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OpenAI reportedly told employees Elon Musk's lawsuit stems from regrets about his departure


Billionaire Elon Musk shocked many in the tech industry late on Thursday when he filed a lawsuit against OpenAI, the generative AI company that he helped to launch nearly a decade ago. Now, a new report claims OpenAI sent a memo to its employees late on Friday, dismissing Musk's claims and offering an alternative explanation for his reasons for filing the lawsuit.

Musk said in his legal filing that OpenAI had, among other things, breached its agreement to develop its generative AI products like ChatGPT as a nonprofit organization. Musk alleges that the company is now creating its software services just to make money for Microsoft, which has invested billions in OpenAI and uses it to help develop its own AI products like Copilot.

In response, CNBC reports that OpenAI sent a memo to its current employees written by its Chief Strategy Officer Jason Kwon. Kwon reportedly wrote that Musk's lawsuit is all about a more personal issue:

We believe the claims in this suit may stem from Elon’s regrets about not being involved with the company today . . . It is deeply disappointing to see Elon take this action against a company he helped start, especially given his close collaboration with some of you who are still here working towards the mission.

Musk was one of the original founders of OpenAI in 2015 but left its board of directors in 2018. Kwon claimed in Friday's memo that before that happened, Musk at one point asked for "full initial control and majority equity" in the company and wanted to merge OpenAI with his electric car company, Tesla.

Since his departure, Musk has made it known in several appearances and interviews that he feels generative AI could be a threat to human civilization in the future. Kwon reportedly defended OpenAI in the employee memo by saying that the company continues to work on its products so that they "benefit all of humanity."

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