Tesla accuses former engineer of stealing information about Dojo supercomputer

Tesla is suing former engineer Alexander Yatskov for allegedly stealing “confidential and highly protected” information related to a supercomputer technology called Project Dojo. Tesla accuses Yatskov of downloading the information to his personal devices and refusing to return it.

Yatskov, who Tesla claims lied on his resume about his skill set, began working for the electric car maker as a thermal engineer in January and helped design Dojo cooling systems. Dojo is Tesla’s neural network training computer that processes large amounts of data used to train the artificial intelligence software in Tesla’s unmanned cars. According to the lawsuit, Yatskov had access to Dojo cooling information as well as other confidential information related to the project.

Tesla says all engineers sign a nondisclosure agreement to prevent the disclosure or retention of confidential Dojo information, which Tesla says Yatskov violated by allegedly “deleting Tesla’s confidential information from work devices and accounts and taking it for himself. The company also says it discovered that Yatskov had been sending emails containing Tesla’s confidential information from his personal email address to his work email address.

Tesla claims that Yatskov admitted to storing classified information on his personal devices. The electric car maker placed Yatskov on administrative leave beginning April 6, 2022, and asked him to bring his devices so Tesla could recover any stolen information. In response, Yatskov allegedly provided Tesla with a “dummy” laptop, which contained no important information.

Yatskov resigned on May 2. Tesla sues Yatskov for damages and also seeks a court order that would force Yatskov to return the classified information.

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