News

Elon Musk Files Lawsuit Against OpenAI and Sam Altman

Musk claims the company behind ChatGPT has diverged from its original, nonprofit mission by partnering with Microsoft for $13 billion.

By Inc.Arabia Staff
images header

Tech mogul Elon Musk has taken legal action against OpenAI and its CEO, Sam Altman, accusing them of violating their contractual obligations and straying from the startup's original goal of developing artificial intelligence (AI) for the betterment of humanity.[1]

In a lawsuit filed in a San Francisco court, Musk's legal team contends that OpenAI's partnership with Microsoft, valued at billions, breaches an agreement to make significant AI advancements freely accessible to the public. Instead, the lawsuit alleges that OpenAI is prioritizing proprietary technology to serve the profit motives of Microsoft.

This lawsuit marks the culmination of longstanding tensions between Musk, who founded his own AI company known as xAI, and OpenAI, which secured a $13 billion investment from Microsoft. Musk, a co-founder of OpenAI in 2015, claims to have donated $44 million to the organization, believing it would remain a non-profit entity. However, disagreements with Altman over research direction led Musk to resign from OpenAI's board in 2018, preceding the establishment of a for-profit arm in which Microsoft invested.

According to Musk's filing, OpenAI's recent AI model, GPT4, released in March last year, surpasses the threshold for artificial general intelligence (AGI), a level at which computers operate at or above human intelligence. The lawsuit contends that the Microsoft deal only grants the tech giant a license to OpenAI's pre-AGI technology, raising questions about the timing of achieving AGI.

Moreover, the lawsuit highlights OpenAI's development of another model, Q*, purportedly more advanced than GPT4. Musk argues that OpenAI is obligated under its founding agreement to make such technologies publicly available.

OpenAI asserts that it has not yet attained AGI, despite its models' proficiency in language and reasoning tasks. The organization maintains its independence from Microsoft and refutes Musk's claims regarding AGI and proprietary technology.

The complaint, submitted on Thursday in California state court, alleged that the company's collaboration with Microsoft went against OpenAI's original principles, constituting a contractual violation. Elon Musk is requesting a jury trial and seeking reimbursement of the profits obtained by the firm, Altman, and co-founder Greg Brockman.

Altman, Brockman, and Chief Scientist Ilya Sutskever collaborated in 2019 to establish OpenAI LP, a profit-making organization integrated into the broader company's framework. Through strategic maneuvers, that profit-driven organization transformed OpenAI from having little value to being valued at $90 billion over a brief span of time. Altman is widely acknowledged as the architect behind that strategy and a crucial element in the company's achievements.

Last update:
Publish date: