OpenAI Publishes Emails with Elon Musk

What Happened:

Elon Musk sued the ChatGPT company “OpenAI”, for chasing profits and splitting from its “nonprofit mission.” On Tuesday, the company published Musk’s emails, where he claims that OpenAI needed to make a lot of money in order to fund the computing resources to power the AI.

Some of the emails have been redacted, but Musk claims that the company could likely not succeed on cash alone and would need to find different sources of income to survive. “This needs billions per year immediately, or forget it,” Musk said in one of the emails.

The Details:

The lawsuit with OpenAI is a claim that they have deviated from their mission, but in the released emails, it seems like they are taking Musk’s advice. In 2019, the OpenAI executives created OpenAI LP as a for profit division within the structure of their organization. OpenAI LP created $90 billion in value in a few short years, and Mark Altman, an OpenAI executive, was largely credited with the success.

Since then, other companies, like Microsoft, have signed partnerships with OpenAI. The Microsoft deal brought them $13 billion in revenue, which Musk complained was a breach of the company’s charter. Musk wants a jury trial and for Altman and OpenAI to pay back the profit they received from the partnership.

The company claims they have not diverged from their mission at all and will move to have Musk’s claims dismissed. “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 all fail, started a competitor, and then sued us when we started making meaningful progress towards OpenAI’s mission without him,” said the company.

Musk’s primary problem is that they are no longer sharing their product with the public. There was another email from Musk that was released where he stated that technology would need to be held back to prevent it from causing harm.

What’s Next:

OpenAI was founded as a check on the technology of artificial intelligence. They have a board that oversees and reviews any new policies or products regarding AI. The company argues that their mission is the same as it has always been and that they are still built around ensuring safe AI development.

OpenAI has also claimed that before Musk left the organization in 2018, he tried to turn it into a for-profit organization with a $1 billion funding goal with a promise he would cover the rest. When the OpenAI founders and Musk agreed to make a for-profit wing, Musk wanted a majority of the equity in the company, as well as board control and the title of chief executive. The founders denied his offer because they believe that one person, being a decision-maker, went against their mission. Musk then suggested that they should be attached to Tesla, which was also denied.

OpenAI feels that there is no case as many of the milestones they have achieved are through processes that Musk suggested during his time with the company.

There has not yet been a court date or hearing scheduled at the time of posting.

You can find the OpenAI blog post related to the information in this article here.



Matthew Dellinger
Matthew Dellinger
Matthew Dellinger holds a Political Science and History BS and is working towards a Masters in Public Administration. Before his time at Atlas he joined GoodPolitical to serve as a writer and contributor while also expanding his knowledge on global events. Matthew is proud to be a part of a news organization that believes in delivering truthful, unfiltered, and unbiased news to people around the world.


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