Elon Musk Sues OpenAI, Sam Altman for Abandoning Founding Mission – Decrypt

Elon Musk, who helped found OpenAI, has accused the company and its leaders of breaching contractual agreements. The owner of Tesla and X (Twitter) claims that the company has abandoned its original mission to develop AI for the “benefit of humanity, not profit.”

The lawsuit that Musk filed late on Thursday, claims that Greg Brockman, one of OpenAI’s co-founders, pitched the company to Musk as an “open source, non-profit company.”  This comes less than a month after it was reported by the Financial Times that OpenAI is on track to hit an annual $2 billion revenue, according to December 2023 data.

The complaint specifically takes issue with the fact that in 2023, OpenAI decided to keep the design of GPT-4 a secret and entered into exclusive licensing agreements with Microsoft—essentially turning OpenAI into a closed-source, profit-driven entity contrary to its founding principles, according to Elon Musk.



“This case is filed to compel OpenAI to adhere to the founding agreement and return to its mission to develop AGI for the benefit of humanity,” he writes in the complaint, “not to personally benefit the individual defendants and the largest technology company in the world.”

It should be noted that Elon Musk last year launched his own AI startup, xAI, and has bragged that the company has built a chatbot that’s “the best that currently exists.” The chatbot, Grok, was reviewed by Decrypt as a mixed bag that overpromised and underdelievered.

But OpenAI has hit its own road bumps, too.

Last year, CEO of OpenAI Sam Altman was controversially ousted from the company. Reports have suggested that the board lost confidence in Altman’s ability to lead and some, including Musk, suggested OpenAI may have developed something that could be “dangerous to humanity.” This only lasted a few days, however, as Altman’s position was reinstated the following week.




Sam Altman is also a board member and co-founded Worldcoin, a digital identification platform which is exchanging eye scans for a digital ID and tokens. Despite its contentious launch, its valuation soared throughout February following the release of OpenAI’s text-to-video model Sora.

Despite this, Elon Musk’s lawsuit has put temporary 2% dent in Worldcoin’s token price. WLD is now trading for $7.83, a 7% drop compared to a week ago, according to CoinGecko data, but 2% higher than it was this time yesterday.

Edited by Stacy Elliott.

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