Musk Sues OpenAI, Its CEO Sam Altman Over Agreement Breach Around AI

Musk Sues OpenAI, Its CEO Sam Altman Over Agreement Breach Around AI

"Musk has long recognised that AGI poses a grave threat to humanity -- perhaps the greatest existential threat we face today," read the lawsuit.

IANSUpdated: Friday, March 01, 2024, 06:26 PM IST
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Elon Musk | Image: Wikipedia

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on Thursday sued OpenAI and its CEO Sam Altman, alleging they breached their original contractual agreements around AI.

The lawsuit, filed in a court in San Francisco in the US, revolves around OpenAI's latest natural language model titled GPT-4.

The X owner alleged that OpenAI and Microsoft (which has poured billions of dollars into Sam Altman-run company) have "improperly licensed GPT-4" despite agreeing that artificial general intelligence (AGI) capabilities "would remain non-profit and dedicated to humanity".

"Musk has long recognised that AGI poses a grave threat to humanity -- perhaps the greatest existential threat we face today," read the lawsuit.

Musk's lawsuit details complaints such as contract breach, fiduciary duty violation, and unfair business practices.

Musk was an original board member of OpenAI until 2018. According to the lawsuit, OpenAI's initial research was performed in the "open, providing free and public access to designs, models, and code". When OpenAI researchers discovered that an algorithm called "Transformers," initially invented by Google, could perform many natural language tasks without any explicit training, "entire communities sprung up to enhance and extend the models released by OpenAI".

Altman became OpenAI CEO in 2019. On September 22, 2020, OpenAI entered into an agreement with Microsoft, exclusively licensing to Microsoft its Generative PreTrained Transformer (GPT)-3 language model.

"Most critically, the Microsoft license only applied to OpenAI's pre-AGI technology. Microsoft obtained no rights to AGI. And it was up to OpenAI's non-profit Board, not Microsoft, to determine when OpenAI attained AGI," the lawsuit further read.

Musk said that this case is filed to compel OpenAI to "adhere to the Founding Agreement and return to its mission to develop AGI for the benefit of humanity, not to personally benefit the individual defendants and the largest technology company in the world".

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