Musk Suing Sam Altman And OpenAI Over Company’s Priorities

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is suing OpenAI and its CEO Sam Altman over what he believes are the company’s prioritizing of raking in huge profits over potential harm to humanity.

Musk’s attorneys said in the filing that Altman, along with OpenAI co-founder Greg Brockman, approached him in 2015. An agreement was reached, they asserted, to form a non-profit lab that would develop artificial intelligence to benefit the world.

But the billionaire now believes that that mission was betrayed after their agreement.

The suit claimed that Musk was a driving force behind the formation of OpenAI before he walked away in 2018. He supplied most of the project’s early funding as it was getting off the ground.

The largest OpenAI investor in 2024 is Microsoft, which reached an agreement with the startup in 2020.

The lawsuit charged that the company is developing artificial general intelligence (AGI), a theoretical version of the technology that could perform above human capabilities. It asserted the motivation is profit at the expense of benefiting humanity.

Specifically, the filing accused OpenAI of not only developing but “actually refining an AGI to maximize profits for Microsoft, rather than for the benefit of humanity.”

OpenAI’s chatbot ChatGPT was released in Nov. 2022 and became the fastest-growing consumer application in history. It was downloaded by millions and led to the development of rival chatbots from Microsoft and Google parent Alphabet.

The filing alleged its 2023 release of the powerful language model GPT-4 was essentially the debut of a new Microsoft product. It said that OpenAI “set the founding agreement aflame” with that action.

Musk has attempted to gain a court ruling to force OpenAI to make available to the public its research and technology. He sought to prevent the company from utilizing its creations for profit benefiting Microsoft or any person.

He also wants a court ruling to GPT-4 and an even more advanced new technology to be considered AGI. Musk said this would place the developments outside of Microsoft’s agreement with the company

Musk on several occasions warned of the danger posed by artificial intelligence and called for government regulations.