Elon Musk Lobs a Meme at OpenAI as a Riposte to Its Lawsuit-Countering Blog Post

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Don’t annoy Elon Musk or you will have to contend with an endless litany of memes, taunts, and a whole host of other juvenile antics, as per the mega-billionaire’s now-established behavioral pattern. Today, OpenAI is finding to its detriment what exactly befalls those who lock horns with the CEO of Tesla.

Last week, Elon Musk filed a high-profile lawsuit against OpenAI and its CEO, Sam Altman, for supposedly breaching the non-profit’s contract, promissory estoppel, and fiduciary duty by turning away from its dedication to bringing about an open-source artificial general intelligence, presumably all under Microsoft’s influence.

Musk believes that OpenAI’s non-profit character has been distorted by “a purely profit-driven CEO and a Board with inferior technical expertise in AGI and AI public policy.” Consequently, the CEO of Tesla has implored the court to grant an injunction to prevent Open AI, its President Gregory Brockman, its CEO Sam Altman, and Microsoft from profiting off the non-profit’s AI technology.

For the benefit of those who might not be aware, Microsoft has invested $13 billion in OpenAI. In return, the tech behemoth stands to receive 75 percent of OpenAI’s profits until this figure reaches the $13 billion mark. Thereafter, Microsoft will receive 49 percent of OpenAI’s profits until these returns reach the $92 billion mark, after which Microsoft’s shares will revert to OpenAI’s non-profit foundation.

For his part, Elon Musk co-founded OpenAI with Sam Altman but left the venture in 2018. The mega-billionaire is currently playing catch-up with OpenAI by launching xAI, which recently unveiled its first Large Language Model (LLM), dubbed the Grok.

The Back-and-Forth Between OpenAI and Elon Musk

This brings us to the crux of the matter. OpenAI has now published a dedicated blog post to counter Elon Musk’s claims. Among other things, the AI-focused enterprise notes:

  1. Building Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) requires vast amounts of capital that a non-profit simply can’t raise.
  2. In late 2017, both Elon Musk and OpenAI agreed that the way forward lay with a for-profit entity championing the cause of AGI. Apparently, Musk wanted to merge OpenAI with Tesla or gain full control over any emerging for-profit structure. When negotiations fell apart, Musk first withheld funding and then exited the non-profit entirely.
  3. As evidence of its non-profit identity, OpenAI cites a free version of its LLMs used by “hundreds of millions of people” every day.
  4. In a critical insight, OpenAI claims that Musk agreed on the need to “start being less open” as the AGI threshold approached. According to the non-profit, Musk replied with the word “yup” to the following email written by the entity’s then-Chief Scientist, Ilya Sutskever:

“As we get closer to building AI, it will make sense to start being less open. The Open in OpenAI means that everyone should benefit from the fruits of AI after its built, but it’s totally OK to not share the science…”.

In response to this blog post, which includes images of actual emails shared between Elon Musk and the non-profit’s higher-ups, the mega-billionaire has now responded with a meme:

We suspect many more such antics are in the offing now that Musk has honed in his considerable trolling skills on OpenAI.

Updated with additional context at 12:07 P.M. Eastern with Musk’s offer to drop lawsuit.

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