Elon Musk sues OpenAI and Sam Altman over betrayal

Elon Musk has filed a lawsuit against OpenAI, its co-founders Sam Altman and Greg Brockman, as well as any of its connected companies. He claims that by prioritizing profits over the nonprofit’s initial goal of developing AI that advances humanity, the creators of ChatGPT have broken their original contracts.

Elon Musk sues OpenAI and Sam Altman over betrayal

Musk, an OpenAI founding member and pioneering supporter, says Altman and Brockman persuaded him to assist in founding and fund the company in 2015 by claiming it would be a nonprofit organization dedicated to fending off Google’s danger of competition. According to the lawsuit, OpenAI was bound under its initial contract to ensure that its groundbreaking technology is “unrestrictably accessible” to members of the public.

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The legal action was made public late on Thursday in a San Francisco court and claims that OpenAI, has changed its organizational structure from nonprofit to for-profit with an emphasis on making money with its AGI research after joining forces with Microsoft, which has allocated approximately thirteen billion dollars to the startup.

Yet in fact, Microsoft, has effectively turned OpenAI, Inc. into a closed-source subsidiary. The lawsuit further claims that under its new board, the company is not only creating but also perfecting an AI to increase Microsoft profits at the expense of human welfare. “This clearly represented a betrayal of the Constitution.”

Musk expressed his displeasure with OpenAI’s recent reordering of priorities, which prompted the lawsuit. The lawsuit claims that between September 2020 and 2016, Musk gave the foundation more than $44 million. The lawsuit also states that he was the biggest contributor to OpenAI for the first few years. According to what Musk has stated, he was given a share in OpenAI’s for-profit division but declined it out of moral conviction. Musk departed the startup’s board in 2018.

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A few of Musk’s previous worries, such as the tight connections to Microsoft, have also been addressed by Altman. “I like the guy.” In response to Musk’s accusations during a conference, he declared, “I think he’s totally wrong about this stuff.” “I try to stay above all that, but I’m proud of what we’re doing and I think we’re going to make a positive impact to the world, so he can kind of say whatever he wants.”

After OpenAI released ChatGPT in late 2022, competitors are still attempting to duplicate its startlingly human-like reactions, setting off an AI arms race. Last month, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella took a veiled swipe at the rest of the sector. “Today’s model is the best one yet. Despite all the excitement, GPT4 has improved after a year, he claimed. “We are awaiting the arrival of the competitors. Though I’m sure it will come, the reality is that we currently have the top LLM available.

The complaint filed on Thursday cites a recent interview with Nadella to assert a close alignment between Microsoft and OpenAI. In the midst of OpenAI’s abrupt leadership transition towards the end of the previous year, Nadella declared, “We have all the IP rights and all the capability… even if OpenAI disappeared tomorrow.” We possess all the necessary resources—people, computers, data, and more. We surround them, are above them, and are below them.

This is used in the case as proof that Microsoft has benefited greatly from OpenAI.Another main focus of the case is OpenAI’s GPT-4, which Musk says is AGI, or artificial intelligence with a level of intelligence comparable to or greater than that of humans. He claims that despite their agreement that OpenAI’s AGI capabilities would remain committed to humanity, Microsoft and OpenAI have inappropriately licensed GPT-4.

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By filing the complaint, Musk hopes to force OpenAI to stay true to its founding principles and prevent it from profiting from technology created for the nonprofit organization’s advantage or that of its partners, such as Microsoft, or OpenAI officials.

In addition, the lawsuit asks the court to declare that artificial general intelligence (AGI) systems such as GPT-4 and other cutting-edge models under development are artificial intelligence beyond the scope of licensing agreements. Musk demands an accounting and possible reimbursement of donations intended to support OpenAI’s altruistic research, should the court determine that it is now run for profit, in addition to injunctions compelling the company to comply.

Citing that the new board that Mr. Altman hand-picked lacks the prior board’s deliberate technical knowledge and significant experience in AI governance. After Mr. Altman’s return, Mr. D’Angelo—a tech CEO and entrepreneur—was the only member of the prior board to stay on. The lawsuit also claims that the new Board was made up of individuals with less background in AI ethics and governance and more in profit-driven businesses or politics.

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