Sam Altman responds to Elon Musk's criticism of OpenAI: 'I mean, he's a jerk,' but 'he does really care'
Sam Altman rejected Elon Musk's criticism that OpenAI is now pursuing "maximum-profit."
OpenAI's CEO said on Kara Swisher's podcast that Musk has "his style" but "he does really care."
Altman also said that OpenAI is "independent" from Microsoft despite their "multi-billion dollar" tie-up.
Sam Altman hit back at OpenAI cofounder Elon Musk's criticism that the ChatGPT creator had become a "maximum profit company" amid its multi-billion dollar partnership with Microsoft.
The OpenAI CEO said his company is "independent" from Microsoft, and noted that the big tech giant doesn't have a seat on OpenAI's board.
Altman made the comments on an episode of the "On With Kara Swisher" podcast that was posted on Thursday, and was responding to Musk's complaint on Twitter last month that OpenAI "has become a closed source, maximum-profit company effectively controlled by Microsoft."
"Most of that is not true, and I think Elon knows that," Altman said on Swisher's podcast.
But, he said they'd talked, and suggested that Musk's rebuke came from a place of concern.
"To say a positive thing about Elon, I think he really does care about a good future with AGI," said Altman, referring to an abbreviation for artificial general intelligence, a goal of creating AI capable of "thinking" like humans.
"I mean, he's a jerk, whatever else you want to say about him — he has a style that is not a style that I'd want to have for myself," Altman told Swisher. "But I think he does really care, and he is feeling very stressed about what the future's going to look like for humanity."
Musk did not respond to Insider's emailed requests for comment. Representatives for Microsoft did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
A representative for OpenAI declined to comment before Altman's remarks to Swisher.
OpenAI released GPT-4 this month, describing it as a significant advancement over prior versions, and touting its ability to excel in a variety of major exams including the SAT and the bar exam.
GPT-4 is available for those with the $20/month ChatGPT plus subscription, though there's a waitlist for the GPT-4 API.
Altman also told Swisher that the company was trying to measure the risks of AI with its benefits in structuring how it is releasing the tools to the public.
"I don't think it would be good right now for us to open-source GPT-4, for example," he told Swisher. "I think that would cause some degree of havoc in the world, or at least there's a chance of that — we can't be certain that it wouldn't."
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