Tesla is suing a former employee for allegedly stealing the secrets of its supercomputer

Tesla is suing a former employee for allegedly stealing the secrets of its supercomputer

Tesla is suing former engineer Alexander Yatskov for allegedly obtaining “secret and rigorously guarded” information about the company’s Project Dojo supercomputer technology.

Yatskov, who Tesla alleges misrepresented on his résumé about his job background and skillset, began working at the electric vehicle maker in January as a thermal engineer and assisted in the design of Dojo’s cooling systems. Dojo is Tesla’s neural net training computer, which analyses massive volumes of data in order to train the AI software in Tesla’s self-driving cars. According to the complaint, Yatskov had access to Dojo’s cooling information as well as other secret project information.

Tesla claims that all engineers sign a non-disclosure agreement that prevents them from disclosing or storing confidential information about Dojo. Tesla claims that Yatskov violated this agreement by allegedly “removing Tesla confidential information from work devices and accounts, accessing it on his own personal devices, and creating Tesla documents containing confidential Project Dojo details on a personal computer.” The business also claims that Yatskov was forwarding emails containing sensitive Tesla information from his personal email address to his work email address.

According to the accusation, when Tesla approached Yatskov about the problem, he acknowledged storing secret information on his own devices. Yatskov was subsequently placed on administrative leave beginning April 6th, 2022, and told to bring in his equipment so Tesla could recover any stolen data. Yatskov allegedly responded by giving Tesla a “dummy” laptop in an attempt to hide any evidence against him. This ostensible decoy included none of the relevant material and was designed to “appear to have viewed merely inoffensive Tesla information, such as an offer letter.”

On May 2nd, Yatskov resigned from his position. Tesla is suing Yatskov for compensatory and exemplary damages, as well as a court order compelling Yatskov to hand over the sensitive material.

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