OpenAI signs open letter to build AI responsibly just days after Elon Musk sued the company for putting profit ahead of people

OpenAI, Salesforce Inc. and other tech companies signed an open letter highlighting a “collective responsibility” to “maximize AI’s benefits and mitigate the risks” to society, in the tech industry’s latest effort to call for building artificial intelligence responsibly.

In a post on the social media platform X, OpenAI Chief Executive Officer Sam Altman said he was “excited for the spirit of this letter,” which was started by venture capitalist Ron Conway and his firm SV Angel. Altman said progress in AI “will be one of the biggest factors in improving people’s quality of life.” Hugging Face, Scale AI and dozens of other startups and tech companies were also listed as signatories in the letter. 

In the year since OpenAI’s ChatGPT launched and brought AI into the public consciousness, many in the industry have simultaneously championed the benefits of the technology and raised alarms about its significant risks. In May, AI leaders including Altman, signed a letter warning that artificial intelligence could lead to the extinction of humanity. 

In the SV Angel letter, the impact of AI is compared to other innovations like the printing press, combustion engine, electricity and the internet. “The balance of its good and bad impacts on humans will be shaped through the actions and thoughtfulness we as humans exercise,” the letter states. “It is our collective responsibility to make choices that maximize AI’s benefits and mitigate the risks, for today and for future generations.” However, the letter stops short of listing specific actions to do so. 

The letter comes days after Elon Musk sued OpenAI, a leader in the AI market, alleging the startup violated its founding mission by putting profit ahead of benefiting humanity. In an internal memo, OpenAI said it “categorically disagrees” with Musk’s lawsuit. 

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