Elon Musk thinks GPT-4 is AGI, sues OpenAI and wants to force it back into open development



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Summary

Instead of developing open AI models for humanity as promised, OpenAI is an extension of Microsoft in the eyes of co-founder Elon Musk – and GPT-4 is already an early AGI.

Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk is suing ChatGPT developer OpenAI for what he says is a breach of the agreement he made with CEO Sam Altman and President Greg Brockmann when the company was founded. OpenAI was supposed to be an open and non-profit antithesis to the commercial and closed Google, but does not live up to this claim. Instead of developing open technologies for the benefit of humanity as a whole, OpenAI is now a division under the leadership of Microsoft, according to Musk.

According to the complaint, GPT-4 from the year 2023 is not only good at reasoning but even better than the average human. Although GPT-4 performs well in many cases – and even beats humans in some – other benchmarks such as GAIA show that reasoning is its weakness. The complaint also criticizes the fact that there are no scientific publications by OpenAI that shed light on the design of GPT-4, only press releases “boasting about its performance.”

The central passage of the document follows shortly after: “Furthermore, on information and belief, GPT-4 is an AGI algorithm, and hence expressly outside the scope of Microsoft’s September 2020 exclusive license with OpenAI.”  The first part uses the phrase “on information and belief” which refers to a statement that is not first-hand, but “based on secondhand information that the declarant believes is true.” It is commonly used in such complaints and protects Musk from accusations of perjury.

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Whether GPT-4 is indeed an AGI – and what that is – would likely be left to a jury in a potential trial. According to a classification by Google DeepMind, GPT-4 is at one of five possible AGI levels. The company classifies GPT-4 as an Emerging AGI.

The second part of the central passage focuses on the collaboration with Microsoft and its consequences: GPT-4 is now a “a de facto Microsoft proprietary algorithm, which it has integrated into its Office software suite.” Since GPT-4 is AGI, according to Musk, it is far outside the September 2020 framework, which only covered “pre-AGI” models.

Altman had to leave OpenAI

The episode from November 2023 also plays a role here, when CEO Sam Altman had a vote of no confidence from the board and had to leave the company for a short time. It ended with Altman returning as CEO and putting together a new board. Musk criticized the board for lacking “substantial AI expertise” and being ill-equipped to make an independent decision on whether and when OpenAI had achieved AGI – in violation of the contractual framework agreed with Microsoft.

After GPT-4, OpenAI developed Q* (Q-Star) with an “even stronger claim to AGI”. Reports about this appeared in the context of Altman’s firing and speculation that the CEO had hidden the development from the board. This was later denied by board members. Exact background information is still missing, and Musk only refers to the Reuters reports.

Musk wants his lawsuit to ensure that OpenAI returns to its “long tradition” of making its AI research available to the public. In addition, the court should resolve the difficult question of whether GPT-4, Q*, or any other possible next major model from OpenAI meets the requirements of an AGI and would therefore be outside the scope of the agreement with Microsoft. Altman has made it clear in the past that OpenAI will not release future models as open source.

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