Elon Musk Launches New AI Firm xAI to Compete with Open AI: Everything We Know So Far
Elon Musk is here with yet another company. The CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, Musk announced a brand-new artificial intelligence company, xAI. The goal of the company is to understand the nature of the universe, and as per the website, more details and information will be shared in a live Twitter Space Chat on Friday, July 14, 2023. The new company will be working under Musk's leadership and work closely with his other companies.
Key Goal of xAI
The team that built xAI previously worked on DeepMind, OpenAI, Google Research, Microsoft Research, Twitter, and Tesla. One of the key advisors of the new company will be Dan Hendricks who is the executive director of the nonprofit, Center for AI Safety. The organization issued a letter in May 2023 saying that "mitigating the risk of extinction from AI" should be a global discussion.
Greg Yang who is a co-founder of xAI said that this company will dive deep into the "math of deep learning" which is an important aspect of AI and also wants to develop 'the theory of everything" for "large neural networks in an effort to take AI to the next level," as per CNBC.
This news of the new company comes at a time when Twitter, the company Musk acquired is facing new challenges upon the inception of Meta's new rival app, Threads.
Musk's views on AI
Time and again, Elon Musk has shed light on the importance to curb AI and incorporate ways to monitor its usage. So, it makes sense that he is now taking it upon himself to create a controlled AI that can actually do more good than harm. In 2014, while speaking at MIT, he said that AI could be humanity's "biggest existential threat" and it's like "summoning the demon," per The Washington Post.
Musk said something along those lines again in an interview with Recode's Kara Swisher, "As AI gets probably much smarter than humans, the relative intelligence ratio is probably similar to that between a person and a cat, maybe bigger." Then, he talked about how one needs to be careful about the growth of AI.
In another tweet, Musk talked about how he imagined OpenAI to be something entirely different from what it is today. He wrote, "OpenAI was created as an open source (which is why I named it “Open” AI), non-profit company to serve as a counterweight to Google, but now it has become a closed source, the maximum-profit company effectively controlled by Microsoft. Not what I intended at all."
OpenAI was created as an open source (which is why I named it “Open” AI), non-profit company to serve as a counterweight to Google, but now it has become a closed source, maximum-profit company effectively controlled by Microsoft.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 17, 2023
Not what I intended at all.
In March 2023, Musk also talked about his confusion surrounding how a nonprofit became a $30 billion market capital for profit. "If this is legal, why doesn’t everyone do it?” he said.
Musk on his journey to create a 'safe' AI platform
During the Twitter Spaces event that happened on Wednesday (July 12, 2023), Musk talked about his strategy to develop this AI, safely. He explained how the company would focus on creating an AI that is "maximally curious." By maximizing curiosity, he is hoping that AI would align with human values and behaviors. "I think it is going to be pro-humanity from the standpoint that humanity is just much more interesting than not-humanity," he said.
As of now, Musk is listed as the sole director of the company and Jared Birchall is listed as the managing director. On the other hand, Dan Hendricks is supervising the safety aspect of developing the AI. The company ordered 10,000 GPUs in March 2023, per Business Insider and there's also a good possibility of the company securing funds from investors who are associated with Musk's other companies.
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