“At any point Microsoft could cut off OpenAI,” said Elon Musk, six months ago.
Musk, the original founder of the company, always knew that Microsoft could do what it is already doing. He was always scared that Microsoft has a lot more control over OpenAI than it should. Musk has been on a spree for the longest time calling out the shift from nonprofit to for maximum profit of the company. He even called the shift “not good karma.”
Microsoft is, unofficially, the new OpenAI for profit. Its chief Satya Nadella, in a recent interview, called OpenAI a “a company with little tech,” and it seems like it was all along the plan to cull OpenAI’s AGI ambitions.
Nadella’s plan seems to be coming true after it successfully roped in Sam Altman and Co., leaving the company in shambles, even after Ilya Sutskever’s attempt to reunite the team, and apologising for his actions, publicly.
This is definitely concerning for OpenAI. Almost every minute an employee is leaving in solidarity with Altman, nearly 90% of the team has already quit, joining Microsoft, and even NVIDIA, Google, and Anthropic.
Musk’s xAI has also opened hiring for roles and has posted job openings on X.com/jobs.
Musk ️ Sutskever
Unlike everyone else who has been critical of the OpenAI board firing Altman, Musk has shown support for the move. “I am very worried,” Musk posted to X. “Ilya has a good moral compass and does not seek power. He would not take such drastic action unless he felt it was absolutely necessary.”
Ilya Sutskever was the person who told Altman to leave OpenAI on a Google Meet call. Interestingly, Musk was the one who was desperate to hire Sutskever since the formation of OpenAI in 2016.
Coincidently, in the Lex Fridman podcast, Musk said that the breaking of his friendship with Larry Page was because of OpenAI and Sutskever.
“The key moment was recruiting Ilya Sutskever. He is brilliant, a good human, and has a great heart” he added about the co-founder and chief scientist at OpenAI. Recruiting Sutskever was a battle between Musk and Demis Hassabis, the founder of DeepMind. “Ilya went back and forth between staying at Google or joining OpenAI. Finally, he agreed to join OpenAI. That was the toughest recruiting battle we have ever had.”
Musk further said that Sutskever is the linchpin of OpenAI. A conspiratorial take of this could be that Musk was the one who instigated the firing of Altman, just to be able to buy back his AI research company, and possibly merge it with his new one, xAI. He asked Sutskever if OpenAI was actually doing something potentially dangerous to humanity.
Musk ️ OpenAI
Nadella, however, believes that it is impossible to buy OpenAI, when comparing it with buying the Australian cricket team. “But we can partner well with OpenAI and watch Aussies play cricket.”
Hopefully, Musk can prove ‘em wrong, as he is known for “accomplishing’ the impossible.
The AI safety bit that was highlighted during the departure of Altman is also a focal point of what Musk and OpenAI’s board’s principles align on. Musk has been concerned about the approach of OpenAI for a long time, and Sutskever also believes in slowing down the pace of AI. Moreover, the new interim CEO Emmett Sphear also is somewhat of an AI doomer, according to several of his past opinions.
As usual, for now, Musk seems to be enjoying the OpenAI soap opera on X, which seems to have overpowered his recent Starship launch.
It all started when Musk criticised ChatGPT for being too woke, during Altman’s tenure, and wanted to build his own based chatbot. He bought X, linked it with his AI model, and made it work with Grok. Then he allegedly bought ai.com from OpenAI, and redirected it from ChatGPT to xAI. He has been fighting the battle on several different fronts.
Back when OpenAI was trying to mark ‘GPT’ as a trademark, AIM called it the beginning of the end of OpenAI, highlighting the closed source approach the company is taking with its products and the technology as well. Then we predicted that OpenAI would go bankrupt soon, which should not be the case.
So while Altman is saying that OpenAI team is doing an “incredible job through this that will be in the history books,” Musk is the answer to revive its open ethos, and make OpenAI great again!
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