Elon Musk drops lawsuit against OpenAI

Billionaire Elon Musk moved to drop his lawsuit against artificial intelligence (AI) firm OpenAI that accused the company of abandoning its original mission of developing AI for the benefit of humanity rather than financial profit.

Musk, who was a co-founder of OpenAI in 2015, sued the company along with two of his fellow co-founders, current CEO Sam Altman and OpenAI president Greg Brockman, arguing that they breached its founding mission of developing open-source artificial general intelligence (AGI) technology for humanity’s benefit. Musk departed the company’s board in 2018 after he felt it had fallen behind Google in the AI race.

Musk’s lawsuit claimed that OpenAI “has been transformed into a closed-source de facto subsidiary of the largest technology company in the world: Microsoft” and was “refining an AGI to maximize profits for Microsoft, rather than for the benefit of humanity.” His suit sought to prevent Altman, Brockman, OpenAI and Microsoft from profiting off OpenAI’s AGI technology.

The now-withdrawn lawsuit was filed in February and elicited a response from OpenAI’s executives who wrote a blog post detailing the company’s history with Musk.

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Sam Altman Elon Musk OpenAI

Elon Musk is dropping his lawsuit against OpenAI and its leadership, including Sam Altman. (Photo by Muhammed Selim Korkutata/Anadolu via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Altman, Brockman and fellow co-founder Ilya Sutskever wrote in March that they “intend to move to dismiss all of Elon’s claims.” 

They also shared Musk’s communications with them about OpenAI’s structure during that period, which revealed that Musk floated the idea of merging OpenAI with Tesla, while he also sought to be the company’s CEO and to have majority control of its equity and the board of directors.

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Elon Musk Sam Altman

Elon Musk and Sam Altman were among OpenAI’s co-founders, though Musk eventually departed the AI firm over disagreements about its direction. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Vanity Fair / Getty Images)

They added that they regret the falling out with Musk in light of their recent success with the launch of ChatGPT in late 2023 and his move to launch a rival AI company.

“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 OpenAI leaders wrote in March.

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xAI Grok

xAI’s Grok chatbot is available on X, formerly Twitter. (Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Last year, Musk unveiled a new AI company called xAI with a chatbot called Grok that he billed as a rival to OpenAI. 

In May, xAI announced that it received $6 billion in Series B funding from investors including Valor Equity Partners, Vy Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital, Fidelity Management & Research Company, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal and Kingdom Holding, according to the company.

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Reuters contributed to this report.

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