Greg Brockman

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Greg Brockman
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Thompson, North Dakota
CitizenshipUnited States of America
  • Serial entrepreneur
  • businessman
  • investor
Known forStripe, OpenAI, OpenAI Gym, GPT, Codex
Parent(s)Ellen Feldman and Ronald Brockman

Greg Brockman is an American entrepreneur, businessman, and investor[1]. He is a co-founder and chief technology officer (CTO) at artificial intelligence (AI) research laboratory OpenAI. Funded by Elon Musk, Sam Altman, and Reid Hoffman, the laboratory conducts research into deep learning, and develops Friendly artificial intelligence|friendly AI[2].


Brockman was born and grew up in Thompson, North Dakota[3]. His parents are physicians at Altru Health System[4].

Brockman attended Red River High School. At a young age, he showed an interest in mathematics, chemistry, and computer science, and attended extracurricular classes at the University of North Dakota. In 2006, he won a silver medal for the US team at the International Chemistry Olympiad, held in Gyeongsan, South Korea[5]. In 2007, he participated in the Regeneron Science Talent Search|Intel Science Talent Search, a national pre-college science contest in the United States. He was the first finalist from North Dakota to participate in the competition since 1973[4].

Brockman enrolled at Harvard University in 2008, intending to double-major in mathematics and computer science. A year later, he dropped out of Harvard. He briefly attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology|MIT until dropping out within a couple of months in 2010. He has been married since 2019[3].

Entrepreneurial activity

Upon leaving university in 2010, Brockman joined the startup Stripe (company), founded by his MIT classmate Patrick Collison and Collison’s brother John Collison[1]. The startup developed payment processing software and an API|application programming interface for websites and mobile applications. Brockman worked as a founding engineer, and became Stripe’s first CTO in 2013[6].

Brockman publicly supported Stripe's investment in cryptocurrency Stellar (payment network), and had raised Stripe’s valuation to $3.5 billion by December 2014. In May 2015, he left Stripe to work on independent artificial intelligence projects[7].

In December 2015, along with Business magnate Elon Musk and Sam Altman, Brockman co-founded the OpenAI nonprofit research laboratory. The laboratory aims to create safe, self–sufficient AI[8].

As the company’s CTO, Brockman recruited OpenAI’s founding team, and has led a number of research projects. In April 2016, the company released the beta version of OpenAI Gym, a public platform for developing and comparing reinforcement learning algorithms[9]. The Python (programming language) based Gym allows researchers to reproduce and extend their previous work on machine learning[10].

In 2017, OpenAI trained a self–sufficient Dota 2 bot, which went on to beat Ukraine professional esports competitor Danil Ishutin in a live matchup at The International 2017[11]. After the match, Brockman explained that the company had developed the bot using the reinforcement learning methodology; the AI had learned by playing against itself in real time before the match, and was rewarded for actions such as eliminating an enemy and taking map objectives. He argued that the software for the AI’s self–sufficient learning would contribute to creating software to handle complex tasks in the future[1].

In 2018, the company developed the OpenAI Five project, designing a full team of five OpenAI–curated bots. Although the OpenAI Five lost in two games against professional teams at The International 2018, the bots beat a team of world champions in a real–time match in 2019[11]. Brockman later stated that following the bots’ matches against real players, many professional gamers adopted the bots’ more aggressive style, favoring short-term gains in matches with fixed playing times[12].

From 2018 through to 2021, Brockman has been involved in producing a series of generative pre-training (GPT) language Generative model|models[13]. These models use deep learning to translate and summarize passages and compose human–like text output[14]. In July 2021, OpenAI released OpenAI Codex|Codex – a generative model for coding. With a design based on OpenAI’s GPT-3|GPT-3 language engine, the model can automatically program simple web pages, applications, and games[15]. Brockman stated at the Codex demonstration that the model aims to simplify the task of coding for programmers by letting them focus more on “having a vision and dividing it into chunks, then actually making code”[16].

Angel investor

Brockman is also known as an angel investor, providing start-ups with investment capital. As of September 2021, he had invested in more than 20 projects, including a cross–application search tool developed by Command E, as well as delivery robots by Grubhub|Eat24[17][18].


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Helen A. S. Popkin (2017-11-14). "30 Under 30 In Enterprise Tech: Reinventing Business With Artificial Intelligence". Forbes. Retrieved 2020-02-17.
  2. "Artificial intelligence: Elon Musk backs open project 'to benefit humanity'". The Guardian. 2015-12-12. Retrieved 2021-10-17.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Karen Hao (2015-12-12). "The messy, secretive reality behind OpenAI's bid to save the world". Technology Review. Retrieved 2020-02-17.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Greg Brockman, Intel Science Talent Search finalist, Grand Forks". Grand Forks Herald. 2007-02-04. Retrieved 2020-02-17.
  5. "2007 Legacy Winners: Gregory Brockman". Creativity Foundation. 2007. Retrieved 2020-02-17.
  6. "UPDATE 2-Musk, other tech chiefs back artificial intelligence startup with $1 bln". Reuters. 2015-12-11. Retrieved 2020-02-17.
  7. Biz Carson (2015-05-06). "One of the first employees of $3.5 billion startup Stripe is leaving to form his own company". Insider. Retrieved 2020-02-17.
  8. Rosalie Chan (2019-07-22). "Microsoft is investing $1 billion in OpenAI, the Elon Musk-founded company that's trying to build human-like artificial intelligence". Insider. Retrieved 2020-02-17.
  9. Sam Shead (2016-04-28). "Elon Musk's $1 billion AI company launches a 'gym' where developers train their computers". Insider. Retrieved 2020-02-17.
  10. Jordan Novet (2016-04-27). "OpenAI launches Gym, a toolkit for testing and comparing reinforcement learning algorithms". VentureBeat. Retrieved 2020-02-17.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Hayley Tsukayama (2018-06-28). "OpenAI's bot beat a human at video games last year. Now it will take on five at once". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2020-02-17.
  12. Nick Statt (2019-04-13). "OpenAI's Dota 2 AI steamrolls world champion e-sports team with back-to-back victories". The Verge. Retrieved 2020-02-17.
  13. Cade Metz (2021-09-09). "A.I. Can Now Write Its Own Computer Code. That's Good News for Humans". The New York Times. Retrieved 2020-02-17.
  14. John Seabrook (2019-10-14). "The Next Word: Where will predictive text take us?". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2020-02-17.
  15. Steven Levy (2021-08-13). "OpenAI Is Making Coding As Easy As Talking to a Smart Speaker". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2020-02-17.
  16. Devin Coldewey (2021-08-10). "OpenAI upgrades its natural language AI coder Codex and kicks off private beta". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2020-02-17.
  17. Lucas Matney (2020-05-19). "Command E raises $4.3 million to build the ultimate cross-app search tool". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2020-02-17.
  18. Ryan Lawler (2021-08-10). "The food delivery robots are coming! The food delivery robots are coming!". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-03-20.

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