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Musk files lawsuit against ChatGPT-parent OpenAI, its CEO Sam Altman over alleged mission betrayal

The lawsuit specifically mentions OpenAI's recent partnership with Microsoft and the secrecy surrounding their most advanced AI model.

OpenAI ChatGPT Sam Altman

Tesla and SpaceX owner Elon Musk on Thursday sued ChatGPT-parent OpenAI and other executives including the AI company’s chief executive officer Sam Altman. Musk has filed a lawsuit with a San Francisco court saying that OpenAI has “abandoned its non-profit mission of developing AGI for the benefit of humanity broadly.”

According to the filed lawsuit, in 2015, Altman along with OpenAI co-founder Greg Brockman approached Musk and agreed to make an open-source company for public benefits. However, the billionaire alleges that OpenAI, now backed by Microsoft, and its top executives “breached” the founding agreement and has now transformed into a “closed-source de facto subsidiary,” prioritizing Microsoft’s financial gain over the original philanthropic goals.

The lawsuit specifically mentions OpenAI’s recent partnership with Microsoft and the secrecy surrounding their most advanced AI model, GPT-4, as evidence of this shift. “OpenAI has not published a paper describing any aspect of its internal design; it has simply issued press releases boasting about its performance. The internal details of GPT-4 are known only to OpenAI and, on information and belief, to Microsoft. GPT-4 is hence the opposite of “open AI,” it read.

The lawsuit seeks to compel OpenAI to “return to its mission to develop AGI for the benefit of humanity, not to personally benefit” individuals or companies. It is noteworthy that this legal battle comes amidst a period of heightened interest in AI, with OpenAI’s chatbot, ChatGPT, becoming the fastest-growing consumer application ever after its launch in late 2022.  It also pits two influential figures in the tech industry against each other, adding another layer to the complex conversation surrounding the future of AI and its potential impact on humanity.

Short for Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer, ChatGPT is a popular AI text generator and has been a center of attention for many due to its human-like response. Several other tech majors like Google and Baidu have also launched their own AI chatbots namely Gemini, previously Bard, and Ernie, respectively. Several other small and big tech companies have since began investing heavily in the AI segment to emulate the success of ChatGPT.

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