Updated May 17th, 2024 at 13:28 IST

OpenAI's GPT-4o: Pune Boy Prafulla Dhariwal Scripts History, Altman Says, 'Not Have Been Possible..'

Prafulla Dhariwal began working at OpenAI as a research intern in May 2016 and advanced to become a research scientist.

Reported by: Pritam Saha
Who is Prafulla Dhariwal? All about the Indian brain behind OpenAI's GPT-4o | Image:X
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'I’m from Pune and currently live in San Francisco. My name sounds like a truffle, but with a P.' 

This is not just a catchy tagline. That's how Prafulla Dhariwal presents himself on his webpage. The Indian genius behind GPT-4o, where the 'o' stands for Omni. The Omni team at OpenAI is led by Dhariwal, and GPT-4o represents the company's initial effort at developing truly multimodal models. This week during its Spring Update, OpenAI unveiled GPT-4o, its newest flagship AI model, showcasing its ability to reason verbally, in writing, and visually.

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OpenAI CEO Praises Dhariwal

Prior to OpenAI CEO Sam Altman's recent post on X (previously Twitter), not much was known about this Pune native. "GPT-4o would not have happened without the vision, talent, conviction, and determination of Prafulla Dhariwal over a long period of time. That, along with the work of many others, led to what I hope will turn out to be a revolution in how we use computers,” Altman said in the post.

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Prafulla Dhariwal: The 'Golden Boy' 

Dhariwal has made a number of noteworthy achievements along the way. He was awarded the Government of India's 2009 National Talent Search Scholarship. In the same year, he was the gold medallist at the China International Astronomy Olympiad. He was the International Mathematical Olympiad gold medallist in 2012 and the International Physics Olympiad gold medallist in 2013.

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Exceptional Achievement In Class XII

Dhariwal's exceptional achievement in Class XII is demonstrated by his outstanding score of 295 out of 300 in the physics, chemistry, and mathematics (PCM) group. Even in admission tests, he performed exceptionally well, scoring 190 in the Joint admission Exam (JEE-Mains) and 330 out of 360 in the Maharashtra Technical Common Entrance Test (MT-CET).

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Abasaheb Naravane Memorial Prize Winner

Dhariwal was even awarded the annual Abasaheb Naravane Memorial Prize by the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) in 2013. He graduated in 2017 with a perfect GPA of 5.0/5.0 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) after studying computer science with a focus on mathematics.

Dhariwal began working at OpenAI as a research intern in May 2016 and advanced to become a research scientist, specializing in generative models and unsupervised learning. He is one of the co-creators of the reversible generative model Glow, the music generator Jukebox, the text-to-image platform DALL-E 2, and GPT-3. Dhariwal worked briefly as an undergraduate researcher at the MIT Computer Visions Group and the Center for Brain, Mind, and Machines, as well as a quantitative analyst intern at the D.E. Shaw Group, before joining OpenAI.

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Published May 17th, 2024 at 13:28 IST