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Elon Musk has filed a lawsuit against OpenAI, claiming breach of contract

elon musk takes aicom

Elon Musk has filed a surprise lawsuit against OpenAI, the generative AI development company that he helped to create. Musk claims OpenAI has breached its own contract by trying to become a for-profit company rather than the non-profit organization that was set up to develop AI that would benefit humanity.

Courthouse News was the first to report on Musk's lawsuit, which was filed late on Thursday night in San Francisco Superior Court. The filing (in PDF format) includes claims of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and unfair business practices against OpenAI.

Musk was one of the many people who invested money for OpenAI's launch in 2015. However, Musk resigned from the company's board of directors in 2018, claiming that it might be a conflict of interest with his own self-driving AI technology, which his Tesla company was working on.

Since then, Musk has been very vocal about his concerns about the current development of AI. In February 2023, he was quoted as saying, "One of the biggest risks to the future of civilization is AI."

sam altman

This new lawsuit, which also names OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and President Gregory Brockman as defendants, claims the company is no longer the non-profit that was supposed to help humanity with its work. The lawsuit states:

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 also claims OpenAI's most advanced large language model, GTP-4, which launched in March 2023, is a closed system, with details known only to the company and its biggest partner and investor, Microsoft. Musk claims Microsoft will make lots of money by using GPT-4 as the basis for its Copilot AI services. The lawsuit added:

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,

While Microsoft is mentioned a lot in Musk's lawsuit, the company has not been named as an actual defendant. So far, OpenAI has yet to respond. Meanwhile, Musk's social network X (formerly Twitter) has launched its own AI chatbot called Grok, which is available to its Premium users.

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