Elon Musk’s New AI Researcher Was Arrested in a Domestic Violence Case

  • Elon Musk’s new AI researcher Igor Babuschkin was arrested in March in a domestic violence case.
  • Musk reportedly hired Babuschkin as part of a push to develop a competitor to OpenAI’s ChatGPT.
  • Twitter brought on Babuschkin, a DeepMind alum, as senior director of engineering, Insider previously reported.

Igor Babuschkin, one of Twitter’s engineering hires who Elon Musk is reportedly hoping can help him build a competitor to OpenAI’s ChatGPT, was arrested in March in what police in Palo Alto, California, called “a domestic violence incident.”  

Babuschkin was arrested on the morning of March 6 by Palo Alto police, who arrived on the scene of a complaint and determined that a misdemeanor domestic violence incident had occurred, Lieutenant Brian Philip of the Palo Alto Police Department confirmed to Insider.

Babuschkin was released from custody the same evening, after he posted bond on a $10,000 bail, Philip confirmed to Insider. The arrest was first reported by the tech news site The Information

The case involved “a minor injury,” but did not otherwise pose a threat to public safety, Philip told Insider. He declined to offer details about the incident, saying the case is confidential. 

Babuschkin was arrested at 588 Webster Street, according to a police report log posted last month on the Palo Alto Police Department’s website. 

The Santa Clara District Attorney’s office decided not to bring formal charges against Babuschkin following the arrest, Cynthia Sumida, the public information officer at the DA’s office, told Insider. 

Babuschkin did not respond to Insider’s calls and emailed requests for comment. Musk did not respond to Insider’s request for comment sent to his Tesla and SpaceX email addresses. An email sent to Twitter’s press address received a poop emoji auto-response. 

Babuschkin had left DeepMind, Google’s AI firm, and joined Twitter as senior director of engineering, Insider’s Kali Hays has previously reported. Babuschkin also told The Information in February that Musk was discussing the possibility of creating a chatbot whose “responses are more trustworthy and reliable.” 

Musk, who has criticized the notion of “training AI to be woke,” has reportedly been developing his own AI startup, and recently incorporated X.AI Corp., per WSJ. Musk has also brought on resources including roughly 10,000 graphics processing units to execute his AI plans, Insider previously reported. 

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