including a prolonged stay in Indonesia without the need for frequent visa renewals. Beneficiaries also receive easier access to business opportunities and other premium services, designed to make their stay in Indonesia more comfortable and conducive to their work or investment activities.

The official announcement from the Directorate General of Immigration says, “The decision to provide the ‘Golden Visa' to Mr. Altman is based on his notable contributions in the field of artificial intelligence.” It further elaborated that “the new visa initiative is in line with Indonesia's commitment to fostering innovation and attracting top-tier global talents.”

The introduction of the “Golden Visa” and its subsequent award to Altman signifies Indonesia's renewed efforts to position itself as an attractive destination for foreign investors and industry leaders. By recognizing and welcoming international talent, Indonesia aims to spur growth in sectors like technology and innovation.

Sam Altman's Growing Influence in the Tech Industry

has become one of the leaders in the AI industry through OpenAI's products such as the GPT-4 large language model and the ChatGPT chatbot. In August, Altman discussed the challenges of growing OpenAI following the departure of co-founder and key investor, Elon Musk

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman candidly told The New Yorker about the challenges he faced following Musk's exit, stating, “It was very tough. I had to reorient a lot of my life and time to make sure we had enough funding.”

Musk was a co-founder of OpenAI in 2015, along with Altman, LinkedIn's Reid Hoffman, and PayPal's Peter Thiel. He poured an estimated $50 million to $100 million of his own money into the startup. His departure was a blow to OpenAI, as it lost a visionary board member and a major financial supporter.

Musk initially blamed his exit on a conflict of interest with Tesla, but later reports revealed a different story. But reports suggested Musk wanted to be the leader of OpenAI, but the company turned him down. Hoffman gave a more honest version of what happened, saying, “Basically, he goes, ‘You're all a bunch of jackasses,' and he leaves.” This also ended Musk's funding for OpenAI, putting the organization in a difficult situation.

OpenAI overcame the challenges and became a leader in the AI field. After launching its AI chatbot, , it got a massive $10 billion investment from Microsoft and another $495 million from top venture capitalists like Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Thrive, and K2 Global. However, Musk and OpenAI are still at odds. Musk slammed OpenAI for becoming more profit-driven, even calling it a “maximum profit company effectively controlled by .” Altman denied Musk's claims and said they were “totally wrong.”

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Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.

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