Home Tech OpenAI says Elon Musk backed for-profit plans, and that it has emails proving it

OpenAI says Elon Musk backed for-profit plans, and that it has emails proving it

by Business News Report

OpenAI shot back at Elon Musk refuting claims Musk made in a lawsuit filed last week, and publishing emails from Musk that appeared to show he had supported the company’s for-profit business plans. Last Thursday, Musk filed a law suit in San Francisco accusing OpenAI executives of abandoning their founding goals for developing artificial general intelligence in favour of enriching themselves and essentially selling out to Microsoft Corp. “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 fail, started a competitor, and then sued us when we started making meaningful progress towards OpenAI’s mission without him,” OpenAI executives, including co-founder Sam Altman, said in a blog post Tuesday night.

OpenAI included reproductions of a number of what appeared to be internal emails between OpenAI executives and Musk, dated between 2015 and 2018, in which the Tesla Inc. chief executive and former OpenAI board member appeared to back the for-profit pivot and offered advice on how to do it. In his lawsuit, Musk claimed he and Altman had agreed that OpenAI would remain open-source and publicly available. But Musk appeared to go along with OpenAI’s plans. “As we get closer to building AI, it will make sense to start being less open. The Open in openAI means that everyone should benefit from the fruits of AI after its built, but it’s totally OK to not share the science,” co-founder Ilya Sutskever wrote Musk in a 2016 email.

“Yup,” Musk replied, according to OpenAI. In time, Musk’s message became more my-way-or-the-highway, OpenAI said. “In late 2017, we and Elon decided the next step for the mission was to create a for-profit entity,” OpenAI said in its blog post. “Elon wanted majority equity, initial board control, and to be CEO. In the middle of these discussions, he withheld funding.” In 2018, Musk urged a massive fundraising effort, one of the emails showed. “Even raising several hundred million won’t be enough. This needs billions per year immediately or forget it,” Musk’s email read. In 2018, Musk also forwarded an email suggesting that OpenAI should “attach to Tesla as its cash cow,” OpenAI said. “Elon soon chose to leave OpenAI, saying that our probability of success was 0, and that he planned to build an AGI competitor within Tesla,” OpenAI said. MarketWatch

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