Elon Musk Takes Legal Action Against OpenAI and CEO Sam Altman

Elon Musk has filed a lawsuit against OpenAI and CEO Sam Altman, alleging a breach of contractual agreements made during the founding of the ChatGPT-maker in 2015. The suit claims that Altman and co-founder Greg Brockman initially approached Musk to establish an open-source, non-profit company dedicated to developing AI for the benefit of humanity. Musk contends that OpenAI’s pursuit of profits violates this agreement. OpenAI, Microsoft, and Musk have not responded to requests for comment.

Musk co-founded OpenAI in 2015 but resigned from the board in 2018. The legal action comes amidst ChatGPT’s rapid rise as the world’s fastest-growing software application since its launch in November 2022. The success of ChatGPT has triggered a surge in generative AI-based chatbots from major tech companies. Simultaneously, the Securities and Exchange Commission (S.E.C.) has initiated an inquiry into OpenAI, focusing on the unexpected removal and subsequent reinstatement of CEO Sam Altman at the end of the previous year. OpenAI has hired a law firm to conduct its own investigation into Altman’s behaviour and the Board’s decision. The controversy surrounding Altman’s dismissal centres on concerns that he may not have disclosed all plans to secure funding from Middle Eastern investors for an AI chip project. The investigation is expected to conclude soon. OpenAI’s pivotal role in the generative AI industry, marked by a recent funding deal valuing the company at over $80 billion, makes these legal and regulatory developments highly significant.


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