Musk Files Lawsuit Against OpenAI

( – OpenAI skyrocketed to notoriety after introducing the world to the powerful ChatGPT program. Elon Musk bankrolled the company in its early days. Now, the billionaire is suing OpenAI and its CEO, Sam Altman.

Musk filed a lawsuit at San Francisco Superior Court. He claimed that he had an agreement with Altman and President Greg Brockman that they would keep the artificial intelligence company a nonprofit and allow the public to benefit from its technology. Musk said they’d agreed to leave the code open to the public rather than closing it off so that the company could benefit from it financially.

The lawsuit claims OpenAI “set the Founding Agreement aflame” in 2023 when it entered an agreement with Microsoft. According to The Associated Press, the company’s new board is refining and developing the technology “to maximize profits for Microsoft, rather than for the benefit of humanity.”

OpenAI was founded in 2015. Musk was an investor and co-chaired the board. The billionaire claims he invested millions into the company. The Tesla founder resigned from the board in 2018, saying it would prevent conflicts of interest as the vehicle maker began recruiting talent for its AI arm. Later that year, the company moved away from the non-profit side, retaining its board, and shifting almost all of its workforce to the for-profit arm. Microsoft invested $1 billion into the for-profit side the next year and signed an agreement giving the tech giant exclusive rights to the AI program.

The problem legal experts think the lawsuit might encounter is that these claims are not written down anywhere; they were allegedly oral agreements. Musk claimed the agreement was memorialized when OpenAI was incorporated.

Paul Barrett, a New York University Law School professor, was skeptical of the lawsuit. He said the company likely hired attorneys “who structured the transaction so that it would be legal.” He went on to say it was “a little hard to take Elon Musk’s lawsuit seriously” since he runs a “for-profit AI company” that’s a rival of OpenAI.

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