Elon Musk calls Bill Gates' understanding of AI 'limited'
- Elon Musk called Bill Gates' understanding of AI "limited" in a tweet on Monday.
- Microsoft invested $1 billion into OpenAI in 2019, about a year after Musk left its board.
Elon Musk took a dig at Bill Gates and his understanding of AI in a tweet on Monday.
"I remember the early meetings with Gates," Musk tweeted. "His understanding of AI was limited. Still is."
—Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 27, 2023
Musk sent the tweet in response to another Twitter user's post about Gates' involvement in OpenAI and his overall bullish attitude towards AI.
In a blog post published last week, Gates wrote about how AI could transform the workforce, healthcare, and education.
The Microsoft founder has been meeting with the OpenAI team since 2016, Gates wrote, and he met with them as recently as September. It is unclear whether that 2022 meeting was in his capacity as a part-time advisor to Microsoft. (Gates left Microsoft's board in 2020 after stepping down as CEO in 2000.)
Musk cofounded OpenAI as one of several Silicon Valley executives who pledged $1 billion to the company in 2015.
Musk left OpenAI's board of directors in 2018 and has been critical of the company ever since, particularly of its relationship with Microsoft. In February, the billionaire said OpenAI, which was initially founded as an open-sourced, nonprofit, has become "a closed source maximum-profit company effectively controlled by Microsoft."
Microsoft invested $1 billion into OpenAI in 2019. The partnership allowed the company to license the AI technology. Since, Microsoft has announced plans to make a "multiyear, multibillion-dollar" investment in the company and has even launched a new version of its Bing search engine in collaboration with OpenAI.
But Gates was not always a big supporter of OpenAI. When Microsoft first looked into partnering with the firm, he expressed doubts about the company's technology, The Information reported. Sources familiar with the issue told the publication that the billionaire was "very engaged" in analyzing OpenAI's technology ahead of the 2019 partnership and that he was doubtful of AI's ability to understand and contextualize human speech.
Musk, meanwhile, is "furious" over ChatGPT's immense popularity, per Semafor. The news outlet said that in early 2018, Sam Altman and other OpenAI cofounders rejected Musk's proposal to run the company on his own.
Musk and Gates have a longstanding rivalry. The two billionaires first started bickering in 2020 when they disagreed over the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic. That same year, Musk said his "conversations with Gates have been underwhelming" after Gates said he decided to buy a Porsche Taycan instead of a Tesla. The Tesla CEO has also accused Gates of shorting the car company's stock and even gone so far as to poke fun at Gates' weight.
Musk and Gates did not respond to a request for comment from Insider ahead of publication.
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