The founder of Tesla and Space X criticized Microsoft (MSFT) in a tweet
following news that the company has acquired an exclusive license for GPT-3, a language model created by OpenAI, which generates human-like text.
“This looks like the opposite of open. OpenAI is essentially acquired by Microsoft,” Musk tweeted
OpenAI, which was initially launched as a non-profit research firm, was co-founded by Musk and included a very impressive list of donors, including Peter Thiel and Microsoft. The company’s goal is “to advance digital intelligence in the way it is most likely to benefit humanity as a whole, not constrained by the need to generate financial returns.”
Microsoft Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Kevin Scott announced the move in a blog post Tuesday, saying it will enable the company to “leverage its technical innovations to develop and deliver advanced AI solutions for our customers” and “create new solutions that harness the incredible power of advanced natural language generation “.
Scott noted in the company’s blog post that GPT-3 would still be accessible via OpenAI’s application programming interface (API) platform.
But Musk isn’t buying it, and neither are other Twitter users, who believe the collaboration contradicts OpenAI’s goal of making his work accessible to all.
In February 2018, Musk stepped down as president of the company to “eliminate a potential future conflict” due to Tesla’s increased efforts in AI development.
It is unclear how much exclusivity the OpenAI licensing agreement will grant Microsoft with GPT-3.
The battle of the AI billionaires
Despite Musk’s investments in artificial intelligence, the billionaire was also one of his most vocal critics.
Musk called AI an “existential threat” to humanity in 2017 and has also participated in a few billion dollar feuds on the subject over the years. In particular, he called Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s understanding of AI “limited.”
He also got into a fight with Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Gates takes an opposite view to Musk, who has been warning about a future when he says the global race for AI technology will result in World War III.
“The so-called control problem that Elon is worried about is not something that people should think is imminent,” Gates said in a joint interview with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella for the WSJ. Magazine. “This is a case where Elon and I disagree. We shouldn’t panic. Nor should we gleefully ignore the fact that eventually that problem might emerge.