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Elon Musk has filed a lawsuit against OpenAI and its CEO, Sam Altman, alleging a breach of contract

Elon Musk is taking legal action against Microsoft-backed OpenAI and its
CEO Sam Altman, among others, claiming they deviated from the
organization’s original mission of creating artificial intelligence “for
the benefit of humanity at large.”

According to a lawsuit filed in a San Francisco court on Thursday,
Musk’s attorneys asserted that in 2015, Altman and OpenAI co-founder
Greg Brockman approached the tech mogul to establish a non-profit lab
dedicated to developing artificial general intelligence for the greater
good of humanity. 

Although Musk co-founded OpenAI in 2015, he resigned from the board in
2018, expressing concerns about the potential risks of AI, which he
previously likened to being “potentially more dangerous than nuclear
weapons.”

Having co-founded OpenAI in 2015, Elon Musk resigned from the company’s
board in 2018, a decision made four years after he expressed concerns
that artificial intelligence (AI) could be “potentially more dangerous
than nukes.” Musk’s lawsuit contends that, despite OpenAI’s ongoing
commitment on its website to ensure that Artificial General Intelligence
(AGI) benefits humanity, the organization has effectively become a
closed-source subsidiary of Microsoft, the world’s largest technology
company.

According to the lawsuit, OpenAI’s transformation into a
Microsoft-oriented entity, focusing on maximizing profits, violates the
initial agreement that aimed to develop AGI for the broader benefit of
humanity. Musk’s legal representatives argue that OpenAI, under its new
board, is not only developing AGI but refining it specifically to
enhance profits for Microsoft rather than prioritizing the well-being of
humanity. As of now, neither OpenAI nor Microsoft has provided
immediate comments on the matter.

Musk’s legal team has submitted the lawsuit with the objective of compelling OpenAI to adhere to the Founding Agreement and revert to its original mission of developing Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) for the benefit of humanity. The lawsuit alleges that OpenAI’s current trajectory is driven by personal gains for individual defendants and serves the interests of the world’s largest technology company.

This legal dispute brings together two prominent figures in the tech industry amid heightened anticipation surrounding the future of AI. OpenAI’s ChatGPT, introduced in November 2022, has gained significant traction, rapidly becoming the fastest-growing consumer application in history and sparking the release of competing chatbots from major companies like Google-parent Alphabet and Microsoft.

Elon Musk, recognized as the world’s wealthiest individual, oversees Tesla, a prominent electric vehicle manufacturer, SpaceX, a company specializing in rockets and satellites, and acquired X (formerly Twitter) for $44 billion in October 2022. Musk has also recently highlighted advancements in brain chip technology implants developed by his startup, Neuralink. Meanwhile, Sam Altman, as OpenAI’s CEO, is deeply involved in the unfolding developments in the AI landscape.

Altman’s association with OpenAI has been marked by turbulence. In a surprising turn of events in November of last year, he was abruptly terminated from the company, causing significant ripples throughout the tech industry. Altman, a prominent figure in the AI field and an American entrepreneur, did, however, rejoin the firm just a few days later, adding a layer of complexity to the unfolding dynamics within OpenAI.

 

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