Furious over Microsoft's decision to cut off its advertising platform from Twitter, CEO Elon Musk has threatened to sue the tech giant for having the company's partner OpenAI train its AI models "illegally using Twitter data," he tweeted.
"Lawsuit time," the mercurial billionaire fumed.
But whether Musk will actually make good on his word and officially file the paperwork remains to be seen.
Besides, OpenAI and Microsoft are two different entities. Microsoft did, however, make a $10 billion investment in the AI company and has integrated its GPT-4 large language model into its Bing search engine.
In other words, is Musk just throwing a tantrum and making empty threats? Or is he serious about pursuing what could end up being an expensive and drawn-out legal battle?
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Microsoft announced earlier this month that starting on April 25, its advertising campaign platform "will no longer support Twitter."
That means companies are no longer able to use the platform to manage their tweets, leaving a potentially sizable hole in Twitter's already-ravaged bottom line.
The decision was likely made due to Twitter starting to charge enterprises considerable sums for accessing its API, a decision that came to the dismay of developers. An enterprise-level subscription to the API can cost as much as $42,000 a month.
Microsoft's move has clearly enraged Musk, who's already struggling to turn a money-hemorrhaging social media company around.
The news comes a day after Reddit announced it will start charging AI companies for training their models on any content submitted to the company's platform, a decision that may have inspired Musk's vague threat.
Whether a lawsuit that accuses an AI company of training its data on content it didn't seek express permission for can actually stand up in court remains to be seen.
But if he does follow through with the test, Musk will be joining a growing number of legal threats to buzzy startups using other people's data to train AI systems.
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