Elon Musk credits OpenAI: “It wouldn’t exist without me” – decrypted

“I am the reason why OpenAI exists,” Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and Twitter, said Tuesday in an interview with Facebook. CNBC.

When interviewer David Faber asked him how much he had invested in the creator of ChatGPT, Musk replied, “I’m not sure the exact number, but it’s a figure in the region of $50 million.”

“It wouldn’t exist without me,” he added.

Elon Musk co-founded OpenAI with Sam Altman, Greg Brockman, Ilya Sutskever, John Schulman, and Wojciech Zaremba in December 2015.

“I was instrumental in recruiting key scientists and engineers, most notably Ilya Sotskfer,” Musk said. “Elia’s joining was the cornerstone of OpenAI’s eventual success.”

Nearly seven years later, in November 2022, OpenAI launched the first version of its ChatGPT chatbot, whose successors have taken the world by storm.

Musk said that the name OpenAI stands for open source software. Open source ideals call for the source code of a program or platform to be made freely available and can be redistributed and modified.

Musk said the idea was to create the opposite of Google, which Musk described as a for-profit, closed-source company.

“This profit motive can be dangerous,” he said.

Musk said he and Google co-founder Larry Page would have long conversations to discuss artificial intelligence.

“I will continually urge him to be careful about the danger of AI,” Musk said. “He wasn’t really interested in the nature of artificial intelligence and was very arrogant about it.”

In 2014, Google acquired the UK artificial intelligence research lab, DeepMind Technologies, for $500 million.

But while the idea of ​​taking on Google might be appealing, Musk says he initially thought it was a hopeless endeavor.

“How can we compete — how can OpenAI compete with Google DeepMind?” He said. “This felt like an ant against an elephant rather than a contest.”

Musk has expressed concerns about what he sees as OpenAI’s shift to a closed source for-profit model like Google’s.

“It seems strange that something could be a non-profit, open source organization and somehow transform itself into a closed source of profit,” he said, likening it to an environmental organization created to save the Amazon rainforest turning to wood. a company.

“I also think it’s important to understand, when it comes to pushing — let’s say they’re creating some digital superintelligence, quasi-divine intelligence, who’s in control?”

Musk also indicated his concern about the relationship between OpenAI and software giant Microsoft, which has invested $13 billion in the company since 2019.

“I am concerned that Microsoft may in fact have more control over OpenAI than the leadership team realized,” he said, adding that Microsoft has rights to all of the software and everything necessary to run the inference system, giving them a significant amount of control over OpenAI.

Describing artificial intelligence as a double-edged sword, Musk said the technology is likely to make life much better, creating an age of abundance.

“There is a possibility that things could go wrong and destroy humanity,” he said, adding that the chance is small, but not zero.

In March, Musk and several prominent members of the tech community, including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, signed an open letter calling for a halt to AI development for six months after the launch of OpenAI’s GPT-4.

“My friend, Max Tegmark, a physicist at MIT, wanted me to sign the letter,” he said. “I knew it was going to be pointless. I just wanted to call it like it was one of those things for the record, I recommended we pause,” he said. “Did you think we would? Of course not.”

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