Elon Musk drops lawsuit against OpenAI, Sam Altman one day after criticizing Apple for using ChatGPT

Stock image of Elon Musk
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Tesla founder Elon Musk dropped his case against OpenAI and its founders, Sam Altman and Greg Brockman just one day before a San Francisco court had scheduled a hearing to consider its dismissal. Experts previously said that the suit had little legal merit, and the company leadership publicly rebutted all of Musk’s claims point by point. 

Musk’s primary complaint was how OpenAI betrayed the company’s ‘Founding Agreement’ by focusing on profits. According to the lawsuit, “Under its Boards, it is not just developing but is actually refining an AGI to maximize profits for Microsoft, rather than for the benefit of humanity. Its technology, including GPT-4, is closed-source primarily to serve the proprietary commercial interests of Microsoft.”

Furthermore, Musk claimed that OpenAI was developing artificial general intelligence (AGI), which could become a “grave threat to humanity.” He also said in the lawsuit that the company is now a “de facto subsidiary” of Microsoft, especially as Microsoft has already poured billions into the AI company, with a $100-billion-dollar AI supercomputer partnership coming soon.

However, legal experts say that the ‘Founding Agreement’ Musk is taunting OpenAI with wasn’t even a formal written agreement, and some of the parties involved in the lawsuit didn’t even sign it. OpenAI Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) Jason Kwon also rebutted Musk by saying that ChatGPT is not an AGI, and is nowhere near becoming an AGI - as judged by its capabilities. Kwon added that while Microsoft has partnered with OpenAI, the former has no say in how the latter operates. He also said that Microsoft’s Copilot and Copilot for Microsoft 365 compete directly against OpenAI’s ChatGPT and ChatGPT for Enterprise, even though the latter products power the former.

Musk’s moves and pronouncements against OpenAI are indicative of his mistrust of the company and its leadership. OpenAI’s leadership says that Elon Musk is doing this to the company simply because he regrets stepping away from its board in 2018. Sam Altman has even warned his staff that OpenAI will likely continue receiving attacks for the foreseeable future.

For an example, Musk publicly threatened to ban all Apple devices from his companies yesterday, after Apple announced its partnership with OpenAI to use ChatGPT for some of its own Apple Intelligence services. Nevertheless, Elon Musk’s argument against Apple’s and OpenAI’s partnership is moot and academic, unless both companies commit an egregious violation of their agreements and user policies.

This lawsuit is another direct example of Musk’s attacks on OpenAI. But if his claims are unsubstantiated (or have a shaky foundation), he needs to drop them or the courts could reveal how petty they are.

Jowi Morales
Contributing Writer

Jowi Morales is a tech enthusiast with years of experience working in the industry. He’s been writing with several tech publications since 2021, where he’s been interested in tech hardware and consumer electronics.

  • HaninTH
    "This lawsuit is another direct example of Musk’s attacks on OpenAI. But if his claims are unsubstantiated (or have a shaky foundation), he needs to drop them or the courts could reveal how petty they are."

    I think even the casual observer and follower of Elon's child-like behavior will point out that this is his MO. Pettiness is a key trait of Elon and he wears it proudly.

    I hope people stop seeing him as anything other than an overgrown child that seems to be able occasionally coalescence a great idea only to hamstring it with greed.
  • Notton
    That's what happens when you surround yourself with yes-men.

    Out of touch with reality, no one to push back against silly ideas you may have, falling down a rabbit hole, etc. Did I miss anything?