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Elon Musk Sues OpenAI and Sam Altman Over Alleged Breach of Nonprofit Agreement

Elon Musk sues OpenAI and its CEO, Sam Altman, over alleged breach of their nonprofit agreement, claiming that OpenAI's collaboration with Microsoft deviates from its original mission of advancing open-source AGI for the benefit of humanity.

Elon Musk, the entrepreneur behind companies like Tesla and SpaceX, has filed a lawsuit against OpenAI and its CEO, Sam Altman, claiming a breach of their nonprofit agreement. Musk alleges that OpenAI has deviated from its original mission of advancing open-source artificial general intelligence (AGI) for the benefit of humanity.

The legal action, submitted in the San Francisco Superior Court, accuses OpenAI of contract breach, fiduciary duty violation, and unfair business practices. Musk is urging OpenAI to return to its open-source principles and is seeking an injunction to prevent the for-profit exploitation of AGI technology.

The lawsuit focuses on OpenAI's collaboration with Microsoft, particularly the launch of GPT-4 in March 2023, which Musk claims deviates significantly from OpenAI's principles. GPT-4 is a closed model, unlike earlier versions, and Musk argues that this move toward proprietary tech benefits Microsoft financially, contradicting OpenAI's initial nonprofit mission.

OpenAI, which started as a nonprofit AI research lab in 2015, became a commercial giant after establishing a business arm in 2020. Critics, including Musk, argue that the company has shifted its focus to a profit-driven model, prioritizing speed and profit over positive human impact.

According to the Financial Times, OpenAI's revenues have surpassed $2 billion annually, driven by the success of its AI product, ChatGPT, making it one of the fastest-growing tech companies.

Musk has long been concerned about the impact of AI on humanity and has advocated for government regulation and responsible AI development. He criticizes the expertise of OpenAI's current board, stating that it lacks the technical knowledge required for responsible AGI development.

The conflict between Musk and OpenAI's board and Altman is related to the development of GPT-4 and the potential next iteration of AGI technology. Musk expresses concern about how this could impact public safety.