Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla and SpaceX, has announced the creation of a new artificial intelligence startup, xAI, following his departure from ChatGPT's parent company, OpenAI. The Twitter owner took to the platform on Wednesday to make the announcement, mentioning the startup's objectives of understanding reality, though he didn't provide further specifics.
The company's website is equally vague, simply stating its ambition to comprehend the true essence of the universe. The startup clarified that it is an independent entity from "X Corp," which was formerly known as Twitter. However, it also stated on its website that it will work collaboratively with X Corp, Tesla, and other firms owned by Musk, as well as other businesses to move towards their mission.
The website does not disclose much about the company's "mission," but a single Twitter post from the new company suggests it will explore the universe's most profound unanswered questions. The website also discloses its team members, led by Musk, with Dan Hendrycks, the director of the Centre for AI Safety, listed as an advisor.
The entire team consists of male employees, many of whom have prior work experience at DeepMind, OpenAI, Google Research, Microsoft Research, Tesla, and the University of Toronto. The company's website boasts, "Together, we have contributed to some of the most influential methodologies in the field." It further highlights its team's involvement in significant breakthroughs in the field such as AlphaStar, AlphaCode, Inception, Minerva, GPT-3.5, and GPT-4.
Musk's new AI startup emerges at a time when tech giants like Google, Microsoft, OpenAI, and smaller firms, including those in other countries like China, are heavily investing in AI technology. Musk co-founded OpenAI in 2015 but left in 2018 to prevent potential conflicts of interest with Tesla's own AI activities, particularly in the area of autopilot. After OpenAI launched the popular ChatGPT AI chatbot, Musk expressed his intentions to start his own AI firm in several interviews.
In a conversation with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson in April, Musk unveiled plans for "TruthGPT," a "maximum truth-seeking AI." This was followed by a statement from xAI urging the world to focus on minimising AI-related risks, which was signed by notable tech industry figures. Musk also reportedly purchased thousands of GPU processors from Nvidia, likely to power a large language model like ChatGPT.
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