Musk Sues OpenAI for 'Perverting' Its Mission

His complaint claims founders broke their original vow to make it an open-source resource
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2024 8:45 AM CST
Elon Musk Sues OpenAI: You're Not Helping Humanity
Elon Musk is seen in London on Nov. 2.   (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, Pool, File)

In 2015, Elon Musk helped found OpenAI, the Microsoft-backed company that created the ChatGPT chatbot. Now, however, the SpaceX and X owner is suing OpenAI, as well as its CEO, Sam Altman, in what the Wall Street Journal frames as "a dramatic escalation of a long-simmering feud between tech industry titans over the future of artificial intelligence." More:

  • Musk's beef: His suit says that when he helped get OpenAI off the ground, the commitment to him from Altman and co-founder Greg Brockman was for it to be a public, open-source nonprofit. Now, per his complaint filed Thursday in San Francisco, the company is a closed-source "subsidiary" of Microsoft that's "perverting" its original mission, per the AP. OpenAI's actual goal now, per Musk, who stepped down from the firm's board in 2018, is "to maximize profits for Microsoft, rather than for the benefit of humanity."

  • What he's suing for: breach of contract and fiduciary duty, as well as unfair business practices.
  • GPT-4: OpenAI's most advanced artificial-intelligence model yet also finds its way into Musk's complaint, which notes that OpenAI kept the development of it a "complete secret," per Reuters.
  • Musk's own AI ventures: The Journal notes that Musk late last year created xAi and his own chatbot, Grok, claiming that its "unique and fundamental advantage ... is that it has real-time knowledge of the world via the X platform." Plus, "it will also answer spicy questions that are rejected by most other AI systems."
(More Elon Musk stories.)

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