xAI: Everything we know about Elon Musk’s new AI company

Company is planning to host Twitter Spaces discussion on Friday where listeners can ask questions

Vishwam Sankaran
Friday 14 July 2023 04:56 BST
Elon Musk Launches New Company 'XAI'

Tesla and SpaceX boss Elon Musk now has a new artificial intelligence startup xAI, years after he left ChatGPT-owner OpenAI.

The Twitter owner announced the “formation” of the new firm on Wednesday in a tweet, sharing that its goals are “to understand reality”.

He did not reveal any more details about the company’s plans and the firms website also doesn’t say much other than that its aims are “to understand the true nature of the universe”.

The startup, however, noted it is a separate entity from “X Corp” – the new name of the company formerly known as Twitter.

However, the company mentions in its website that it would work closely with X Corp, Tesla, and firms owned by Mr Musk as well as other companies “to make progress towards our mission.”

While xAI does not reveal a lot on its website about its “mission”, the new company’s sole Twitter post hints it would look into the “most fundamental unanswered questions” of the universe.

The company’s website also reveals the names of its employees, led by Mr Musk and listing Dan Hendrycks – the director of the Centre for AI Safety – as an advisor.

Employees listed with the company are all men, and people who have “previously worked at DeepMind, OpenAI, Google Research, Microsoft Research, Tesla, and the University of Toronto.”

“Collectively we contributed some of the most widely used methods in the field,” xAI mentions in its website.

“We have worked on and led the development of some of the largest breakthroughs in the field including AlphaStar, AlphaCode, Inception, Minerva, GPT-3.5, and GPT-4,” the company noted about its employees.

Mr Musk’s new venture also comes as companies including Google, Microsoft, OpenAI and even smaller firms and competitors in other countries like China continue to invest heavily in AI technology.

The multibillionaire had previously co-founded OpenAI in 2015 but left the firm in 2018 to avoid conflicts of interest with Tesla which had its own AI operations for the vehicles’ autopilot mode.

Following the launch of the now popular ChatGPT AI chatbot by OpenAI, the Tesla titan had also hinted in interviews that he was planning to start his own new artificial intelligence firm.

In April, he told former Fox News host Tucker Carlson that he planned to develop “TruthGPT,” which he called a “maximum truth-seeking AI”.

This was followed by an xAI statement calling for the world to prioritise reducing AI’s dangers, signed by prominent members of the tech industry, and Mr Musk also reportedly acquired thousands of GPU processors from Nvidia seemingly to run a large language model like ChatGPT.

The xAI team is planning to host a Twitter Spaces discussion on Friday – one in which listeners can “meet the team and ask us questions,” according to the startup’s website.

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