But as OpenAI began building the technology that would result in ChatGPT, many at the lab realized that openly sharing its software could be dangerous. Using A.I., individuals and organizations can potentially generate and distribute false information more quickly and efficiently than they otherwise could. Many OpenAI employees said the lab should keep some of its ideas and code from the public.
In 2018, Mr. Musk resigned from OpenAI’s board, partly because of his growing conflict of interest with the organization, two people familiar with the matter said. By then, he was building his own A.I. project at Tesla — Autopilot, the driver-assistance technology that automatically steers, accelerates and brakes cars on highways. To do so, he poached a key employee from OpenAI.
In a recent interview, Mr. Altman declined to discuss Mr. Musk specifically, but said Mr. Musk’s breakup with OpenAI was one of many splits at the company over the years.
“There is disagreement, mistrust, egos,” Mr. Altman said. “The closer people are to being pointed in the same direction, the more contentious the disagreements are. You see this in sects and religious orders. There are bitter fights between the closest people.”
After ChatGPT debuted in November, Mr. Musk grew increasingly critical of OpenAI. “We don’t want this to be sort of a profit-maximizing demon from hell, you know,” he said during an interview last week with Tucker Carlson, the former Fox News host.
Mr. Musk renewed his complaints that A.I. was dangerous and accelerated his own efforts to build it. At a Tesla investor event last month, he called for regulators to protect society from A.I., even though his car company has used A.I. systems to push the boundaries of self-driving technologies that have been involved in fatal crashes.
That same day, Mr. Musk suggested in a tweet that Twitter would use its own data to train technology along the lines of ChatGPT. Twitter has hired two researchers from DeepMind, two people familiar with the hiring said. The Information and Insider earlier reported details of the hires and Twitter’s A.I. efforts.