Microsoft has been threatened with a suit from Tesla and Twitter chief Elon Musk who claimed the Big Tech firm “illegally” trained its artificial intelligence (AI) on Twitter data.
On April 19, Musk tweeted that it was “lawsuit time” in response to a post reporting that Microsoft would cease supporting Twitter on April 25 across its online social advertising tools, Smart Campaigns and Multi-platform.
They trained illegally using Twitter data. Lawsuit time.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 19, 2023
The Twitter boss alleged Microsoft “trained illegally using Twitter data” implying the firm mined user tweets to help train its AI-powered applications.
Microsoft didn’t explain why it was winding down Twitter support although Twitter’s API fees skyrocketed from $0 to $42,000 a month and in some cases are priced upwards of $200,000 per month according to a March report from Wired.
Musk made further allegations that Microsoft is “demonetizing” Twitter data by removing advertisements and “then selling our data to others.”
I’m open to ideas, but ripping off the Twitter database, demonetizing it (removing ads) and then selling our data to others isn’t a winning solution— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 19, 2023
Microsoft’s decision to ditch Twitter means its customers will lose access to their Twitter accounts through its tools in addition to being able to create, manage, view and schedule Tweets.
Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn remain available to Microsoft customers, its website states.
Microsoft’s decision comes a few months after Twitter stopped providing free access to the Twitter API for versions 1.1 and 2.
Starting February 9, we will no longer support free access to the Twitter API, both v2 and v1.1. A paid basic tier will be available instead— Twitter Dev (@TwitterDev) February 2, 2023
Academics have been hit hard by the huge price swing. Over 17,500 academic papers have been based on Twitter data since 2020. Now they’ve been largely priced out.
Cointelegraph contacted Microsoft, who declined to comment on Musk’s claims and its decision to scrap Twitter ads support.
The software company is now reportedly developing its own AI chips to power ChatGPT to deal with the rising development costs for in-house and OpenAI projects.
Microsoft is the second largest company in the world by market cap behind Apple, with a $2.15 trillion valuation according to Google Finance.