Elon Musk-OpenAI Lawsuit Explained in 5 Mins

An analysis of this relevant move

Alberto Romero



This article is a selection from The Algorithmic Bridge, an educational project to bridge the gap between AI and people.

Elon Musk filed on Thursday a lawsuit against OpenAI and Sam Altman.

For years, Musk has been critical of OpenAI’s gradual shift from a non-profit, open-source AI lab to a for-profit, closed-source AI startup, so the move wasn’t unexpected in substance. It was, perhaps, in timing, although we’ll understand very soon why he chose this moment and why it matters.

Here’s a summary of the 46-page document in a five-minute article divided into six sections.

Elon Musk’s fear of AGI: DeepMind vs OpenAI

Musk has been afraid of AGI’s threat toward humanity since, at least, 2012. He wanted, above all else, that Google and DeepMind — founded in 2010 and acquired by Google in 2014 — didn’t win the race; Larry Page, then Google CEO, embraced AI as the natural continuation of our evolution whereas Musk was “pro-human”.

OpenAI was founded in 2015 as a non-profit, open-source AI lab in response to the Google-DeepMind threat. The Founding Agreement (signed also by Sam Altman and Greg Brockman, who Musk has called as defendants in…