Elon Musk sues OpenAI, Sam Altman over breaching initial agreement to pursue profits


SAN FRANCISCO, March 1 (Xinhua) -- Elon Musk has sued OpenAI and its co-founders Sam Altman and Greg Brockman, alleging the company has broken its initial agreement by pursuing profits instead of the nonprofit's founding mission to develop AI that benefits humanity.

In the lawsuit filed in a court in U.S. San Francisco late Thursday, Musk, a co-founder and early supporter of OpenAI, claimed that Altman and Brockman convinced him to help found and finance the startup in 2015 with promises it would be a nonprofit. The founding agreement required OpenAI to make its technology "freely available" to the public, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit also alleges close alignment between Microsoft and OpenAI, saying that OpenAI has transferred to a for-profit model focused on commercializing its AGI research after partnering with Microsoft that has invested about 13 billion U.S. dollars into the startup.

"In reality, however, 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," the lawsuit noted, adding that "this was a stark betrayal of the Founding Agreement."

Musk also alleges OpenAI and Microsoft have improperly licensed GPT-4 despite agreeing that OpenAI's AGI capabilities would remain dedicated to humanity.

Through the lawsuit, Musk is seeking to force OpenAI to uphold its original mission and block it from monetizing technologies developed under its nonprofit for the benefit.

Musk asks for accounting and return of donations meant to fund its public-minded research if they are now operating for private gain.

Musk left OpenAI's board in 2018. According to the legal complaint, he donated over 44 million dollars to the nonprofit between 2016 to September 2020. For the first several years, he was the largest contributor to the startup. In late 2022, OpenAI's launch of ChatGPT ignited an AI arms race.

"I like the dude. I think he's totally wrong about this stuff," Altman addressed Musk's recurring doubts at a conference last year. "He can sort of say whatever he wants but I'm like proud of what we're doing and I think we're going to make a positive contribution to the world and I try to stay above all that."

Follow us on our official WhatsApp channel for breaking news alerts and key updates!
   

Next In World

Putin congratulates South Africa's Ramaphosa on re-election, an indication of warm ties
One dead, over 11,000 homeless after storm hits south-central Chile
Roundup: Firefighters battle string of wildfires in California amid high temperatures, lower humidity and strong winds
Putin vows to take North Korea ties to higher level
Heat wave blankets Chicago
House fire in U.S. state of Georgia leaves six dead, five injured
Over 20 NATO allies to spend at least 2% of GDP on defense in 2024, says Stoltenberg
Russian official says Ukraine pouring troops into contested Kharkiv region
Italy braces for third consecutive early heat wave
1st LD Writethru: 11 dead, over 60 missing in shipwrecks off Italian coast

Others Also Read