Elon Musk Trolls His Way Into the OpenAI Drama

Elon Musk needed fewer than 100 characters to add new chaos to the ongoing crisis swirling around OpenAI after the shock firing of CEO Sam Altman last week.

In a post on X on Tuesday, Musk drew attention to an anonymous letter accusing Altman of various examples of underhanded behavior as CEO of OpenAI.

The link shared by Musk was to a copy of the letter uploaded to GitHub, a resource for sharing code. That copy of the letter was removed less than an hour after Musk posted it. Sources with knowledge of Altman’s tenure at OpenAI told WIRED they were not familiar with the accusations. Altman did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

The GitHub profile that posted the letter contained an email address, and a person who responded to an email sent to that address told WIRED they first saw it via a discussion on Hacker News. They copied and reposted the text from the original, found on Board.net, which allows anonymous posts. The person said they later removed their copy of the letter to preserve their privacy, adding, “I have no idea as to the veracity of any of the contents.”

An email sent to an address included in the letter did not immediately receive a response.

“These seem like concerns worth investigating,” Musk wrote in his post linking to the unsigned letter, which is addressed to OpenAI’s board and purports to have been written by concerned former employees of the company. WIRED has not been able to verify the authenticity of any of the claims.

Since Altman’s exit last week, for reasons not yet made clear by the board that fired him, OpenAI’s current employees have shown striking loyalty. On Monday, more than 95 percent of the company’s staff signed an open letter saying they were willing to leave the company if Altman wasn’t restored.

The anonymous letter boosted by Musk makes allegations against Altman and also Greg Brockman, an OpenAI cofounder who was removed as board chair last week and then quit over Altman’s treatment. “Throughout our time at OpenAI, we witnessed a disturbing pattern of deceit and manipulation by Sam Altman and Greg Brockman, driven by their insatiable pursuit of achieving artificial general intelligence (AGI),” the letter alleges.

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