According to OpenAI Musk39s claims in the lawsuit are due

OpenAI Says Musk’s Lawsuit Claims are Because Elon Feels Sorry for Leaving

Musk co-founded OpenAI in 2015 and resigned from the board in 2018, four years after saying that AI was “potentially more dangerous than nuclear weapons.”

Musk is now suing Microsoftsupported OpenAI and CEO Sam Altman, among others, claiming they had abandoned the company's founding mission to develop artificial intelligence “for the benefit of humanity at large.”

Since releasing the ChatGPT chatbot in late 2022, OpenAI has become one of the hottest startups in the world, reportedly valued at over $80 billion. The company's complicated capped-profit structure led to Altman being briefly ousted from the board late last year, before an uproar among investors and employees led to his quick reinstatement.

Musk has long wanted recognition for his central role in the development of OpenAI and spent large portions of the lawsuit telling his version of events. His lawyers said in the lawsuit that Altman and OpenAI co-founder Greg Brockman approached Musk in 2015 and agreed to create a nonprofit lab that would develop artificial general intelligence (AGI) outside the corporate sphere.

Musk's lawyers said their client donated over $15 million to OpenAI in 2016, which was “more than any other donor” and helped the startup build a team of “top talent.” The next year, Musk donated nearly $20 million to OpenAI, which lawyers reiterated was more than other supporters. According to the lawsuit, Musk invested a total of over $44 million in OpenAI from 2016 to September 2020.

In addition, Musk rented OpenAI's first office space and “paid the monthly rental costs,” the lawsuit says. He was also “present at important company milestones.”

Kwon didn't deny Musk's central role in the early days of OpenAI, but added a few more details. For example, Kwon wrote that Musk once indicated that he needed “full initial control and majority ownership” and later proposed merging OpenAI with Tesla.

“We did not consider either approach to be the right solution for the mission,” Kwon wrote.

In the memo, Altman called Musk one of his heroes and said he missed the old version of his co-founder. But he said the company's mission remains.

Although this is the first time the dispute between the two sides has escalated into a heated legal battle, they have been at odds for some time.

Before parting ways with OpenAI, Tesla hired co-founder Andrej Karpathy as senior director of AI. Karpathy returned to OpenAI in 2023. And Musk has been outspoken against OpenAI and its Microsoft partnership in recent years, publicly declaring in November that OpenAI had deviated from its original mission.

“OpenAI should be renamed 'Super Closed Source for Maximum Profit AI' because that's exactly what it is,” Musk said on stage at the New York Times' DealBook conference. On OpenAI's transformation from an “open source foundation” to a billion-dollar, for-profit company, Musk said: “I don't know, is that legal?”

Kwon emphasized Friday that OpenAI is independent and continues to work to “ensure that AGI benefits all of humanity.”

Musk's lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

—CNBC's Lora Kolodny and Hayden Field contributed to this report

REGARD: Elon Musk's lawsuit against OpenAI and Altman began a year ago