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Elon Musk sues OpenAI alleging Microsoft deal violates founding charter

Elon Musk sued OpenAI alleging its deal to receive a $10 billion investment from Microsoft violates the company's founding charter. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI
Elon Musk sued OpenAI alleging its deal to receive a $10 billion investment from Microsoft violates the company's founding charter. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

March 1 (UPI) -- Elon Musk sued OpenAI and its CEO Sam Altman Thursday in California, saying the artificial intelligence leader violated its own founding charter by joining with Microsoft.

Musk, who co-founded OpenAI before leaving to start a rival artificial intelligence company xAI, charged in state court Thursday that OpenAI's partnership with Microsoft represents a breach of contract.

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Open AI, which was founded as a counterweight to artificial generative intelligence "for the benefit of humanity," created a board to oversee its products and to make its product codes public. Musk claims those codes are now being kept secret. The lawsuit made note of the firing and rehiring of Altman.

"The public is still in the dark regarding what exactly the board's 'deliberative review process' revealed that resulted in the initial firing of Mr. Altman," the lawsuit said. "However, one thing is clear to Mr. Musk and the public at large: OpenAI has abandoned its 'irrevocable' nonprofit mission in the pursuit of profit."

ChatGPT, OpenAI's chatbot, has grown quickly since making its debut last year and immediately sparked competition from Alphabet, the parent of Google, and Microsoft. Musk said now Altman and others now stand to personally benefit from what was originally set up to help the public.

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"Under its new board, it is not just developing but is actually refining an AGI to maximize profits for Microsoft, rather than for the benefit of humanity," the lawsuit said.

Britain's Competition and Markets Authority has already taken aim at Microsoft's $10 billion investment into OpenAI, opening an inquiry in December over fears the union could lead to a "substantial lessening of competition."

The authority's invitation to comment would be used to rule on whether Microsoft has gained control of OpenAI.

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