Elon Musk says he 'kind of took my eye off the ball' with OpenAI, and that's why it's 'now closed-source' and 'obviously for-profit'
- Elon Musk says OpenAI, the maker of ChatGPT, isn't how he envisioned it when he cofounded it.
- Musk told Fox News he "took [his] eye off the ball," and that resulted in OpenAI straying from its open-source, nonprofit beginnings.
Elon Musk says OpenAI isn't what he intended it to be, and it's partly his fault.
Musk cofounded OpenAI, the maker of ChatGPT, in 2015 but left its board in 2018. In an interview Monday night on Fox News Channel's "Tucker Carlson Tonight," he said OpenAI has fallen short of his expectations.
"I really put a lot of effort into creating this organization to serve as a counterweight to Google," he said. "And then I kind of took my eye off the ball, I guess, and they are now closed-source and they are obviously for-profit and they're closely allied with Microsoft. In effect, Microsoft has a very strong say, if not directly controls, OpenAI at this point."
In an interview with The Verge last month, Ilya Sutskever, one of OpenAI's cofounders and its chief scientist, addressed the change in OpenAI's approach over the years to sharing information about its AI language models.
"If you believe, as we do, that at some point, AI — AGI — is going to be extremely, unbelievably potent, then it just does not make sense to open-source," he said. "I fully expect that in a few years it's going to be completely obvious to everyone that open-sourcing AI is just not wise." (AGI, artificial general intelligence, refers to machines that could theoretically learn anything humans could versus simply carrying out a task.)
Musk has made criticisms of OpenAI in the past as well. In February, he said OpenAI was "not what I intended at all," calling it a "closed source, maximum-profit company effectively controlled by Microsoft."
OpenAI said Musk stepped down from the board in 2018 to avoid a potential conflict of interest with Tesla's work on self-driving cars. Musk later said another factor in his departure was the fact that he "didn't agree with some of what OpenAI team wanted to do."
Musk said elsewhere in Monday's interview that his disagreements with Google cofounder Larry Page about AI safety are "the reason OpenAI exists" in the first place, and that those discussions made him want to make OpenAI "the furthest thing from Google." The Tesla and Twitter CEO said he's now planning to build "TruthGPT," which he described as a "maximum truth-seeking AI that tries to understand the nature of the universe."
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