Elon Musk has announced the launch of a new AI company, xAI, with a mission to “understand the true nature of the universe.” The company is separate from Musk’s other businesses, such as Tesla and Twitter, but will work closely with them.
Musk’s AI Ambitions
Musk has been vocal about his concerns with AI and its potential risks, including the risk of “civilization destruction.” In response, he has been working on developing an alternative AI tool that would be a “maximum truth-seeking AI that tries to understand the nature of the universe.”
Musk has a history of involvement in the AI industry, having been an early backer of OpenAI, the AI organization he co-founded in 2015 but later walked away from in 2018. He has since been critical of the company’s input safeguards that aim to prevent the viral chatbot from spewing biased or sexist responses.
“The danger of training AI to be woke – in other words, lie – is deadly,” Musk tweeted in December, responding to a Twitter user who asked OpenAI’s CEO if it was possible to “turn off the woke settings” on ChatGPT.
xAI’s Team and Advisors
xAI has hired researchers from top technology firms, including Google, OpenAI, and Microsoft Research. The team of 11 researchers behind xAI have worked on projects including DeepMind’s AlphaCode and OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 and GPT-4 chatbots.
One of xAI’s advisors is Dan Hendrycks, executive director of the Center for AI Safety, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that has previously warned about the risks of AI. Hendrycks’ group in May claimed that AI could pose a “risk of extinction” to humanity on the scale of nuclear war or pandemics.
According to the xAI website, the goal of the company is to “understand the true nature of the universe.” The company plans to delve into the “mathematics of deep learning” and “develop the ‘theory of everything’ for large neural networks” to take AI “to the next level.”
The company has not disclosed any specific projects it will be working on, but the website indicates it is actively recruiting staff. At the moment, all of the dozen staffers on the website appear to be men.
xAI seems to be positioning itself to compete with companies like OpenAI, Google, and Anthropic, which are behind leading chatbots like ChatGPT, Bard, and Claude. However, Musk’s new venture has yet to reveal any specific plans for its own chatbot technology.
Funding and Incorporation
Musk incorporated xAI in Nevada in March, and rumors about Musk starting up an AI company have been floating around for days. A report from Business Insider revealed that Musk had purchased thousands of graphic processing units (GPUs) to power an upcoming generative AI product.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Musk even sought funding from SpaceX and Tesla investors to get the company started.
Elon Musk’s new AI venture, xAI, is poised to make a significant impact in the AI industry. With a team of top researchers and advisors, xAI is well-positioned to compete with other leading AI companies. However, the company has yet to reveal any specific projects or plans for its own chatbot technology.
As with any new venture, funding and incorporation will be crucial to xAI’s success. Nevertheless, with Elon Musk’s track record of success in the tech industry, xAI is a company to watch in the coming years. Stay tuned for updates on Musk’s latest AI venture and its impact on the AI industry.