In its first public response to a lawsuit from Elon Musk, OpenAI has published some emails with Musk showing that he signed off on the company's for-profit structure, and that he tried to claim "absolute control" of the company.

OpenAI says it will move to dismiss all of co-founder Elon Musk's claims in a recently filed lawsuit, which accuses the company of abandoning its stated nonprofit mission, and alleges breach of contract. And the company is responding publicly with a narrative that suggests Musk was onboard with all of the early decisions at the company, until it became clear that he wasn't going to be running it.

"The mission of OpenAI is to ensure AGI benefits all of humanity, which means both building safe and beneficial AGI and helping create broadly distributed benefits," the company says in a Tuesday morning blog post. "We are now sharing what we've learned about achieving our mission, and some facts about our relationship with Elon."

The post, which is credited to co-founders Greg Brockman, Ilya Sutskever, John Schulman, Sam Altman, and Wojciech Zaremba, goes on to lay out the timeline of the creation of OpenAI, Musk's initial pledge of funding, the decision to go for-profit in order to gather the cash needed to build an AI model, and Musk's attempt to wrest control of the company and become its CEO. When that failed, Musk left to start his own AI division within Tesla, but OpenAI suggests that Musk was "supportive of us finding our own path to raising billions of dollars."

They cite an email from December 2018 in which Musk writes, "Even raising several hundred million won’t be enough. This needs billions per year immediately or forget it."

Another email suggests that Musk endorsed the for-profit path because of the sheer amount of money needed to compete with Google — but he was arguing that Tesla should be that source of cash.

"Tesla is the only path that could even hope to hold a candle to Google," the email from Musk, cited by OpenAI, reads. "Even then, the probability of being a counterweight to Google is small. It just isn’t zero."

They also cite an email exchange between Musk and co-founder Ilya Sutskever in which Musk appears to endorse the policy of keeping OpenAI's code secret — the lawsuit also contends that the company's mission was originally to be open-source.

"Elon understood the mission did not imply open-sourcing AGI. As Ilya told Elon: 'As we get closer to building AI, it will make sense to start being less open. The Open in openAI means that everyone should benefit from the fruits of AI after its built, but it's totally OK to not share the science.'"

The one-word email response from Musk was "Yup."

"We're sad that it's come to this with someone whom we’ve deeply admired—someone who inspired us to aim higher, then told us we would fail, started a competitor, and then sued us when we started making meaningful progress towards OpenAI’s mission without him," the OpenAI founders write.

Musk, for his part, has been sharing memes on X in response.

Previously: Elon Musk's Falling Out With Sam Altman Turns Into Lawsuit Against OpenAI

Top image: OpenAI CEO Sam Altman speaks to members of the media during the OpenAI DevDay event on November 06, 2023 in San Francisco, California. Altman delivered the keynote address at the first ever Open AI DevDay conference. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)