SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Elon Musk announces new AI company

Jul 12, 2023, 11:30 AM

Elon Musk, seen in Paris, France, on June 16 announced the formation of a new company focused on ar...

Elon Musk, seen in Paris, France, on June 16 announced the formation of a new company focused on artificial intelligence, after months of teasing plans to build a rival to ChatGPT. (Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters via CNN)

(Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters via CNN)

(CNN) — Elon Musk on Wednesday announced the formation of a new company focused on artificial intelligence, after months of teasing plans to build a rival to ChatGPT.

The company, called xAI, unveiled a website and a team of a dozen staffers. The new company will be led by Musk, according to the website, and “will work closely with X (Twitter), Tesla, and other companies to make progress towards our mission.”

“The goal of xAI is to understand the true nature of the universe,” the website states, echoing language Musk has used before to describe his AI ambitions.

Musk was an early backer of ChatGPT-creator OpenAI, but later criticized the company for inputting 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.

In an interview with then-Fox News host Tucker Carlson in April, Musk said teased plans for his new AI venture. “We’re going to start something which I call TruthGPT,” he said, describing it as a “maximum truth-seeking AI” that “cares about understanding the universe.”

Musk’s announcement of the new company comes months after he warned in an interview that he thinks AI could cause “civilization destruction” and joined other tech leaders in calling for a pause in an “out of control” AI race.

Few other details on the company’s mission were immediately available, but the website indicates it is actively recruiting staff. At the moment, all of the dozen staffers on the website appear to be men.

The announcement of Musk’s latest venture comes at a precarious moment for Musk.

Twitter, the company he acquired for $44 billion in October, now faces an uncertain future after Meta launched a rival app called Threads. Meta’s app topped 100 million sign-ups in less than a week. Meanwhile, there were multiple reports of Twitter’s usage declining.

The turbulence at Twitter comes after months of Musk alienating some users and advertisers by slashing staff, pushing through controversial policy changes and making a number of incendiary remarks.

In addition to Twitter, Musk runs several other companies, including Tesla, SpaceX, Neuralink and The Boring Company.


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Elon Musk announces new AI company