Elon Musk withdraws lawsuit against OpenAI and Sam Altman

Elon Musk on Tuesday dropped his lawsuit against OpenAI, the maker of the online chatbot ChatGPT, a day before a state judge in San Francisco was expected to consider whether it should be dismissed.

The lawsuit, filed in February, accused the artificial intelligence start-up and two of its founders, Sam Altman and Greg Brockman, of violating OpenAI's founding agreement by prioritizing commercial interests over the public good.

A multibillion-dollar partnership that OpenAI signed with Microsoft, Musk's lawsuit argued, represented an abandonment of the company's commitment to carefully develop artificial intelligence and make the technology available to the public.

Musk had argued that the founding contract stipulated that the organization should instead focus on building artificial general intelligence, or AGI, a machine capable of doing everything the brain does, for the benefit of humanity.

San Francisco-based OpenAI had filed for dismissal just days after Musk filed the lawsuit. He could still file the lawsuit in California or another state.

Mr Musk did not immediately respond to a request for comment and OpenAI declined to comment.

Mr. Musk helped found OpenAI in 2015 along with Mr. Altman, Mr. Brockman and several young artificial intelligence researchers. He saw the research lab as a response to the artificial intelligence work being done by Google at the time. Musk believed that Google and its co-founder, Larry Page, were not adequately concerned about the risks that artificial intelligence presented to humanity.

Musk split from OpenAI after a power struggle in 2018. The company then became a leader in AI technology, creating ChatGPT, a chatbot that can generate text and answer questions in human-like prose.

Musk founded his own artificial intelligence company called xAI last year, repeatedly arguing that OpenAI was not sufficiently focused on the dangers of the technology.

He filed the lawsuit weeks after OpenAI board members unexpectedly fired Mr. Altman, saying they could no longer be trusted with the company's mission to build artificial intelligence for the good of humanity. Mr. Altman was reinstated after five days of negotiations with the board of directors and soon consolidated his control over the company, claiming a seat on the board of directors.

Late last month, OpenAI announced that it had begun work on a new AI model that would succeed the GPT-4 technology that drives ChatGPT. The company said it expects the new model to bring “the next level of capability” as it strives to build AGI

The company also said it is creating a new safety and security committee to explore how to manage the risks posed by the new model and future technologies.

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