Twitter CEO, Elon Musk, threatened to sue Microsoft on Wednesday (19 April, 2023) for allegedly using Twitter’s data to train its artificial intelligence (AI) model.

Musk’s threat comes as data ownership is quickly becoming a key point of contention in the ever-growing generative AI race – with several other companies speaking out about the use of their data.

“They trained illegally using Twitter data. Lawsuit time,” the Twitter CEO said in a tweet. 

Musk’s post came after it was reported that Microsoft would be dropping the social media giant from its advertising platform. 

The platform allows ad buyers to manage and access all of their social media platforms from one place. 

Despite the threat, there has been no further evidence provided by Musk that Microsoft did, in fact, use data – and no lawsuits have been filed. 

Microsoft’s decision to remove Twitter from its ad platform came with no explanation but it does coincide with Twitter cutting its free Application Developer Interface (API) support. 

The previous API system allowed other companies to easily look through Twitter’s data and use the social media giant on their services. 

Musk, however, recently announced Twitter would be charging companies from $42,000 all the way up to $210,000 per month to access its API. 

Data ownership has become a key point of contention in the ever-growing generative AI race – and several companies have begun to speak out against AI models using their data.

Universal Music Group spoke out this week claiming that any use of its artists’ music in training AI would be “both a breach of our agreements and a violation of copyright law”.

Reddit, a popular social media forum, also spoke out claiming it would begin to charge companies for access to its programming platform that feeds its user content into AI training software.

Microsoft’s OpenAI announced at the beginning of March it will no longer be using customer data to train its models like ChatGPT.

GlobalData is the parent company of Verdict and its sister publications.