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OpenAI’s co-founders claim Elon Musk sought control of the company

The founder of the nonprofit AI company says Musk wants to merge OpenAI with Tesla
Sam Altman (Photo credit: Bang Media)

OpenAI‘s co-founders have accused former board member Elon Musk of wanting “absolute control” of the ChatGPT creator.

Tesla founder Musk is suing OpenAI — which he helped found in 2015 — and its chief executive Sam Altman for alleged breach of contract.

Through his lawyers, Musk claims they started the non-profit for the “benefit of humanity” and that they care more about profits.

The SpaceX founder stepped down as a board member back in 2018. Now, OpenAI’s co-founders have hit back and claimed the billionaire wanted to be CEO of the business and suggested merging it with Tesla.

“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,” a blog post by OpenAI co-founders Altman, Greg Brockman, Ilya Sutskever, John Schulman and Wojciech Zaremba read.

“We couldn’t agree to terms on a for-profit with Elon because we felt it was against the mission for any individual to have absolute control over OpenAI. He then suggested instead merging OpenAI into Tesla. 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’,” the post said.

Musk has since set up xAI, his own AI start-up to rival OpenAI. Musk is currently seeking investors for his fledgling company.

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