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Elon Musk Sues OpenAI

By Oluchukwu Ikemefuna

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Elon Musk filed a lawsuit against OpenAI and its CEO, Sam Altman, claiming that they violated the founding principles of the artificial intelligence firm by placing financial gain ahead of the good of humanity.

Elon Musk

A long-simmering dispute between titans of the tech industry over the direction of AI has dramatically escalated with the filing of the lawsuit late on Thursday in a San Francisco court.

One of the most vocal people regarding the risks associated with artificial intelligence (AI) and artificial general intelligence (AGI) is Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Inc.

Elon Musk Sues Open AI, a Company Backed By Microsoft

More than a year ago, OpenAI’s ChatGPT was released, popularizing AI advancements and igniting fears about the dangers of the race to develop artificial general intelligence (AGI), in which computers are as intelligent as the average person. 

In addition, Musk is the owner of the social network X and is currently seeking funding for xAI, an AI startup that will launch its own rival chatbot, Grok.

Among other things, Musk is suing for claims of unfair business practices, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of contract. As of 2019, he has been a donor to the nonprofit parent organization in which he is bringing this lawsuit. His goal is to get OpenAI to cease giving Microsoft and Altman personal benefits.

The lawsuit claimed that OpenAI Inc.’s website still states that it is committed to ensuring that artificial intelligence (AI) “benefits all of humanity.” “But in actuality, OpenAI Inc. has become a de facto closed-source subsidiary of Microsoft, the biggest technology company in the world.”

Response To The Lawsuit

Microsoft and Open AI did not respond to this lawsuit. This case represents a further development in one of the most well-known conflicts in the nascent field of artificial intelligence, involving two of its most notable figures. It will have an impact on Microsoft, which has invested roughly $13 billion in OpenAI, as well as OpenAI, which is looking to raise capital at a valuation of $100 billion or more. 

In an attempt to become a leader in the adoption of AI, the Microsoft-backed company’s shares have increased 68% in the past year, making it the most valuable company globally.

Legal experts stated that Musk’s claimed founding agreement, which he claimed occurred at the company’s inception, is at the heart of the case.

Elon Musk Argument Holds Weak

According to the experts, agreements reached between a prominent investor and the leadership of the company are usually documented in written form and contain specific terms. This puts Musk in a challenging situation when he tries to rely on what they claim are verbal promises made years ago in the absence of a formal contract.

In the lawsuit, Musk argues that the agreement was formalized in a court filing at the time OpenAI was incorporated.

Professor Dave Hoffman of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Corporate Law told ABC News that “oral promises are unusual at the beginning of a relationship that you would sue on.” “It seems a little weak at the beginning.”

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Abdullahi Kafayat
Abdullahi Kafayat

Abdullahi Kafayat is an enthusiastic writer interested in the tech world. She's a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University and has a BSc in Chemistry. You can reach her at Kafayatabdullahi17@gmail.com.

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