OpenAI, OpenAI hack

Elon Musk is dropping the lawsuit against OpenAI that he filed four months ago accusing the generative AI company and its co-founders of violating their founding principles by partnering with Microsoft and seeking profits rather than developing their technology to benefit humanity.

In a brief two-page filing this week, Musk – also an OpenAI co-founder and early investor – asked a San Francisco Superior Court to dismiss the lawsuit, but gave no indication why. He also asked that it be dismissed without prejudice, which would allow him to refile it in the future if he wants.

The filing came a day before a court hearing in the case during which the judge was scheduled to consider OpenAI’s request that the case be dismissed.

In the lawsuit, Musk said he was concerned that the development of artificial general intelligence (AGI) – the point where AI systems can think, reason, and perform as well as humans – would be driven by a profit-motivated company like Google and was attracted to OpenAI in 2015 by their mutual desire to be a nonprofit that would develop AGI for the betterment of the world. He said the plan was laid out in a founding agreement.

A Relationship Gone Bad

However, he balked when the talk two years later turned to raising billions of dollars and left in 2018, and then watched as OpenAI a year later partnered with Microsoft, which has invested about $13 billion in the company since and is integrated some of OpenAI’s technology throughout its product and services portfolio.

He accused of OpenAI co-founders of violating the founding agreement last year by launching its GPT-4 large-language model (LLM), which he said already was better at reasoning than most people and now was a “de facto Microsoft proprietary algorithm.”

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, Brockman, and other executives argued that Musk approved of the idea to adopt the for-profit structure and that he suggested folding OpenAI into his Tesla business or taking control of it himself.

“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,” they wrote.

OpenAI and Apple

Whether Musk intends to reinstate the lawsuit remains to be seen. However, that doesn’t mean he is done taking shots at the ChatGPT maker, criticizing Apple’s decision to partner with OpenAI as part of its larger Apple Intelligence – AI – initiative to expand AI throughout its product portfolio.

The partnership was announced this week at the device maker’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference, where it introduced its Apple Intelligence. Apple is hoping that expanding artificial intelligence features throughout its devices and OSes will help drive sales of future iPhones and other products. Company officials talked of generative AI features in various apps, including Mail, Notes, and Photos, and functions like calling Siri and texting.

In a posting on X – his social media platform formerly known as Twitter – Musk threatened to ban Apple devices at his other companies, such as Tesla and SpaceX, if Apple integrates OpenAI’s technology into its operating systems, a move he called an “unacceptable security violation.” The posting came almost two hours after OpenAI co-founder and President Greg Brockman posted on X that the company is “partnering with Apple to integrate ChatGPT right into iOS, iPadOS, and macOS. Will be available later this year, very excited!”

Minutes later, in another post, Musk wrote that it is “patently absurd that Apple isn’t smart enough to make their own AI, yet is somehow capable of ensuring that OpenAI will protect your security & privacy! Apple has no cluse what’s actually going on once they hand your data over to OpenAI. They’re selling you down the river.”

Musk and His Own AI Company

This also comes almost a year after Musk launched his own AI company, xAI, putting him in direct competition with OpenAI, Microsoft, and other giant AI companies, including Google, Meta, Amazon, and, now, Apple in a generative AI market that some predict will expand to $1.3 trillion by 2032.

The new company got a $6 billion boost last month after a Series B funding round that investors like Valor Equity Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital, Fidelity Manage, Vy Capital, and Prince Alwaleed Gin Talal and Kingdom Holding of Saudi Arabia.

Over the past 11 months, xAI released its Grok-1 LLM in November and five months later announced Grok-1.5 and then in April Grok-1.5V, which came with image understanding. He also said xAI will “open source Grok,” releasing the base model weights and measures as well as the network architecture of Grok-1.