When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Here’s how it works.

OpenAI says Elon Musk demanded "absolute control" of the company or a merger with Tesla

The OpenAI logo

Elon Musk filed a lawsuit against OpenAI last week, alleging the artificial intelligence (AI) startup has breached its founding agreement by becoming a for-profit company rather than a non-profit organization. OpenAI has now responded to Musk’s lawsuit by saying that he at one point wanted “absolute control” of the company or a merger with Tesla.

According to a blog post authored by OpenAI co-founders Greg Brockman, Ilya Sutskever, John Schulman, Sam Altman, and Wojciech Zaremba, the AI company intends to dismiss all of Musk’s claims. Open AI says Musk himself backed its early for-profit plans. The post reads:

In late 2017, we and Elon decided the next step for the mission was to create a for-profit entity. Elon wanted majority equity, initial board control, and to be CEO. In the middle of these discussions, he withheld funding. Reid Hoffman bridged the gap to cover salaries and operations.

Elon Musk was one of the initial board members of OpenAI and helped the company secure funding. He left the company's board of directors in 2018 to prevent any potential conflicts of interest that could arise between his involvement with OpenAI and his work on self-driving AI technology at Tesla.

The blog post adds:

We couldn’t agree to terms on a for-profit with Elon because we felt it was against the mission for any individual to have absolute control over OpenAI. He then suggested instead merging OpenAI into Tesla. In early February 2018, Elon forwarded us an email suggesting that OpenAI should “attach to Tesla as its cash cow”, commenting that it was “exactly right… Tesla is the only path that could even hope to hold a candle to Google. Even then, the probability of being a counterweight to Google is small. It just isn’t zero”.

OpenAI also claims that Elon Musk was okay with its decision to not open-source its work. “Elon understood the mission did not imply open-sourcing AGI,” the post says.

Supporting its claim, the company published a January 2016 email conversation in which its co-founder Ilya Sutskever said, “As we get closer to building AI, it will make sense to start being less open. The Open in openAI [sic] means that everyone should benefit from the fruits of AI after its [sic] built, but it's totally OK to not share the science...”, to which Elon replied: “Yup”.

A report claimed that OpenAI also dismissed Elon Musk's complaint in an internal memo to its current employees. The email stated that Musk's lawsuit stems from his regrets about not being involved with the company today.

Report a problem with article
Windows 11 Android app support
Next Article

As Microsoft kills Windows 11 Android apps, Amazon could soon send you this email

halo infinite
Previous Article

Halo Infinite launches Cyber Showdown III Operation update with new maps and more

Join the conversation!

Login or Sign Up to read and post a comment.

9 Comments - Add comment