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  • Writer's pictureSarah Ruivivar

OpenAI Counters Musk's Claims, Reveals Merger Proposal

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OpenAI, the artificial intelligence startup, has fired back at Elon Musk's allegations, revealing that the billionaire entrepreneur had proposed a merger between the AI firm and Tesla.

Last week, Musk, who co-founded OpenAI, filed a lawsuit against the startup, accusing it of straying from its original mission of developing AI for the benefit of humanity. He claimed that the Microsoft-backed firm was now primarily profit-driven.

In a recent blog post, OpenAI denied Musk's claims and disclosed that he had suggested the company should "attach to Tesla as its cash cow". The proposal came after Musk and the company agreed in 2017 that the next step was to establish a for-profit entity to generate capital for building artificial general intelligence (AGI).

Musk wanted majority equity, initial board control, and to be CEO of OpenAI. However, the startup felt that it was against its mission for any individual to have absolute control over the firm, leading to a disagreement over the terms of the for-profit entity.

Musk's lawsuit also mentioned that OpenAI's three founders initially agreed to work on AGI, a concept that machines could handle tasks like a human, but in a way that would "benefit humanity". He also claimed to have pushed OpenAI to announce an initial $1 billion funding commitment in 2015, a significant increase from the $100 million initially planned by CEO Sam Altman and co-founder Greg Brockman.

OpenAI expressed disappointment over the lawsuit, stating, "We're sad that it's come to this with someone whom we've deeply admired - someone who inspired us to aim higher, then told us we would fail, started a competitor, and then sued us when we started making meaningful progress towards OpenAI's mission without him."

The startup has become a prominent figure in generative AI, partly due to billions of dollars in funding from Microsoft. Meanwhile, Musk launched his own AI startup, xAI, last July. As of now, Musk and Tesla have not responded to the revelations in the OpenAI blog post.

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