😺 Elon sues OpenAI

PLUS: we share a hidden gem for using AI!

Welcome, humans.

Forgot to officially announce that The Neuron passed 400,000 subscribers! A massive thank you to each of you for your unwavering support and feedback (we read every message/comment you send).

1 million readers by EOY? Hell. To. The. Yes.

Here’s what you need to know about AI today:

  • Elon Musk is suing OpenAI for betraying its “nonprofit” mission.

  • How to use AI to digitize handwritten notes.

  • Sam Altman’s email to Elon Musk in 2015 about OpenAI went public.

  • RecurseChat is a tool for using AI offline with complete privacy.

Elon Musk sues OpenAI.

Welcome to Season #2 of The Real Housewives Tech Overlords of Silicon Valley.

In a gripping season Season 1 finale, Sam Altman reclaimed his throne as OpenAI CEO after being overthrown. Now it’s Season 2, and our main character has another big challenge: a lawsuit from Elon Musk against OpenAI.

Why?

"Heavy is the head that wears the crown."

- William Shakespeare

Here’s the Elon Musk gossip:

  1. Elon Musk helped start OpenAI as a nonprofit to build AI that benefits humanity.

  2. Part of the agreement was that any really advanced AI would be shared openly and not used for profit.

  3. And yet, OpenAI created an advanced AI (GPT-4) and partnered with Microsoft to turn a profit.

LOL

Musk’s demands? Acknowledge GPT-4’s capabilities, disclose the deets of the Microsoft deal, and face (financial?) consequences for the agreement breach.

On the other side of the drama: the beloved and anti-lavish matriarch Sam Altman, who was “confused by Mr. Musk’s argument that building A.I. for the benefit of humanity was at odds with building a business.”

This gives a good recap of the “OpenAI did nothing wrong” case:

  • no actual contract was breached”—and a 2015 email to Altman ≠ founding agreement.

  • Articles of incorporation actually said “OpenAI “will seek to open source technology for the public benefit when applicable.”

  • OpenAI’s tech has benefited the public.

  • ChatGPT-4 is NOT AGI (agreed).

Our take: While we're no legal buffs (just connoisseurs of reality TV), it is true that OpenAI abandoned its nonprofit roots for profit. That said, we’re skeptical that the lawsuit will achieve much, and think part of it is rooted in Elon’s dissatisfaction with ChatGPT overshadowing Grok.

“I don’t flip tables, I flip corporate governance structures” — Sam Altman, probably, somewhere.

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They’ve helped businesses create products like AI clothing marketplaces and a chatbot for historical figures (seriously, check out how cool some of these products are). 

One awesome trick with image recognition.

There are all sorts of creative ways folks are leveraging AI (here’s our Twitter list of top AI follows).

A hidden treasure for us? Converting handwritten notes to text.

Here’s how we do it:

  1. We brain-dumped all our thoughts on stories from a few weeks ago (peep The Neuron sticker!).

  2. We snapped a photo and uploaded it to ChatGPT-4 (Gemini works too).

  3. We said: “transcribe notes and turn them into story outlines.”

Bada-bing-bada-boom:

Very simple use case for those who still prefer old-school pen and paper for brainstorming or meeting notes.

Around the Horn.

WOW

Treat To Try.

Recurse Chat is an app that lets you use AI locally on your laptop (i.e. completely offline with no internet + full privacy).

Feedback on the app from Hacker News, summarized using Claude:

Very much considering purchasing this app for our next painfully long flight!

Monday Meme.

A Cat's Commentary.

That’s all for today, for more AI treats, check out our website.

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See you cool cats on Twitter: @nonmayorpete & @noahedelman02

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