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FutureStarrOpenAI CEO Sam Altman Calls Elon Musk a Jerk
Elon Musk has earned himself the title of world's richest person, but has faced criticism over a range of matters. His role at Twitter has put his reputation under strain, while stock market fluctuations are impacting Tesla's profits.
A shareholder lawsuit filed by Tesla Inc. alleges Musk is a "part-time CEO," distracted from his duties at Tesla. This has prompted the court to examine Musk's $56 billion pay package when he became CEO of the electric vehicle company.
Sam Altman of OpenAI believes Elon Musk to be a "jerk". He made headlines last year when he promised to donate $1 billion to the nonprofit AI organization; however, after leaving his position he stopped making payments and has been known for firing employees who criticize him.
On a dark day for OpenAI, one of its cofounders, Elon Musk criticized the organization's popular chatbot ChatGPT for "waking up," departing from its non-profit mission. This was just the latest in Musk's attacks against OpenAI which include calling it an "ruthless corporate monopoly" and "liar".
At the time, Musk said he wanted to ensure the non-profit was aligned with his vision for machine learning. To avoid a conflict of interest, he reportedly left the board directors of OpenAI since their research ran concurrently with his Tesla self-driving car development, according to The Verge.
OpenAI has divided its work between a non-profit research lab and for-profit subsidiary that will commercialize the project. This shift was necessitated by their alignment with Google Brain, an expensive and sophisticated machine learning model.
Some experts have questioned if moving from a non-profit entity is wise, but OpenAI insists it's necessary in order to stay on track and allow the organization to expand faster.
The company will focus on a five-year study of an increasingly popular idea: providing people with basic income. This initiative aims to increase employment rates. Altman enjoys taking on futurist projects that address real problems he wants to resolve through these solutions.
Altman has spent his career in tech, building several companies that rely on artificial intelligence for operation. He's the founder of YC - an accelerator that supports startups early in their development - as well as having a business venture in the military where his own artificial intelligence technology helps train soldiers; additionally, he's working on The Boring Company: a 3D-digging startup building tunnels to reduce congestion.
Elon Musk's co-founder of OpenAI, a nonprofit organization working to prevent artificial intelligence from destroying humanity, has been labeled an "idiot" after reports surfaced last year that he was close to quitting Tesla due to his disagreement with its shift away from for-profit AI research. Elon Musk had earlier declared himself out of his company due to this shift toward for-profit research in 2017.
Altman has previously lashed out at Musk for his expressed fear of AI and its potential effects on society. However, in a recent interview with CNBC's Kara Swisher, Altman stated that Musk's criticisms of his startup are misplaced.
OpenAI has already created a successful chatbot that outranks humans at various tests (ChatGPT), and the firm is continuously conducting experiments to develop AI that can outplay humans at video games and other tasks.
However, it also serves as a sign of how quickly and far artificial intelligence has advanced. While AI may still only be capable of performing certain tasks, it will take some time before machines reach human-level intelligence.
Altman has shifted his focus from investing in startups that are easy to scale and develop (like photo sharing apps) to those that take longer to construct. These ventures may not yield billion-dollar successes, but they often provide solutions for problems like fusion or life extension.
According to MIT Technology Review, Altman also invested in Retro Biosciences, a startup that seeks to extend human lifespan by 10 years or more. The startup, currently in stealth mode, had secured $180 million from Altman for research and development costs.
Altman is coy about his personal anti-aging regimen, but does mention that he's taking metformin, a diabetes drug. He hopes to one day utilize this medication for extending human life expectancies.
Recently, he discussed his long-term interests in AI as an advantage over relative or absolute "good." He doesn't advocate for policing online content, but he does worry about large-scale disinformation campaigns and how AI might be used to influence elections.
Sam Altman, CEO of AI research company OpenAI, has condemned Elon Musk as a 'jerk' amid reports that the Tesla CEO has been critical of his nonprofit organization. While Musk claims to be "wary" of advanced AI, Altman told Fortune he still believes Musk cares about creating an 'excellent future' for artificial general intelligence -- computer programs with as much intelligence as humans - in our digital age.
According to The Verge, Musk has also resigned from the OpenAI board in order to avoid any conflicts of interest with his work on autonomous driving at Tesla. This could help avoid legal problems in the future as Musk strives for a driverless future for his electric vehicle brand, which is currently facing tensions with its main battery supplier and trade tariffs from President Trump, per CNBC.
Though they are not exactly on friendly terms, the two executives have worked together in the past. For instance, Altman co-founded YCombinator accelerator and invested in startups like Tesla, Hydrazine and Uber.
Altman set out to build a trillion-dollar conglomerate that would propel humanity forward by solving major scientific and engineering problems. Additionally, YC would serve as an educational center and incubator for new technology innovation, according to Altman.
He soon began worrying about the effects of technology on society and how computers could put many out of work. So he embarked on what became known as the YC Research "basic income" project.
Basic Income, set to launch in 2017, will provide a fixed amount of money every month regardless of employment status or income level. Altman plans on testing out the program first in places like Manitoba and Uganda with hopes of expanding it further afield in the future.
Altman may think his criticisms of Musk are misguided, but they do indicate that the YC co-founder is "feeling very stressed" about humanity's future.
He remains one of the largest shareholders at Tesla and has contractual terms that grant him additional shares when certain business milestones are reached. Furthermore, he owns shares in SolarCity and SpaceX, both companies to which he has a financial commitment.
Following a report that Elon Musk is allegedly developing an AI rival to ChatGPT, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman blasted the Tesla CEO as a "jerk".
Reports indicate that Twitter founder Jack Dorsey is recruiting former DeepMind and Alphabet researchers to build a new chatbot which could potentially replace ChatGPT as the leading text-based AI in the world. But this endeavor will take some effort, and is proving time-consuming.
At his recent appearance before investors, Musk was asked about the state of AI technology, which he described as a "scary good thing." He added that humans are not far away from developing truly advanced artificial intelligence and proposed regulations to keep it from becoming an existential threat for humanity.
He noted that regulation isn't the solution to all tech industry woes, but it can be an effective tool in slowing development. He further asserted that "basedAI," as he refers to chatbots with fewer content safeguards, is an ideal way to bring people together without compromising safety.
However, he also pointed to ChatGPT as an "exemplary example" of what's wrong with AI, suggesting that governments should take steps to regulate its development.
According to the report, Musk was an early supporter of OpenAI and pledged a total donation of $1 billion over time (he's already given $100 million). However, in February 2018 Musk decided that his work with the nonprofit conflicted with his work at Tesla - a car maker now expanding into artificial intelligence technologies.
That left a gaping hole in the nonprofit's budget, forcing it to transform from being a non-profit research lab to a for-profit entity. While Altman believed this decision was right, some potential investors weren't pleased with it.
In an exclusive interview with MIT Technology Review, he asserts that OpenAI has now returned to its original mission.
Musk and Altman founded the company, along with other leading Silicon Valley figures like Peter Thiel and Reid Hoffman, in 2015 to develop secure yet friendly AI systems that benefit humanity as a whole. Within three years it had raised $1 billion in capital and transformed into a for-profit entity.