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Elon Musk puts the brakes on AI development at Tesla until he gets more control

Elon Musk Tesla
Tesla CEO Elon Musk.ODD ANDERSEN/Getty Images
  • Elon Musk says he wants more control of Tesla before building up its AI capabilities.

  • Musk said he was "uncomfortable" growing AI and robotics at the company without controlling 25%.

  • He added he would prefer to "build products outside of Tesla" if he didn't have sufficient control.

Elon Musk is gunning for more control of Tesla.

In a post on X, the billionaire said he was "uncomfortable" about expanding the EV company's AI and robotics capabilities without controlling 25% of the votes.

Musk has a stake in Tesla of about 13%, per company filings, which is the source of most of his $206 billion fortune.

The Tesla CEO said he wanted enough power "to be influential, but not so much that I can't be overturned."

"If I have 25%, it means I am influential, but can be overridden if twice as many shareholders vote against me vs for me. At 15% or lower, the for/against ratio to override me makes a takeover by dubious interests too easy," he said in a follow-up post.

"Unless that is the case, I would prefer to build products outside of Tesla."

Musk also posted that he'd be "fine with a dual-class voting structure to achieve this, but am told it is impossible to achieve post-IPO in Delaware."

He's traditionally been bullish on Tesla's AI abilities, once claiming the company was "developing what we think is probably the most advanced real-world AI."

Late last year Musk referred to Tesla as an "AI/robotics company" in response to an analyst calling the company "egregiously overvalued."

Despite this, the billionaire is also a well-known AI skeptic.

Musk has been consistently vocal about his fears that AI poses an existential threat to humanity. As far back as 2018, he has been warning the tech was more dangerous than nuclear weapons.

He's also been critical of OpenAI, a company he cofounded, as well as its flagship product, ChatGPT. Musk has criticized the chatbot as being biased and launched his own competing product in response.

Shares in Tesla were down 1.7% in premarket trading shortly before the open and have fallen almost 12% since the start of 2024.

Representatives for Musk did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider, made outside normal working hours.

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