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Elon Musk sues OpenAI over abandoned AI mission

2 March 2024 09:59 (UTC+04:00)
Elon Musk sues OpenAI over abandoned AI mission

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk has sued ChatGPT-maker OpenAI and its CEO, Sam Altman, saying they abandoned the startup's original mission to develop artificial intelligence for the benefit of humanity and not for profit, Azernews informs, citing Reuters.

The lawsuit filed late on Thursday in California Superior Court in San Francisco is a culmination of Musk's long-simmering opposition to the startup he co-founded. OpenAI has since become the face of generative AI, partly due to billions of dollars in funding from Microsoft (MSFT.O), opens new tab. Musk went on to found his own artificial intelligence startup, xAI, launched last July.

Musk's lawsuit alleges a breach of contract, saying Altman and co-founder Greg Brockman originally approached him to make an open-source, non-profit company, but the startup established in 2015 is now focused on making money.

Musk said OpenAI's three founders originally agreed to work on artificial general intelligence (AGI), a concept that machines could handle tasks like a human, but in a way that would "benefit humanity," according to the lawsuit.

OpenAI would also work in opposition to Alphabet Inc's (GOOGL.O), opens new tab Google, which Musk said he believed was developing AGI for profit and would pose grave risks.

Instead, OpenAI "set the founding agreement aflame" in 2023 when it released its most powerful language model GPT-4 as essentially a Microsoft product, the lawsuit alleged.

Musk has sought a court ruling that would compel OpenAI to make its research and technology available to the public and prevent the startup from using its assets, including GPT-4, for the financial gains of Microsoft or any individual.

OpenAI's top executives rejected several claims that Musk made in his lawsuit, Axios reported on Friday, citing a memo.

"It was never going to be a cakewalk," Altman said in his note, also seen by Axios. "The attacks will keep coming."

OpenAI, Microsoft, and Musk did not respond to Reuters requests for comment on the lawsuit.

Musk is also seeking a ruling that GPT-4 and a new and more advanced technology called Q* would be considered AGI and therefore outside of Microsoft's license to OpenAI.

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