The erratic behaviour of Elon Musk continues, after he sought to dismiss his own lawsuit against ChatGPT maker OpenAI and its CEO Sam Altman.

Reuters noted that Musk gave no reasons on Tuesday for his move to dismiss his own ‘breach of contract’ lawsuit – just 24 hours before a San Francisco judge was due to hear OpenAI’s bid on Wednesday to have the case thrown out.

The billionaire on Monday also said he would ban Apple devices at his companies if the iPhone maker integrates OpenAI at the operating system level, calling the move an ‘unacceptable security violation’.

Image credit: Elon Musk

Musk’s lawsuit

Musk had filed the lawsuit in March and had accused OpenAI and its CEO Sam Altman of abandoning the startup’s original mission of developing artificial intelligence for the benefit of humanity and not for profit, as was the plan in 2015.

When OpenAI was founded in 2015, Musk was part of it – serving as an initial board member.

Musk had donated $44 million (£35m) to the group, and claimed he had been “induced” to do so by promises “including in writing” that it would remain non-profit, but the startup is now focused on making money.

In 2018 Musk resigned from the OpenAI board and no longer has anything to do with the AI pioneer.

Days after Musk’s lawsuit, OpenAI responded in a public rebuttal, in which it countered Musk’s allegations by directly comparing them to Musk’s own words within his own emails.

OpenAI, in seeking to dismiss Musk’s lawsuit, also argued in a court filing that the lawsuit was based on incoherent claims, describing it as a contrived attempt by Musk to advance his own AI interests.

Now Reuters has noted that attorneys for Musk this week have asked the California state court to dismiss the lawsuit, according to a filing in San Francisco Superior Court.

OpenAI and an attorney for Musk did not immediately respond to requests for comment, Reuters noted, and there has been no reasons given for sudden withdrawal of the lawsuit.

However Reuters noted that Musk has dismissed his case without prejudice, which means he could potentially refile it at another time.

Apple ban threat

Elon Musk has well documented concerns about artificial intelligence, and has repeatedly voiced his worries about the risks the technology poses.

However in July 2023 Musk founded his own artificial intelligence startup, xAI, which raised $6 billion in series B funding in May to reach a post-money valuation of $24 billion.

Musk’s xAI seeks to challenge OpenAI’s ChatGPT with a ‘pro-humanity’ alternative chatbot offering called Grok.

Image credit: xAI

In March this year Musk said xAI plans to open source Grok AI chatbot in apparent dig at the more commercial focus of OpenAI.

Now on Monday Elon Musk made headlines again when he warned that he will ban Apple devices on security grounds, if OpenAI is integrated at operating system level.

“That is an unacceptable security violation,” Musk tweeted in a series of posts on X (formerly Twitter). “And visitors will have to check their Apple devices at the door, where they will be stored in a Faraday cage,” he added.

It comes after Apple at its WWDC 2024 developer conference had finally unveiled its AI plans, and said it planned to bring ChatGPT chatbot to its devices including iPads, iPhones, Vision Pro headsets and Macs later this year.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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