Elon Musk Sues Sam Altman and OpenAI Over Alleged Breach of Contract and Commercialization of AI Technology

Musk contends that OpenAI's collaboration with Microsoft deviates from its original mission of serving humanity.

Tech Billionaire Elon Musk is known for his reservations regarding development and utilization of AI in the future. Now Twitter head has taken legal action against Sam Altman and OpenAI, alleging breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and unfair business practices. The lawsuit, filed in a San Francisco court on Thursday, accuses Altman and OpenAI of prioritizing profits for Microsoft over the advancement of humanity.

Musk and Altman

Musk, a co-founder of OpenAI alongside Altman in 2015, has voiced concerns over the organization's collaboration with Microsoft, which he claims deviates from its original mission of developing open-source artificial general intelligence (AGI).

The lawsuit demands that OpenAI, its president Gregory Brockman, CEO Sam Altman, and Microsoft be prohibited from profiting from the AGI technology developed by the company.

One of Musk's primary grievances is OpenAI's release of GPT-4, an AGI tool, which is not freely accessible like its predecessors. Musk argues that charging for AGI tools contradicts OpenAI's foundational principle of providing technology for the benefit of humanity, rather than commercial gain.

Musk also highlights the 2023 dismissal and subsequent reinstatement of Altman as CEO, alleging Microsoft's intervention in the matter to influence board members.

This legal action follows Musk's previous criticism of OpenAI's shift towards commercialization, which he has voiced on social media platforms. He has expressed disappointment with OpenAI's transformation from an open-source, non-profit entity into a closed-source, profit-driven organization controlled by Microsoft.

Despite his critical stance towards OpenAI, Musk's own involvement in artificial intelligence development is noteworthy. He has founded xAI, a for-profit AI firm, and holds ownership in companies like Neuralink and Optimus, both of which focus on AI development.

Insights from Walter Isaacson's biography of Elon Musk suggest a history of tension between Musk and OpenAI, stemming from his proposal to merge the organization into Tesla in 2018. This proposal was met with opposition, leading to Musk's departure from OpenAI and the establishment of a competing AI team within Tesla.

In light of these developments, Musk's lawsuit against OpenAI underscores his ongoing concerns about the direction of AI development and its impact on society.

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