Elon Musk sues OpenAI over AI threat

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Elon Musk says in a Thursday lawsuit that Sam Altman and OpenAI have betrayed an agreement from the artificial intelligence research company’s founding to develop the technology toward the benefit of humanity over profits.

In the suit filed Thursday night in San Francisco Superior Court, Musk claims OpenAI’s recent relationship with tech giant Microsoft has compromised the company’s original dedication to public, open source artificial general intelligence.

“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 says in the suit.

Musk brings claims including breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and unfair business practices against OpenAI and asks for the company to revert back to open source. Musk also requests an injunction to prevent OpenAI, its president Gregory Brockman and its CEO Sam Altman — named as co-defendants in the case — as well as Microsoft, from profiting off of the company’s artificial general intelligence technology.

Artificial general intelligence, a type of AI developed to autonomously perform on the cognitive level of humans, has been OpenAI’s main goal and is demonstrated, Musk says, in its GPT-4. GPT-4 was released in March 2023, but according to Musk, remains a closed model, in contrast to previous iterations — a move driven by commercial considerations rather than in the interest of humanity.

“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,'” Musk says in the suit. “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.”

“Contrary to the Founding Agreement, Defendants have chosen to use GPT-4 not for the benefit of humanity, but as proprietary technology to maximize profits for literally the largest company in the world,” he adds.

Musk in his suit also hones in on the 2023 firing and subsequent reinstatement of Altman as CEO. Altman’s ouster, Musk says, prompted Microsoft to step in and force the resignation of the board members who attempted to remove him. The current board members, Musk claims, are no longer scientists and researchers that support and understand the technology.

“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,” Musk claims.

Musk, who was an original board member of OpenAI but departed in 2018, says the conflict between the board and Altman stemmed from the development of GPT-4 and the potential next iteration of the AGI technology, which Musk worries could compromise public safety.

Microsoft, which is not named as a defendant in the suit, gained exclusive licensing to OpenAI’s GPT-3 language model in 2020. Microsoft continues to assert rights to GPT-4, which it claims has not reached the level of AGI, which would block its licensing privileges.

Musk claims Microsoft’s hold on Altman and the OpenAI board will keep them from declaring GPT-4 as a AGI in order to keep the technology private and profitable.

Neither OpenAI nor Musk could immediately be reached for comment Thursday night. Musk is represented in the suit by Los Angeles law firm Irell & Manella.

Source: Courthouse News Service

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Elon Musk sues OpenAI over AI threat

Elon Musk says in a Thursday lawsuit that Sam Altman and OpenAI have betrayed an agreement from the artificial intelligence research company’s founding to develop the technology toward the benefit of humanity over profits.

In the suit filed Thursday night in San Francisco Superior Court, Musk claims OpenAI’s recent relationship with tech giant Microsoft has compromised the company’s original dedication to public, open source artificial general intelligence.

“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 says in the suit.

Musk brings claims including breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and unfair business practices against OpenAI and asks for the company to revert back to open source. Musk also requests an injunction to prevent OpenAI, its president Gregory Brockman and its CEO Sam Altman — named as co-defendants in the case — as well as Microsoft, from profiting off of the company’s artificial general intelligence technology.

Artificial general intelligence, a type of AI developed to autonomously perform on the cognitive level of humans, has been OpenAI’s main goal and is demonstrated, Musk says, in its GPT-4. GPT-4 was released in March 2023, but according to Musk, remains a closed model, in contrast to previous iterations — a move driven by commercial considerations rather than in the interest of humanity.

“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,'” Musk says in the suit. “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.”

“Contrary to the Founding Agreement, Defendants have chosen to use GPT-4 not for the benefit of humanity, but as proprietary technology to maximize profits for literally the largest company in the world,” he adds.

Musk in his suit also hones in on the 2023 firing and subsequent reinstatement of Altman as CEO. Altman’s ouster, Musk says, prompted Microsoft to step in and force the resignation of the board members who attempted to remove him. The current board members, Musk claims, are no longer scientists and researchers that support and understand the technology.

“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,” Musk claims.

Musk, who was an original board member of OpenAI but departed in 2018, says the conflict between the board and Altman stemmed from the development of GPT-4 and the potential next iteration of the AGI technology, which Musk worries could compromise public safety.

Microsoft, which is not named as a defendant in the suit, gained exclusive licensing to OpenAI’s GPT-3 language model in 2020. Microsoft continues to assert rights to GPT-4, which it claims has not reached the level of AGI, which would block its licensing privileges.

Musk claims Microsoft’s hold on Altman and the OpenAI board will keep them from declaring GPT-4 as a AGI in order to keep the technology private and profitable.

Neither OpenAI nor Musk could immediately be reached for comment Thursday night. Musk is represented in the suit by Los Angeles law firm Irell & Manella.

Source: Courthouse News Service

Disclaimer

We strive to uphold the highest ethical standards in all of our reporting and coverage. We StartupNews.fyi want to be transparent with our readers about any potential conflicts of interest that may arise in our work. It’s possible that some of the investors we feature may have connections to other businesses, including competitors or companies we write about. However, we want to assure our readers that this will not have any impact on the integrity or impartiality of our reporting. We are committed to delivering accurate, unbiased news and information to our audience, and we will continue to uphold our ethics and principles in all of our work. Thank you for your trust and support.

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