Elon Musk, one of the original founders and backers of OpenAI who later left the company, is now suing the AI startup including its leaders and associated parties for straying from its original goal of building AI for the benefit of humanity instead of financial gain.

The lawsuit from Musk, who is currently the owner of social media giant X, not only targets OpenAI but also its CEO and President, Sam Altman, and Greg Brockman alongside any associated parties. Musk alleges that the ChatGPT maker has strayed from its foundational contractual commitments.

Musk further alleges that Altman and Brockman persuaded him that the startup would operate as a non-profit dedicated to mitigating Google’s competitive dominance. He claims that the two executives also convinced him to help establish and fund OpenAI as well.

According to the legal documents submitted to a San Francisco court late on Thursday, Musk argues that OpenAI, now the globe’s most esteemed AI startup, has transitioned towards a profit-oriented structure. This shift primarily involves commercializing its advanced general intelligence (AGI) research in partnership with Microsoft, the planet’s leading corporation in terms of market value.

The lawsuit says: “In reality, however, OpenAI, Inc. has been transformed into a closed-source de facto subsidiary of the largest technology company in the world: Microsoft. Under its new Board, it is not just developing but is actually refining an AGI to maximize profits for Microsoft, rather than for the benefit of humanity. This was a stark betrayal of the Founding Agreement.”

The lawsuit is not a sudden occurrence as Elon Musk has been voicing his concerns about OpenAI’s change in priorities over the past year. Musk donated a total of $44 million to the non-profit organization between 2016 and 2020, making him the primary donor to OpenAI for a substantial period, as stated in the lawsuit.

Despite being presented with an opportunity to own a share in OpenAI’s profit-driven division, Musk earlier declined this offer, citing ethical reservations. In a related development, X, the social media platform under Musk’s ownership, introduced Grok last year, positioning it as a competitor to ChatGPT.

Via: TechCrunch