Elon Musk says Microsoft controls ChatGPT maker OpenAI, CEO Satya Nadella says factually not

Tesla and Twitter owner Elon Musk is unhappy with the latest advancements in generative AI and has criticised the maker of ChatGPT, OpenAI for turning into a for-profit from a non-profit company. He also suggests that Microsoft, which has invested billions of dollars into OpenAI, has more control than OpenAI leadership. However, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella notes that Musk’s claims are “factually incorrect.”

During an interview with CNBC, Musk stated that ChatGPT maker OpenAI existed because of him. The AI research company was founded in 2015 as a non-profit, but two executives later formed a “capped-profit” entity called OpenAI LP. Musk states that he invested roughly $50 million into the company during its formation year and played a key role in hiring. He added the name “OpenAI” was suggested by him.

“What exactly is the relationship between OpenAI and Microsoft? I worry that Microsoft made it more in control. As a part of the Microsoft investment, they have rights to all of the software, all of the model weights and everything,” Musk said.

Following Musk’s interview, Nadella told CNBC that these claims are “factually incorrect.” The Microsoft CEO adds that he has “a lot of respect” for Musk, but the Tesla owner is wrong. Nadella adds, “OpenAI is very grounded in its mission of being controlled by a non-profit board. We have a non-controlling interest in it. We have a great commercial partnership in it.”

Nadella referred to OpenAI LM and its partnership with a “capped profit” company focused on a “mission of fundamentally pursuing this very powerful technology.” He notes that Microsoft is the only for-profit company comfortable working on a non-profit firm at this scale.

Interestingly, Musk’s concerns may not be completely far-fetched since Microsoft has already improved several of its platforms, including Bing, Ege, and Microsoft Office, with ChatGPT’s underlying technology. As a part of its deal, Microsoft can leverage ChaGPT’s base GPT language model technology and even re-package to select customers. A report recently claimed that Microsoft has been working on a ChatGPT version for enterprise customers with a hefty subscription. This version will be focused on privacy as the servers are going to be different.

This is not the first time Musk expressed concerns about ChatGPT and ChatGPT-like technologies. The Tesla CEO, along with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, was a signatory to a March open letter asking for a pause in advanced AI development.

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