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Musk Threatens To Sue Microsoft Over “Illegal” Use Of Twitter Data

 |  April 20, 2023

Twitter owner Elon Musk has threatened to sue Microsoft over “illegal” use of the platform’s data.

On Wednesday (April 19), Twitter’s in-house news account said that Microsoft’s advertising platform would stop supporting Twitter due to the social media company’s requirement for payment for API access.

“They trained illegally using Twitter data,” Musk responded. “Lawsuit time.”

A report Wednesday by The Verge notes that Musk’s oblique threat is apparently connected to OpenAI using data from Twitter to train its ChatGPT tool. While OpenAI is a separate company, it is heavily backed by Microsoft, which is building artificial intelligence (AI) into products like its search engine Bing.

Also building an AI tool? Musk.

As noted here last week, the multi-billionaire — who also owns Tesla and SpaceX — has been quietly putting together a crew of engineers and purchasing processors to create AI tech to rival that ChatGPT and other GPT-4 large language models (LLMs).

Read more: Elon Musk Is Creating An OpenAI Competitor

A report by the Financial Times said Musk had purchased thousands of high-powered GPU processors from Nvidia, referring to the high-end chops needed to build LLMs. which can take in vast amounts of content and generate humanlike writing or realistic images.

Musk went into more detail about his plans this week in an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, noting that the AI heavyweights — OpenAI and DeepMind — were tied to Microsoft and Google, respectively.

“I think I will create a third option,” Musk said. “I’ll be starting very late in the game, of course.”

Musk said his TruthGPT will be a “maximum truth-seeking AI that tries to understand the nature of the universe.”

“This might be the best path to safety in that an AI that cares about understanding the universe is unlikely to annihilate humans because we are an interesting part of the universe — hopefully, they would think that,” Musk said.

“While not entirely unexpected by some AI pundits, Musk’s dive into generative AI as his next world to conquer is ironic,” PYMNTS wrote last week. “He was among the first signatories to an open letter published by AI watchdog group Future of Life Institute in March on the potential dangers of AI.”

That letter argues AI is a threat to jobs worldwide, as well as “control of our civilization” and calls for a six-month pause on the training of AI systems more advanced than GPT-4.

“Perhaps Musk will time the announcement of his new and as-yet-unnamed AI venture until August when that proposed six-month moratorium passes,” PYMNTS wrote.

Another irony at play is Musk’s role as one of the co-founders of OpenAI, a company he parted ways with five years ago, purportedly over disagreements with his co-founders over the commercialization of its product.