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Tesla’s Musk Sued For Defamation

Musk urged a BuzzFeed reporter to "stop defending child rapists," and then said Unsworth spent decades in Thailand until moving to Chiang Rai.

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Elon Musk, tesla, tunnel
AI could be first 'resident' of Mars, hints Musk. (Wikimedia Commons)

Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla, was sued for defamation on Monday for falsely suggesting that a British caver who helped save 12 boys and their soccer coach from a Thailand cave in July was a pedophile and child rapist.

Vernon Unsworth sued over Musk’s reference to him in a July 15 tweet as a “pedo guy,” a comment for which Musk later apologized. The suit also claims that Musk called Unsworth a child rapist and sex trafficker in an Aug. 30 email to BuzzFeed News.

Tesla did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Musk and the company.

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Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX. Wikimedia.

The complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles seeks at least $75,000 of compensatory damages, plus unspecified punitive damages.

The case adds to a slew of litigation against Musk, including over his running of Palo Alto, California-based Tesla, which the billionaire has said has caused him severe stress.

Unsworth became a target for Musk after cave rescuers rejected Musk’s offer of a mini-submarine created by his rocket company SpaceX to rescue the soccer team, which was finally freed after 18 days in the cave on July 10.

Though Unsworth told CNN three days later Musk’s offer was a “PR stunt” that had no chance of working and that Musk could “stick his submarine where it hurts,” he said that did not justify Musk’s use of Twitter and the media to defame him.

TESLA
Thai cave rescue: Extraction of remaining soccer team members

The July 15 tweet by Musk touted the mini-submarine and then, referring to Unsworth with a shorthand description of pedophile, said, “Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it.”

Musk apologized on July 18, referring to Unsworth in saying “his actions against me do not justify my actions against him,” and that “the fault is mine and mine alone.”

But the complaint said that in the August 30 email, Musk urged a BuzzFeed reporter to “stop defending child rapists,” and then said Unsworth spent decades in Thailand until moving to Chiang Rai, “renowned for child sex-trafficking,” to take a 12-year-old bride.

Also Read: Elon Musk Apologises To UK Driver For Calling Him a ‘Pedo’

Unsworth said all of these accusations were false, and that the defamatory statements “were manufactured out of whole cloth by Musk out of a belief on his part that his wealth and stature allowed him to falsely accuse Mr. Unsworth with impunity” because he disagreed with him about the mini-submarine.

The case is Unsworth v Musk, U.S. District Court, Central District of California, No. 18-08048. (VOA)

Next Story

Musk-founded AI Group Not to Release Software on ‘Fake News’ Fears

OpenAI said governments should consider expanding or commencing initiatives to more systematically monitor the societal impact and diffusion of AI technologies

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Tesla CEO Elon musk, board
Tesla CEO Elon Musk. (VOA)

Elon Musk-founded non-profit Artificial Intelligence (AI) research group OpenAI has decided not to reveal its new AI software in detail, fearing the AI-based model can be misused by bad actors in creating real-looking fake news.

Dubbed as “GPT2”, the AI-based automated text generator can produce fake news articles and abusive posts after being fed with a few pieces of data.

“We’ve trained a large-scale unsupervised language model which generates coherent paragraphs of text and performs rudimentary reading comprehension, machine translation, question answering and summarization – “all without task-specific training,” OpenAI said in a blog post late on Thursday.

Trained on a data set of eight million web pages, “GPT2” can adapt to the style and the content of the text you feed it.

OpenAI said the AI model is so good and the risk of malicious use is so high that it is not releasing the full research to the public.

However, the non-profit has created a smaller model that lets researchers experiment with the algorithm to see what kind of text it can generate and what other sorts of tasks it can perform.

Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX. Wikimedia Commons

“We can imagine the application of these models for malicious purposes, including the following: Generate misleading news articles, impersonate others online, automate the production of abusive or faked content to post on social media and automate the production of spam/phishing content,” said OpenAI.

Today, malicious actors – some of which are political in nature – have already begun to target the shared online commons, using things like “robotic tools, fake accounts and dedicated teams to troll individuals with hateful commentary or smears that make them afraid to speak, or difficult to be heard or believed”.

OpenAI further said that we should consider how research into the generation of synthetic images, videos, audio and text may further combine to unlock new as-yet-unanticipated capabilities for these bad actors.

Also Read- Adults With Obstructive Sleep At Greater Risk Of Cardiovascular Diseases

Musk, who is the staunch critic of AI and co-founded OpenAI in 2016, stepped down from its board in 2018.

OpenAI said governments should consider expanding or commencing initiatives to more systematically monitor the societal impact and diffusion of AI technologies. (IANS)