Elon Musk Sues OpenAI and Sam Altman Over AGI Fear

elon musk sues openai and sam altman
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In Short
  • On Thursday, Elon Musk filed a lawsuit against OpenAI and Sam Altman over its closed-source approach to AI development.
  • Elon Musk alleges that Microsoft is influencing OpenAI's operations. Its founding ethos has taken a back seat and now the company is working to maximize profit.
  • Musk seeks an injunction to prevent OpenAI and Microsoft from cashing in the AGI technology. The lawsuit has been filed in San Francisco Superior Court.

After the New York Times sued OpenAI over copyright infringement, Tesla and SpaceX founder and former OpenAI co-founder Elon Musk joined in with a new lawsuit against OpenAI and its CEO Sam Altman today.

According to a report by the Courthouse News Service, Elon Musk has accused OpenAI of becoming a closed-source company, influenced by Microsoft’s huge stake in the company. Musk further accuses OpenAI that it has betrayed its original ethos to be open-source.

The lawsuit was filed in San Francisco Superior Court on Thursday. In the lawsuit, Elon Musk alleges that Microsoft has an overbearing influence on OpenAI, and the Redmond giant has, in fact, compromised OpenAI from making technology that would benefit the whole of humanity.

In the lawsuit, Elon Musk mentions,

OpenAI, Inc. has been transformed into a closed-source de facto subsidiary of the largest technology company in the world: Microsoft. Under its new board, it is not just developing but is actually refining an AGI to maximize profits for Microsoft, rather than for the benefit of humanity.

Musk contends that OpenAI has breached its fiduciary duty and alleges the company of unfair business practices. Musk further says that OpenAI should go back to its open-source roots.

Interestingly, Musk is seeking an injunction to prevent OpenAI, Sam Altman, Gregory Brockman (President of OpenAI), and even Microsoft from cashing in on the AGI technology that the company is building.

In regards to GPT-4, Elon Musk says, “The internal details of GPT-4 are known only to OpenAI and, on information and belief, to Microsoft. GPT-4 is hence the opposite of ‘open AI’. And it is closed for propriety commercial reasons: Microsoft stands to make a fortune selling GPT-4 to the public, which would not be possible if OpenAI—as it is required to do—makes the technology freely available to the public.”

In the suit, Musk didn’t miss on pointing out the chaos that unraveled inside OpenAI last year regarding the firing of Sam Altman and his subsequent reinstatement as CEO.

Musk says that Microsoft intervened and forced the board members to resign who wanted to oust Altman from OpenAI. Currently, the board doesn’t have any scientists and researchers who understand the technology, says Musk.

Further, Musk alleges that “OpenAI, Inc.’s once carefully crafted non-profit structure was replaced by a purely profit-driven CEO and a Board with inferior technical expertise in AGI and AI public policy. The board now has an observer seat reserved solely for Microsoft.”

It’s important to note that Microsoft has not been included as a defendant in the suit. Also, Musk was on the OpenAI board till 2018, and according to him, he resigned from the board over a conflict, stemming from the development of GPT-4. Some reports say that Elon Musk tried to take over OpenAI, but he was rejected by Sam Altman and other board members. Following the resignation, Musk cut off his financial support to OpenAI.

So that is all happening in the AI industry today. After the Sora launch by OpenAI, many fear that OpenAI is internally testing a far more powerful AI model that would bring us closer to AGI. What do you think about Musk’s lawsuit against OpenAI and Sam Altman? Let us know your opinion in the comment section below.

SOURCE Courthouse News Service
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