OpenAI Memo to Staff Rejects Elon Musk’s Lawsuit Claims

OpenAI executives have countered claims made by Elon Musk in a lawsuit last week, highlighting the company’s independence and mission in a memo to staff, seen by Axios.

The memo sees Chief Strategy Officer Jason Kwon and CEO Sam Altman countering Musk’s allegations in his lawsuit.

Kwon fired back on Musk’s allegations about GPT-4, OpenAI’s mission, and its relationship with Microsoft. “[Musk’s] allegations — including claims that GPT-4 is an AGI, that open-sourcing our technology is the key to the mission and that we are a de facto subsidiary of Microsoft — do not reflect the reality of our work or mission,” wrote Kwon in the memo.

Altman detailed the challenges facing OpenAI, saying, “It was never going to be a cakewalk,” then adding, “the attacks will keep coming.”

“It is capable of solving small tasks in many jobs, but the ratio of work done by a human to the work done by GPT-4 in the economy remains staggeringly high. Importantly, an AGI will be a highly autonomous system capable enough to devise novel solutions to longstanding challenges — GPT-4 can’t do that,” explained Kwon in the memo, regarding claims that GPT-4 was already an Artificial General Intelligence (AGI).

According to the lawsuit, Musk is basing his allegations on a paper written by Microsoft about OpenAI’s GPT-4, where the former said the latter’s technology had demonstrated “sparks” of what AGI could do, meaning simulating the actions of the human brain, points out the New York Times. Microsoft is betting big on OpenAI with a $13 billion commitment and also exclusive access to the powers of the AI tech.

On the topic of OpenAI’s mission? Kwon explained the balanced approach being taken by the company. “Our challenge is both to build AGI and to make sure its impact is maximally positive,” he detailed, outlining their strategy of using APIs and products to make their technology widely accessible while ensuring it is used responsibly.

As for OpenAI and its relationship with Microsoft? The memo by Kwon says OpenAI operates independently. “We decide what to research and build, how to run the company, who our products serve and how to live out our mission,” he stated, pointing out ChatGPT is different than Copilot being offered by Microsoft.

Musk was one of the co-founders of OpenAI alongside Altman and others, but eventually departed the company, which was originally started as a non-profit AI company to benefit humanity. Musk argues the company has since turned towards profit, especially with its relationship and backing from Microsoft. Stay tuned as this lawsuit is going to get spicy it seems.

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