Elon Musk claims he is the reason ChatGPT owner OpenAI exists

  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk claimed he was “the reason why OpenAI exists,” referring to his early investment in the artificial intelligence startup.
  • Musk stopped supporting OpenAI, reportedly after a disagreement with senior executives over the speed and nature of technological advances.
  • The Tesla CEO made the comments in an interview with CNBC’s David Faber, suggesting that OpenAI was not doing enough to ensure safe AI development.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk claimed Tuesday that he is “the reason why OpenAI exists,” citing his previous investment in the entity, and that Microsoft exercises control over the AI ​​company, a claim strongly denied by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

“I came up with the name,” Musk told CNBC’s David Faber. He also said he was instrumental in recruiting key researchers and engineers at the company.

Musk has previously repeatedly claimed that Microsoft controls OpenAI and that OpenAI’s limited-profit model is questionable. Musk was an early backer of the AI ​​startup, reportedly pledging $1 billion in support before pulling out over disagreements over the speed of OpenAI’s progress. He said he ended up investing somewhere around $50 million.

He also suggested that OpenAI did not place sufficient emphasis on safe AI development. Musk was a signatory to an open letter from March that called for a pause in advanced AI development while safeguards were put in place, but told Faber he knew the letter was unlikely to do anything.

Despite signing the letter, Musk still incorporated a competing AI firm, X.AI, in April.

But Musk added that signing the letter warning about the dangers of AI was something he wanted to do “just in case.”

A spokesperson for OpenAI was not immediately available for comment.

Separately, Musk told Faber that he used to be close friends with Google co-founder Larry Page, and that the two would have long conversations about the nature of artificial intelligence.

Page was “quite cavalier” about AI, Musk claimed. Page “didn’t seem to be concerned about AI safety,” Musk alleged, saying, “The last straw was Larry calling me a ‘speciesist’ for being pro-human consciousness instead of machine consciousness.”

Larry Page was not immediately available for comment.

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