Elon Musk

Elon Musk Is Right About OpenAI But for the Wrong Reasons

Author: Editors Desk Source: Bloomberg
March 6, 2024 at 10:43
MuskPhotographer: Grzegorz Wajda/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images
MuskPhotographer: Grzegorz Wajda/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images
The world’s second-richest man accuses Sam Altman of putting profits over the good of humankind.

Fast-growing technology companies exaggerate constantly. This isn’t to say they lie; it’s just that when you’re raising large sums of money, it helps to present an impressionist picture of your current business rather than a photorealistic one. Google’s founders talked about organizing “the world’s information” back when they weren’t even the most successful search engine from Stanford University; Airbnb’s founders argued that vacation rentals would, by some unknown alchemy, end hatred; and WeWork spun a fairly conventional real estate startup into a pseudo-spiritual lifestyle brand.

This form of BS is mostly benign, but it can create vulnerabilities when it’s overused or when a company that has previously stretched the truth finds itself targeted by an equally adept BSer. That’s the case with OpenAI, Silicon Valley’s hottest startup and the developer of ChatGPT. On Feb. 29 the company was sued by Elon Musk, the trollish billionaire with a simmering grudge against it and a lot of experience in delivering an overambitious sales pitch.

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