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Will Elon Musk and Sam Altman’s Common Interest Uplift a Potential Microsoft and Twitter Collaboration?

Published 11/21/2023, 8:30 AM EST

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Sam Altman is arguably the most talked about entrepreneur, even more than Elon Musk. The 38-year-old is in the eye of the storm between his company OpenAI and its employees. In a shocking turn of events, Microsoft has swooped in and offered Sam Altman a lifeline. He is now the new CEO role under them.

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Meanwhile, Elon Musk is also busy preparing a ChatGPT competitor. While Altman and Musk were rivals when the former was in OpenAI, his new role might give him more collaborative freedom. And he can collaborate with Musk on a shared interest they have.

What interests do Sam Altman and Elon Musk share?


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Both entrepreneurs share an interest quite uncommon in their field. That is none other than their shared love for gaming. Back in 2016, Sam Altman interviewed Elon Musk, when OpenAI was 6 months old. Musk and Altman cofounded OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, in 2015, alongside other Silicon Valley figures. During the interview, their talks shifted towards gaming. Altman asked Musk, “I’m looking for a new video game to play can you give me a recommendation?”

Musk suggested he should try Overwatch 2. But Altman was already playing the game. The duo then discussed their shared interest in gaming, with Elon Musk persuading Altman to play Hearthstone and Altman sharing how much he loves The Last of Us series and their storytelling. Their conversation landed on the futuristic RPG game series Deus Ex.


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Elon Musk shared that his only complaint about Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is that its storytelling was not up to the mark like its previous entries. Altman agreed with Musk, stating, “As games have become more like the replacement for the NFL, I think the storytelling just gets generally neglected.”

Continuing Altman’s point further, Musk said, “In some of the oldest games the graphics and sound were terrible so they had to rely on storytelling.” Altman wholeheartedly agreed, stating the old Mario games had incredible storytelling. While this interaction in 2017 was between two gaming fanatics and co-founders, Sam Altman and Elon Musk, things have changed now. The two of them run two of the most talked about tech companies in the world.

Where are Sam Altman and Elon Musk now?

Sam Altman, who recently lost his position at OpenAI, was moving to the Microsoft AI team. However, in a recent twist of events, he is set to return to Open AI.

Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, is not only on board with this but also supported Sam Altman’s return.

Elon Musk, meanwhile, is now the owner of Twitter (now X) and xAI. Both these entrepreneurs are looking to build a successful business in the field of AI. And gaming can be a big extension of the AI field. Elon Musk knows how important bringing in the gaming community is. For this reason, he has introduced features like video game streaming on Twitter, allowing gamers to share their gameplay. He himself streams Diablo IV gameplay multiple times on X.

When Sam Altman joined Microsoft, CEO Satya Nadella stated Altman has full access to Microsoft’s resources. Nadella said to Altman, “We’ve learned a lot over the years about how to give founders and innovators space to build independent identities and cultures within Microsoft, including GitHub, Mojang Studios, and LinkedIn, and I’m looking forward to having you do the same.”

This means Sam Altman can also collaborate with Xbox and its subsidiaries to further his hold on the joint world of gaming and AI. Now after the most recent events, Sam Altman is set to return to OpenAI as CEO. However, he and Satya Nadella will look to collaborate.

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Meanwhile, a collaboration between Elon Musk and Sam Altman is a long shot now. This is due to a falling out both of them had in 2018. Musk stepped down from OpenAI’s board of directors in 2018 after other cofounders and Sam Altman rejected Musk’s proposal to run the company. Musk later said, “Tesla was competing for some of the same people as OpenAI & I didn’t agree with some of what the OpenAI team wanted to do. Add that all up & it was just better to part ways on good terms.”

Elon Musk’s views on AI


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After departing from OpenAI, Musk became vocal about the misuse of AI. He said in the past, “It’s hard to fathom how much human-level AI could benefit society, and it’s equally hard to imagine how much it could damage society if built or used incorrectly.” He was also one of the 1,000 people who signed an open letter calling for a six-month pause on training advanced AI systems.

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However, now both are competitors. Sam Altman’s OpenAI has developed ChatGPT and Elon Musk’s xAI has developed Grok. Both these products are competitors in the conversational AI field. But ChatGPT is fully launched for users, while Grok is still in development, with only X Premium+ users having access to it.


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In conclusion, a collaboration between Elon Musk and Sam Altman is unlikely. But they still share a common interest in the gaming world.

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Written by:

Ajitesh Rawat


One take at a time

“Passion fuels purpose, and in the world of gaming, I've found both.” I have been an avid gamer throughout my childhood. Gaming allows me to immerse myself in new worlds and experience them firsthand.
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Edited by:

Rohan Karnad