More from Fortune:
Tesla’s CEO financially supported the creator of the artificial intelligence chatbot ChatGPT when it was founded in 2015. At the time, OpenAI was a nonprofit organization. Today, OpenAI — which switched to a hybrid “capped profit” model in 2019 — has a private valuation of around $30 billion and Microsoft as a major investor.
On Wednesday, Musk tweeted“I’m still at a loss as to how a non-profit that I donated ~$100M to somehow became a $30B market cap for-profit. If this is legal, why is everyone doing it does not?”
Legal and financial aspects aside, the mercurial billionaire worries about the dangers of artificial intelligence. Since AI expert Max Tegmark, tweeting on Wednesday night about the potential dangers of the technology, wrote, “An unregulated race to the bottom will end badly for humanity,” Musk replied, “I agree!”
At the time Musk donated to OpenAI, it wasn’t Microsoft in his mind, but Google, which had a significant lead on the AI front. As he tweeted last month:
“OpenAI was created as an open source (which is why I called it “Open” AI), non-profit company to serve as a counterweight to Google, but now it has become a closed source, maximum profit company, which is effectively controlled by Microsoft . That was not my intention at all.”
In its founding statement, the then-nonprofit OpenAI stated: “Our goal is to advance digital intelligence in the way that is likely to benefit humanity as a whole, unconstrained by a need to generate financial returns. Since our research is free of financial obligations, we better focus on a positive human impact.”
In 2018, it set out some principles in a charter, writing: “OpenAI’s mission is to ensure that artificial general intelligence (AGI) – by which we mean highly autonomous systems that outcompete humans at the most economically valuable work – benefits all of humanity.” ” It added: “We are committed to providing public goods that help society navigate the path to AGI.”
The AI race between Microsoft and Google intensified this week: OpenAI launched GPT-4, a more powerful successor to ChatGPT, and Microsoft said the new version powers its Bing search engine (a direct rival to Google) and will appear soon in its Office apps. Meanwhile, Google announced upcoming AI features for its Workspace apps, including Gmail and Docs, and it’s now refining Bard — a ChatGPT rival — ahead of a wider release, while some employees are testing a more powerful “Big Bard” version, according to Insider.
Earlier this month, Musk suggested at a Tesla investor day that he had some regrets about his role with OpenAI: “I’m a little worried about the AI stuff. We need some kind of, like, regulatory authority or something that oversees AI development. Make sure it works in the public interest. It’s pretty dangerous technology. I fear I may have done some things to speed it up.”
Assets reached out to OpenAI for comment but did not receive an immediate response.
This story originally appeared on Fortune.com
More from Fortune: