The not-so-charitable CEO of Twitter, Elon Musk, today announced the founding of a new company called xAI with the goal of “understanding the true nature of the universe.”
Ambitious? a tiny bit. So how does xAI intend to accomplish that? It appears that further information will be released at a Twitter Spaces on Friday.
However, the splash website for xAI discloses that Musk and former employees of DeepMind, OpenAI, Google Research, Microsoft Research, Tesla, and the University of Toronto will serve as the project’s leaders. There are presently 12 members on the team.
X Corp., the name given to Twitter since early April, and the “X” designation Musk has given to his concept of a “everything app” serve as the moniker for xAI.
Dan Hendrycks, the director of the nonprofit Center for AI Safety, will provide guidance to xAI. Additionally, it will collaborate with Twitter and Tesla, another one of Musk’s businesses, to “make progress towards [its] mission” – whatever that mission may turn out to be.
Musk is keeping the meaty details for Friday, but xAI’s roster offers some hints as to what the company might be working on.
Many of the founding members are experts in big language models akin to OpenAI’s GPT-4 or have practical knowledge of methods like reinforcement learning, which instructs AI models to complete tasks by paying them for doing so.
announcing the establishment of @xAI to comprehend reality
– Elon Musk, July 12, 2023 (@elonmusk).
In an interview with Tucker Carlson in April, Musk stated his desire to create “TruthGPT,” or a “maximum-truth-seeking AI.”
Since Musk previously claimed that Twitter would utilize its own data to train ChatGPT-like technology, it seems likely that xAI’s efforts will begin there, possibly in the shape of a text-generating AI that he believes to be more “truthful” than others.
There have been rumors about Musk founding an AI firm for a while; earlier this year, a Business Insider investigation revealed that Musk had bought thousands of GPUs to fuel a forthcoming generative AI product.
The Financial Times also claimed that Musk intended to launch an AI company to take on Microsoft-backed OpenAI, and that he was even looking for funds from SpaceX and Tesla investors to launch the business.
Since the billionaire’s breakup with OpenAI co-founders Sam Altman and Ilya Sutskever some years ago, Musk’s AI ambitions have increased.
OpenAI, which was established in 2015 as a nonprofit, received $1 billion in donations from Musk and others.
Musk got resentful of the firm whose board he served as OpenAI’s emphasis switched from open source research to primarily commercial ventures.
He also became more competitive. He stole key personnel from OpenAI to work on Tesla’s Autopilot driver assistance system. He also started openly criticizing OpenAI, at one point calling it a “profit-maximizing demon from hell.”
2018 saw Musk leave the OpenAI board. And more recently, he denied the business access to Twitter data, claiming that OpenAI, which had an agreement in place with Twitter for a $2 million yearly licensing fee when Musk took over as CEO, wasn’t paying enough.