OpenAI hits back at Musk, alleges prior for-profit support

OpenAI, the developer behind ChatGPT, has counter-accused Elon Musk in response to his lawsuit against the company. Musk alleges that OpenAI has deviated from its original mission of benefitting humanity and instead prioritized profit generation for major investor Microsoft. OpenAI rebuts Musk’s claims, asserting that he previously supported the idea of a for-profit structure and even proposed a merger with his company Tesla. The company contends that Musk sought “absolute control” before ultimately departing in 2018.

In a blog post, OpenAI announces its intention to dismiss Musk’s lawsuit and releases a collection of Musk’s emails to co-founders to challenge his assertions. The legal dispute, filed by Musk on February 29 in a San Francisco court, accuses OpenAI of violating principles established during his co-founding involvement in 2015 and criticizes Microsoft’s significant investment in the AI firm. Microsoft’s for-profit arm, initiated in 2019, attracted billions of dollars in investments and, according to Musk’s lawyers, transformed OpenAI into a “closed-source de facto subsidiary” of the tech giant.

Musk responded to OpenAI’s blog post on social media, urging them to change their name. The blog, written by co-founders and executives including CEO Sam Altman, Greg Brockman, and former chief scientist Ilya Sutskever, expresses disappointment with Musk’s legal actions, accusing him of initiating competition, undermining progress, and suing when substantial advancements toward OpenAI’s mission were achieved without his involvement. The post outlines specific disagreements with Musk’s claims, citing his proposal for a merger with Tesla in early 2018 as evidence of his previously endorsed for-profit approach.