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OpenAI hit back at Elon Musk lawsuit with leaked emails


After a lawsuit was announced last Friday (March. 1) from Elon Musk, the people behind OpenAI have shared what they claim to be historical email correspondence between them and the Tesla chief executive as they say they’re aiming to ‘dismiss all of Elon’s claims.’

Elon Musk is suing OpenAI, its CEO Sam Altman, co-founder Greg Brockman, as well as others, as he accuses them of violating contractual commitments established during the company’s inception when he helped to found the company in 2015.

The lawsuit contends the Microsoft-backed AI company’s shift towards profit-oriented objectives goes against the original agreement.

Today (Mar.6) OpenAI took to X to share their latest blog post highlighting information about their side of the story and their opinion on the suit.

In the release, they expand on three specific points. These include:

We realized building AGI will require far more resources than we’d initially imagined

We and Elon recognized a for-profit entity would be necessary to acquire those resources

We advance our mission by building widely-available beneficial tools

The authors behind the blog, which includes CEO Sam Altman, go on to say: “We’re sad that it’s come to this with someone whom we’ve deeply admired – someone who inspired us to aim higher, then told us we would fail, started a competitor, and then sued us when we started making meaningful progress towards OpenAI’s mission without him.

“We are focused on advancing our mission and have a long way to go. As we continue to make our tools better and better, we are excited to deploy these systems so they empower every individual.”

In response, Elon Musk replied via X simply telling OpenAI to “change your name”. He also responded with a laughing face emoji to a post from user @realSharonZhou who said ‘more accurate to rename OpenAI to OpenEmail.’

Change your name

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 6, 2024

The emails between OpenAI and Elon Musk

The email chain shared from OpenAI dates back to 2015, when the company was first founded. Elon Musk helped to cofound OpenAI, but later stepped away in 2018. OpenAI has published emails from the South African-born billionaire in an attempt to knock down his claims the company has strayed from its founding mission to serve as a non-profit check on the threats of generative AI.

In the first email which is said to be from the billionaire entrepreneur, it says ‘We need to go with a much bigger number than $100M to avoid sounding hopeless…’ The content in the email goes on to explain a ‘$1bn funding commitment’ may be more appropriate.

When looking at the next step for OpenAI, the details in the blog say ‘Elon wanted majority equity, initial board control, and to be CEO. In the middle of these discussions, he withheld funding.’

The blog post continues to read: ‘We couldn’t agree to terms on a for-profit with Elon because we felt it was against the mission…’

In an email shared by OpenAI, apparently from Elon Musk, he says OpenAI should ‘attach to Tesla as its cash cow.’

In one of the last emails to be made public, cofounder Ilya Sutskever explains further about the tool. In the blog, the authors say ‘Elon understood the mission did not imply open-sourcing AGI.’ They later shared that Elon allegedly responded with ‘Yup.’

The alleged emails between OpenAI and ElonMusk

Featured image: Midjourney

The post OpenAI hit back at Elon Musk lawsuit with leaked emails appeared first on ReadWrite.


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