OpenAI Fires Back at Elon Musk’s Lawsuit Using Emails

IBL News | New York

OpenAI fired back at Elon Musk’s lawsuit using the owner of Tesla’s own emails.

In a blog post authored by OpenAI’s management team – Greg Brockman, Ilya Sutskever, John Schulman, Sam Altman, Wojciech Zaremba – the Microsoft-backed startup tried to prove that Musk backed the company’s plans to become a for-profit business, and he even insisted on raising “billions of dollars” to compete against Google.

Open AI revealed that since its inception in 2015, it had raised less than $45 million from Musk, despite his initial commitment to provide as much as $1 billion in funding. The startup also secured more than $90 million from other donors to support its research efforts, it said.

The San Francisco – research lab’s response followed Elon Musk suing Altman, Brockman, OpenAI, and other affiliates of the firm last week, alleging the ChatGPT-maker had breached its original contractual agreements.

These are some of the things that OpenAI said in its blog post:

– “Elon said we should announce an initial $1B funding commitment to OpenAI. In total, the non-profit has raised less than $45M from Elon and more than $90M from other donors.”

– “I will cover whatever anyone else doesn’t provide,” he said.

– “As we discussed a for-profit structure in order to further the mission, Elon wanted us to merge with Tesla, or he wanted full control. Elon left OpenAI, saying there needed to be a relevant competitor to Google/DeepMind and that he was going to do it himself. He said he’d be supportive of us finding our own path.”

– “In late 2017, we and Elon decided the next step for the mission was to create a for-profit entity. Elon wanted majority equity, initial board control, and to be CEO. In the middle of these discussions, he withheld funding. Reid Hoffman bridged the gap to cover salaries and operations.”

– “In early February 2018, Elon forwarded us an email suggesting that OpenAI should “attach to Tesla as its cash cow”, commenting that it was “exactly right… Tesla is the only path that could even hope to hold a candle to Google. Even then, the probability of being a counterweight to Google is small. It just isn’t zero.”

– “We’re making our technology broadly usable in ways that empower people and improve their daily lives, including via open-source contributions.”

– “We provide broad access to today’s most powerful AI, including a free version that hundreds of millions of people use every day. For example, Albania is using OpenAI’s tools to accelerate its EU accession by as much as 5.5 years; Digital Green is helping boost farmer income in Kenya and India by dropping the cost of agricultural extension services 100x by building on OpenAI; Lifespan, the largest healthcare provider in Rhode Island, uses GPT-4 to simplify its surgical consent forms from a college reading level to a 6th grade one; Iceland is using GPT-4 to preserve the Icelandic language.”

– “Elon understood the mission did not imply open-sourcing AGI. As Ilya told Elon: “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 it’s built, but it’s totally OK to not share the science…”, to which Elon replied: “Yup”. 

– “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.”