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Elon Musk Makes Grok AI Open Source Amid Ongoing OpenAI Lawsuit

Elon Musk calls the IF Metall workers' protest insane
Elon Musk is taking a significant step amid the ongoing legal battle with OpenAI by making Grok AI open source. Credit: Thomas Hawk / Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0

On Monday, Elon Musk announced his company xAI will make its chatbot Grok available as open-source software. This means that the code behind Grok will be freely accessible to everyone.

The decision to open-source Grok comes after Musk filed a lawsuit against OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, alleging that the company has shifted its focus from its original goal and is prioritizing making money.

xAI introduced Grok to the public in November 2023. However, until now, Grok has only been accessible to users who subscribe to X Premium+. It’s part of an early access program, meaning only a select group of people could use it, as reported by Investopedia.

Elon Musk sued OpenAI and its CEO, Sam Altman

Elon Musk filed a lawsuit against OpenAI, which is supported by Microsoft (MSFT) and its CEO, Sam Altman. Musk claimed that they strayed from the company’s initial purpose, which was “to ensure that artificial general intelligence benefits all of humanity.”

In the court documents, Musk accused Altman of leading OpenAI away from its original mission. He stated that OpenAI changed its approach significantly by not sharing its technology and knowledge with the public as it had done previously.

Musk also alleged that the internal workings of GPT-4, a new AI model developed by OpenAI, were kept secret, known only to OpenAI and, according to Musk’s knowledge, Microsoft.

Elon Musk was one of the first investors of OpenAI when it was established in 2015. However, he parted ways with the company in 2018.

In response to Musk’s allegations, OpenAI shared emails from the time when Musk was involved with the company. These emails, according to OpenAI, demonstrate Musk’s approval of the startup’s strategy in seeking profits and maintaining secrecy in relation to certain aspects of its projects.

Musk left OpenAI, saying “its probability of success was zero”

OpenAI stated that they couldn’t reach an agreement with Elon Musk on turning the company into a for-profit entity because they believed it contradicted their mission, which aimed to prevent any individual from having absolute control over OpenAI. Instead, Musk proposed merging OpenAI into Tesla.

Based on emails from 2018, Musk, who serves as CEO of Tesla, suggested that OpenAI become a part of Tesla to benefit from its financial resources. He mentioned that Tesla was the only entity capable of competing with Google in this field.

OpenAI revealed that Musk eventually decided to leave the organization, stating that the probability of its success was zero, as reported by Investopedia.

In November 2023, OpenAI faced scrutiny over its governance when the board removed Altman from his position, citing a lack of transparency in his communications. However, Altman was reinstated shortly after numerous employees threatened to resign in support of the co-founder.

Elon Musk has also encountered challenges regarding corporate governance in the realm of AI. He has expressed his desire to hold 25 percent of the voting control in Tesla before enhancing the company’s presence in the AI sector.

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