Report: Elon Musk Tried To Take Over OpenAI But Failed

A recent report reveals that in 2018, Elon Musk failed to take control of OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT.

Musk was one of the founders of the nonprofit AI lab in 2015, intending to share research for the benefit of humanity. However, by early 2018, Musk became concerned that the company was falling behind Google. He offered to take over OpenAI and personally oversee its operations but was rejected by other founders, including current CEO Sam Altman and President Greg Brockman.

Musk’s departure from OpenAI in 2018, citing a conflict of interest with his work at Tesla, was accompanied by a broken promise to provide $1 billion in funding. He only contributed $100 million before leaving, leaving OpenAI with a financial challenge as their development of large-scale AI models like image generator DALL-E and the text-generating GPT series racked up huge expenses.

As a result, OpenAI announced in 2019 that it was creating a for-profit entity to fund its research and quickly partnered with Microsoft. In exchange for exclusive licenses to use OpenAI’s technology in its products, Microsoft provided billions in funding and resources.

Although Semafor reports did not explicitly state that Musk’s withdrawn funding was the reason OpenAI partnered with Microsoft, it is a plausible interpretation.

This report is significant to the AI community because OpenAI’s shift towards corporate interests is viewed as a crucial moment for AI and the world, not just a betrayal of its founding principles but also a catalyst for the company to launch new AI products as quickly as possible. However, this attitude may have dangerous consequences.

OpenAI’s collaboration with Microsoft has changed how the company shares its research. For example, when OpenAI recently announced its latest AI language model, GPT-4, it did not disclose details about its creation or training data, causing concern among many experts.

In an interview, Ilya Sutskever, OpenAI’s chief scientist, explained that this was done to maintain the company’s competitive advantage over its competitors and to prevent future misuse of its technology. However, many AI experts argue that restricting access to OpenAI’s models makes it harder for the community to understand potential threats posed by these systems and concentrates power in the hands of corporations.

Since OpenAI and Microsoft’s partnership, the two companies have been rapidly launching AI products and services. Microsoft has integrated OpenAI’s technology into its Windows and Office suite. Recently, OpenAI announced that it would significantly enhance its chatbot, ChatGPT, by enabling it to interface with other sites and services via plug-ins. OpenAI likened the update to giving the bot “eyes and ears.” At the same time, some experts expressed concerns that the move poses a safety threat.

On several occasions, Elon Musk has expressed his dismay about OpenAI’s shift towards corporate interests.

In February, he tweeted that OpenAI had become a “closed source, maximum-profit company effectively controlled by Microsoft.”

Musk added that this was not his intention at all. It’s worth noting, however, that Musk is self-interested in this matter and skilled in manipulating public narratives to position himself as a hero.

Last Friday, he tweeted a meme that read, “Me realizing AI, the most powerful tool that mankind has ever created, is now in the hands of a ruthless corporate monopoly.”

Related Stories:

Help Someone By Sharing This Article