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Elon Musk Takes Legal Action Against OpenAI for Mission ‘Betrayal’

Elon Musk Sues OpenAI Mission Betrayal

Elon Musk filed a lawsuit against OpenAI, the AI company he co-founded in 2015, alleging that its leaders have strayed from its original mission.

The business magnate, who departed OpenAI in 2018, stated in papers submitted in a San Francisco court on Thursday that the company was originally meant to be a non-profit organization.

He mentioned that due to recent boardroom changes, OpenAI was now essentially a subsidiary of software giant Microsoft, which he believed was a breach of contract.

Musk has repeatedly claimed that Microsoft is controlling OpenAI, while both companies have refuted the allegations.

Regulators in the United States and Europe are also looking into the connections between the companies.

In late 2022, OpenAI captured the public’s attention with the launch of its chatbot ChatGPT, capable of creating poems, essays, and even passing exams.

The company has also created image and video-generating tools that are considered the top in their industry.

The popularity of its products has attracted significant investment in AI, which proponents believe has the potential to revolutionize all areas of life.

Microsoft, a significant investor in OpenAI since 2019, invested billions more into the firm last year.

The software company intervened when OpenAI’s board removed CEO Sam Altman in November of last year, bringing him on board and providing accommodation for any dissatisfied staff members.

Later on, the OpenAI board reversed its decision, Altman was reinstated, and Microsoft was granted an observer seat on the board following the removal of members who had criticized Sam Altman.

Last November’s events are widely recognized. “It doesn’t appear to me that the incident violated the agreements,” stated Anupam Chander, a law professor at Georgetown University Law Center.

‘Calamitous Implications’

OpenAI began as a non-profit organization focused on creating “artificial general intelligence” (AGI), which is described as an AI surpassing human intelligence in all aspects.

The goal was for OpenAI to ensure that such technology would be safe for people.

However, Musk’s legal case argued that the founding principle had been reversed, alleging that OpenAI was moving towards a profit-focused future with potentially disastrous consequences for society.

One of the claims in Musk’s lawsuit is that GPT-4, the company’s latest model, is AGI and that OpenAI’s board neglected to inform this, as outlined in its company mission.

The alterations made to OpenAI in 2023 were described as a significant departure from the Founding Agreement, completely changing the organization’s mission, according to the filing.

“Did they stray from their stated mission?” “Yes,” confirmed Nikolas Guggenberger, Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Houston Law Center.

“However, that may not be a strong enough reason for a lawsuit from someone who is no longer involved in the project.”

The document highlighted that OpenAI continues to strive for AGI that benefits everyone.

“Actually, OpenAI Inc. has now become a closed-source subsidiary of Microsoft, the world’s largest technology company.”

Musk is seeking compensation from the court to compel OpenAI’s leaders to share their research with the public and prevent them, or Microsoft, from profiting from the technology.

“The legal case will help reveal more about OpenAI’s decision-making process, which is crucial for everyone,” stated Professor Chander from Georgetown University.

After departing OpenAI, Musk has joined others in cautioning about the potential dangers of superintelligence for the future of our species.

Last year, he started his own AI firm, xAI, and expressed his goal of raising $1 billion from investors.


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