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OpenAI hit back at Elon Musk lawsuit with leaked emails

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Following the announcement of a lawsuit by Elon Musk last Friday (March 1), OpenAI has revealed historical email exchanges between them and the Tesla CEO in an effort to counter what they perceive as false claims made against them.

Elon Musk has filed a lawsuit against OpenAI, CEO Sam Altman, co-founder Greg Brockman, and others, alleging a breach of contractual obligations established when he was involved in founding the company back in 2015.

The lawsuit argues that OpenAI’s move towards profit-driven goals contradicts the original agreement made with Musk.

Today (Mar. 6), OpenAI took to X to post a blog sharing their perspective on the matter and their stance on the lawsuit.

In the blog post, they elaborate on three key points:

  • We realized the development of AGI would require more resources than initially anticipated

  • Both we and Elon acknowledged the need for a for-profit entity to obtain these resources

  • We aim to further our mission by creating widely-accessible beneficial tools

The authors of the blog, including CEO Sam Altman, express their disappointment in the situation with someone they highly respected, highlighting Musk’s role in inspiring them to strive for more, and then taking legal action when they progressed toward OpenAI’s mission without him.

They state, “We are committed to advancing our mission and still have a long way to go. As we enhance our tools, we look forward to deploying these systems to empower every individual.”

In response, Elon Musk simply told OpenAI to “change your name” on X. He also responded with a laughing emoji to a post suggesting OpenAI be renamed as OpenEmail.

The exchange of emails between OpenAI and Elon Musk

The emails shared by OpenAI date back to 2015 when the company was established. While Musk was a co-founder, he stepped back in 2018. OpenAI has released emails from Musk in an effort to refute his claims that the company has deviated from its original purpose of serving as a non-profit safeguard against the dangers of generative AI.

In one email attributed to Musk, he suggests the need for a larger funding amount than initially proposed, indicating a $1 billion commitment may be more suitable.

Discussing OpenAI’s future direction, the blog mentions Musk’s desire for majority equity, initial control of the board, and the CEO role, but he reportedly withheld funding during negotiations.

The blog post further explains that they couldn’t reach an agreement with Musk on turning OpenAI into a for-profit entity as they believed it contradicted their mission.

Another email allegedly from Musk suggests OpenAI should be linked to Tesla as a financial support mechanism.

The blog also references a message from co-founder Ilya Sutskever discussing their tool, with Musk apparently acknowledging that the mission did not involve open-sourcing AGI, to which Musk replied, “Yup.”

The emails between OPENAI and ELon musk
The alleged emails between OpenAI and ElonMusk

Featured image: Midjourney

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